Social Impact Within and Beyond the Firm
We’re working every day to create a dynamic, diverse, inclusive and intellectually challenging environment at AB. Our goal is to bring out the best in our people and, in turn, advance the many communities we serve.
Our Diversity & Inclusion Strategy
Knowing that diverse and inclusive teams generate better ideas and reach more balanced decisions, we seek to leverage the unique backgrounds of our employees to meet the needs of a broad range of clients and to best engage the communities in which we operate. In an open letter to employees, President and CEO Seth Bernstein outlined our firm’s next steps and continued commitment to a more diverse and inclusive AllianceBernstein.
Implement new recruitment processes that enable more effective access to diverse candidates.
Accountability at All Levels
Develop leaders who exhibit and model inclusive behaviors.
Diverse Talent Development
Foster an inclusive environment where diverse talent and perspectives thrive.
Building a Culture of Diverse Perspectives
Ethnically Diverse = African American/Black, Hispanic/Latino, Asian. All gender information is global. All ethnic diversity information is US only. Data as of Dec 31, 2019.
Recent racial tensions in the US have been a stark reminder to all of us about the need to pursue equality on all fronts. In the workplace, we’re striving to become a more dynamic, diverse and inclusive workplace—one in which employees feel challenged, valued and excited about building a career with us. We believe that a diverse culture fosters diverse thinking—and drives better outcomes. Of our 2019 US new hires, 31% were ethnically diverse. 21% of our senior vice presidents (SVPs) are women, and from 2017–2019, female SVP promotions rose from 27% to 31%. We’ve increased female vice‐president promotions to 40% from 37%.
Ethnically Diverse New Hires
“It’s not solely about diversity… We are striving at all times to make our workplace inclusive.”
—Janessa Cox-Irvin, Head of Diversity & Inclusion
Promoting Racial Equity and Inclusion
The civil injustice and unrest that erupted in the US and elsewhere has reinforced the need for progress. At AB, we recognize the value of diverse perspectives, ideas and backgrounds, and we’re committed to being a force for change.
To fight racial injustice and inequity, we’re taking—and evaluating—many actions. We’ve begun a broad talent search with the goal of appointing a diverse AB board member in 2021, and we’re looking at ways to advance the recruiting, development and retention of diverse talent—and to ensure that more diverse leaders are on a path to senior decision-making roles. We’ve made a commitment to using our position of influence as investors to help drive positive change that also creates better financial outcomes for our clients. To advance racial equality, we’re revisiting our corporate philanthropy as well as promoting supplier diversity and adherence to ethical and human rights standards.
Leading by Example: Driving Diversity & Inclusion
- AB received a perfect score on the Human Rights Campaign Foundation Corporate Equality Index for five years in a row.
- CEO Seth Bernstein is a member of CEO Action for Diversity & Inclusion.
- Diversity & Inclusion sponsor selected on a rotating basis
- Dedicated Diversity Talent Partner focused on a diversity recruitment strategy firm-wide
- AB launched a Racial Justice & Anti-Racist Resource Library internally that offers employees literary, reference, and virtual materials to begin or advance their historical and current context of this globally relevant and indispensable topic
- The Career Catalyst Program emphasizes coaching and mentoring by pairing female vice presidents and/or ethnically diverse vice presidents with senior vice presidents
- In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Diversity and Inclusion team hosted a webinar to discuss the history of pandemics, the behaviors they can cause, and the disparate impact on vulnerable communities
- In 2019, AB and hundreds of other major corporations signed an amicus brief for the US Supreme Court expressing a commitment to create workplaces that afford lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender employees the chance to earn a living, excel in their professions, and provide for their families free from fear of unequal treatment
- Collaboration with non-profit programs, including Girls Who Invest, Year Up, Cristo Rey Network, INROADS, Investment 20/20 and the development of AB's Sophomore Summer Leadership Program, to help recruit, young, underrepresented talent
- Enhanced our operating committee in 2020 by adding three members.
- Janessa Cox-Irvin, Head of Diversity and Inclusion, helps ensure that diverse perspectives are woven into everything we do.
- Ajai Kaul, CEO of Asia Pacific, represents our largest growing market and a vital regional perspective.
- Cathy Spencer, Head of Human Capital, applies the lens of our people, culture, and wellbeing across all firm initiatives.
To help our workforce thrive, we need to do more than develop talent. Allowing employees to celebrate their commonalities and shared interests creates an inclusive environment and fosters outreach to our many communities.
Staff wellness is top of mind at our firm, too—and has never been more important than during the COVID‐19 pandemic, with so many colleagues working from home. We’ve enhanced our programs broadly to focus on employee mental and physical health, and we’ve emphasized a transparent relationship about senior leadership decisionmaking. These are a few examples of our efforts to make AB a better and more fulfilling place to work—and a company that better reflects the society we live in. We have:
- Moved all AB offices in the US, Europe, mainland China, Singapore, Japan and Australia to a 100% remote working model, with the exception of a handful of critical staff
- Offered employees tools for sleep improvement and connections to licensed therapists
- Created podcasts to help people understand and cope with COVID-19
- Offered health and activity classes to promote fitness
- Provided resources such as mental health "first aid" leaders, bereavement resources and family care support
Employee Resource Groups (ERGs)
Employee Resource Groups (ERGs) support our diversity and inclusion efforts. These voluntary, cross‐divisional, employee-led groups were created to accelerate the advancement of employees from traditionally underrepresented groups, the allies who support those groups and people who share a common purpose, interest or background.
- AB Asians
- AB OUT
- AB Veterans
- Black ERG
- Family Matters
Employee Wellness Groups (EWGs)
Employee Wellness Groups (EWGs) are a critical component of AB’s global Well Ahead initiative, which aims to encourage employee engagement and improve the overall health and wellness of group members.
- AB Golfers
- AB Run Club
- AB Volunteers
- Japan Energy
- Well Being EMEA
AB Voice: Giving Employees a Forum to Be Heard
To create a more engaged workforce, it’s important to listen to our employees about what’s working and what needs to get better. AB Voice, our annual employee survey, is a conduit for employees to
weigh in with their diverse perspectives and thoughts. In 2019, 89% of our employees took the survey and answered over 30 questions on key topics, including career development, manager effectiveness, communication, diversity and inclusion, and culture. Armed with this information, we continue to make improvements and keep a pulse on sentiment across the firm.
Access to Senior Leaders: The Town Hall
Regular global town hall meetings give employees the chance to hear directly from our CEO and other senior leaders, with lively and candid sessions that provide updates on financial results, corporate strategy and the business outlook. Interactive question-and-answer sessions enable employees to submit questions—confidentially—on the issues that matter to them.
In many ways, 2020 has demonstrated to all of us how global and expansive the concept of community is. From the COVID‐19 pandemic to natural disasters and inequities in race and gender relations, the call for community service is stronger than ever.
Making an Impact Through Charitable Giving
We support our communities by promoting charitable giving through employee matching. We also encourage volunteering by offering paid time off to support communities and charities. In 2019, we launched AB Gives Back, a comprehensive platform for all volunteerism, gift-matching and grant-giving activities.
Supporting Charitable Giving
AB matches employee donations dollar for dollar up to $5,000 and up to $10,000 for senior vice presidents.
In 2019, AB employees collectively donated more than $3.2 million that was eligible for matching gifts by AB. The matching program, combined with other firm contributions, brought AB’s total charitable impact on over 1,400 organizations to more than $8.4 million in 2019.
Encouraging Passion for Volunteering
We organize coordinated service opportunities and offer paid time-off allowances through our Day of Service program. The goal? To give employees more time to engage in community and charitable outreach.
- Day of Service was started in 2015 and continues to grow.
- Each employee is granted 16 hours of paid time off per year for Day of Service or other volunteer opportunities.
- A total of 7,000 hours of service were dedicated at 124 global events in 2019.
Day of Service Highlights: Giving Back to Our Communities
AB Gives Back
AB is investing in our local communities by supporting nonprofit organizations that are making a
difference. Our Volunteer Time Off program empowers employees to engage with local organizations across
all our cities and regions, including our headquarters city of Nashville.
Community Service Highlights
- It's impossible to provide an exhaustive account of all community-service initiatives, but we hope that this overview and the following examples convey the scope and scale of our efforts:
- Employees in AB's Hong Kong office donated to an initiative to distribute 400 packs of sanitary supplies to families in need, with logistical support provided by local non-government organizations.
- The Nashville Chapter of the AB OUT employee resource group provided meals at both lunch and dinner for more than 20 LGBTQ youths being sheltered by Launch Pad in partnership with the Oasis Center.
- AB Private Credit Investors organized firmwide fundraiser, to benefit Feeding America, which battles hunger across the US. The effort has raised enough to provide tens of thousands of meals.
Supporting Global COVID-19 Relief
As the world continues to combat the COVID-19 pandemic, AB and our employees have found many ways to make an impact. As a firm, we are support several organizations including the CDC Foundation Emergency Response Fund, Give2Asia, NHS Charities Together, Médecins Sans Frontières, NYCT COVID-19 Response & Impact Fund, and United Way Nashville COVID-19 Response Fund. Through a special 2:1 gift matching campaign sponsored by the AB operating committee, employees supported more than 160 nonprofit organizations worldwide. AB employees have also developed innovative ways to give back to their communities.
- Using 3-D printers to develop medical device adaptors, ear-savers, and personal protective equipment in New York and Connecticut
- Distributing hundreds of masks and supply packs in Hong Kong
- Volunteering with the British Transport Police to ensure essential workers can safely commute in London.
- Providing meals for frontline health care workers in Nashville.
AB Named Corporate Partner of the Year by Citizen Schools
Citizen Schools, a leading nonprofit that provides middle-school students with hands-on learning outside the classroom to prepare for their futures, named AB its 2019 Corporate Partner of the Year. We’ve continued our commitment to the organization both through monetary donations and with more than 100 AB volunteers who have donated their time, making a direct impact on students. AB has partnered with Citizen Schools since 2010, working with over 350 middle-school students.