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Associated banks on inclusiveness

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Through company-wide work groups, a promotion policy and assistance to homebuyers, Green Bay-based Associated Bank is seeking to foster inclusiveness both inside and outside its doors.

Associated has set a series of hiring goals meant to bring more women and minorities into leadership roles. Because of that work, the bank is meeting a goal of employing women in 30 percent of its senior vice president positions and having more than 20 percent of its board seats occupied by women.

Additionally, 61 percent of the bank’s hires at its management-level in 2017 were women or minorities and 54 percent of the company’s promotions were of minority employees.

The bank has also set up six colleague-resource groups, which aim to improve retention and recruitment, outreach and involvement and other ways of promoting inclusiveness. More than 1,800 of the bank’s employees are part of one or more of these resource groups. Their work is guided by the bank’s Diversity and Inclusion council, which sets the bank’s goals.

The bank is also working to expand its presence in low- to moderate-income areas. By the middle of 2018, Associated Bank had 28 percent of its bank branches in such census tracts.

Associated’s Multi-Cultural and Affordable Lending team works to develop relationships with nonprofit groups, realtors and other stakeholders to provide information to low- to moderate-income and minority homebuyers. In 2017, the bank provided $906 million worth of loans to such homebuyers — which came to more than 5,000 mortgages.

Associated’s $2.4 billion 2018‒2020 Community Commitment Plan outlines its efforts and specific commitment areas of lending, investments and services to minority and low- to moderate-income customers in Wisconsin, Illinois and Minnesota

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