Bank of America’s Global Human Resources Technology Executive Shares Insight on Diversity in Technology
Lisa Buford Armbrister is the Global Human Resources Technology executive at Bank of America. After taking time off from a different company, friends encouraged her to consider Bank of America. She joined about 15 years ago and has held six different positions within the company, each one challenging her to grow and try something new.
Bank of America is purposeful in seeking out diverse talent and has development programs designed to help empower employees to own their career development journey.
Armbrister has been able to achieve a successful career in technology because of her ability to think outside the box, her entrepreneurial spirit, and her leadership skills. In addition, the firm’s commitment to diversity and the culture of supporting employee development efforts has helped support her career journey.
Bank of America’s approach to diversity is “pretty bold,” says Armbrister. There is a deep commitment to ensuring a diverse and inclusive work environment and within the Global Technology and Operations organization (GT&O), the leaders are vocal, open and focused on diversity.
“There’s a culture of speaking up,” she says. “We encourage people of diverse backgrounds and experiences to proactively share their perspectives. To step forward and be bold. At the bank, diversity has become a lot more than just a label, we think about it as a mindset.”
This commitment to embrace diversity and have open communication is one that encourages diverse voices to be heard. “We understand that we’re not perfect, but progress is evident because Bank of America is consistently named one of the best companies for women in Tech,” she says.
Bank of America seeks out diverse talent by finding and investing in people who have attributes that will help them grow in their career. Employees are encouraged to leverage their strengths, and continue to gain experience by taking advantage of robust training resources.
Armbrister oversees a technology team that supports HR requirements, including employee assistance. Each morning, she makes time to connect with teams around the globe; another large part of her day is spent connecting with business partners.
“I go in; I try something new. I squeeze everything that I can out of the role in terms of learning and opportunities,” said Armbrister. “The bank is a great place if you like challenges, if you like to try new things – you’ll have the opportunity to do that here.” The encouragement from her teammates to experiment and take career risks is part of the culture she most values at Bank of America.
Armbrister has a strong focus on relationships, which helps make the bank easier to navigate; the culture is all about making connections. It’s an environment of community, camaraderie and support. Of course there are challenges, but Armbrister values that everyone works together to overcome them.
Bank of America has a culture that provides benefits and resources programs to encourage work/life balance. The environment allows Armbrister to work in a manner where she can prioritize and complete her work. She also balances her time to focus on what’s important to her outside of work, like her family: her husband and six children ages, 12 to 29.
Another value that she sees at Bank of America is a dedication to innovation. “The bank doesn’t stay idle,” she says. “The firm that I work for today isn’t the firm that it was last year, five years ago or 10 years ago. It’s constantly changing. There are always new things going on, new ideas are encouraged, and we embrace how we can do things better.” Bank of America is the top filer of technology patents in the financial services industry overall, and in the top 125 of businesses overall in the U.S.
“I think most technologists tend to be pleasers,” she says. “When a business partner has a problem, there’s a tremendous amount of pride and desire to bring a solution to that problem.” Bank of America has transformed into a simpler, more efficient company focused on growing the real economy through a strategy of responsible growth.
Armbrister thinks innovation and creativity are skills which the tech industry needs most right now, and candidates with those skills are in demand in technology.
“The most powerful people I see in technology today are the ones able to think about it from more than a tech perspective, but also have enough business acumen and experience to blend those two things together,” she says. “They’re able to bring solutions to the table that are creative in ways that could be hard for someone who just had one skillset.” Bank of America’s infrastructure and culture allows women to succeed as great technologists and leaders.
We partnered with Bank Of America for a recruitment event in D.C. earlier this year, focusing on promoting diverse candidates and employees. Check out the video below to find out more about what Bank of America is doing to have thorough representation at all levels of the company.
Are you interested in a career at Bank of America? Find out more info and apply here.