We know Commerce Bank is only at its best when our people are. For nearly 160 years, we’ve built our organization and culture on a foundation of shared values — taking a long-term view, collaborating as one team, acting with integrity, being customer focused, and striving for excellence. This means diversity, equity & inclusion in the workplace is integral to our success.
What does diversity, equity and inclusion mean? It means that we value our people. We’re firmly committed to engaging in the conversations necessary to make our team members feel safe, valued and respected — and truly listening so we can better understand how to serve our communities.
Commerce Bancshares’s CEO, John Kemper, signed the CEO Action for Diversity and Inclusion™ pledge, which further shows our dedication to creating an environment that supports and grows diverse talent, and makes an impact on the communities where we live and work, and on society at large. But that’s not where it stops.
We say that Commerce is here to help you focus on what matters most. But at the end of the day, what matters most isn’t so different for most people. It’s feeling like you matter. It’s feeling safe in the space you’re in. We want to listen to what you’re telling us matters most, so we can continue to take action and make Commerce a better place for everyone who comes through our doors.
We believe our differences make the difference. We’ve worked thoughtfully to establish a variety of programs and initiatives designed to embrace an inclusive and diverse culture — making Commerce Bank a place where people feel they belong and can thrive and grow professionally. Here are just a few examples of how we continue to build awareness:
We demonstrate our commitment to excellence by striving to be an employer of choice, as evidenced by being recognized on Forbes’ 2023 America’s Best Midsize Employers List for the sixth year in a row and for the second consecutive year, Commerce Bank earned a high score of 90 by the Human Rights Campaign’s (HRC) Corporate Equality Index (CEI), the nation’s foremost benchmarking survey and report measuring company policies and practices related to LGBTQ+ workplace equality. This year, Commerce was also named to Newsweek's inaugural America's Greatest Workplaces for Diversity list.
Commerce pays close attention to team member feedback on an ongoing basis to identify areas where the bank can improve. Each year, the bank conducts a survey to measure team member sense of engagement, enablement and overall satisfaction with their employment at Commerce. The 2022 engagement and enablement scores exceeded the scores of other high-performing peer financial institutions.
"We needed to create spaces in which people could have tough conversations, courageous conversations, so they could listen, build empathy, and learn. That’s where our ERGs are impactful. They serve to connect people, empower them, create a sense of community and develop leaders. They’ve created safe spaces for team members to be their authentic selves and guide others on their journey as allies."
Senior Vice President
Director of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion
"People are our most valuable resource and our greatest competitive advantage at Commerce. We know the intersection of talent and work is completely changing — people aren’t just working for a paycheck today; they want more. That’s why at Commerce, we’re continually challenging ourselves to think differently about the team member experience. Our commitment to a diverse, equitable and inclusive culture is vital to the engagement, productivity and innovation that position us to anticipate and proactively adapt to our customers' changing needs and ultimately, it impacts Commerce’s ability to attract and retain talented people, which is becoming more complex."
Executive Director, Talent Management
To reach this goal, we employ both traditional and non-traditional methods to attract qualified talent. Commerce Bank has built strong relationships with a variety of organizations to attract and retain the diverse talent we need. Here are a few of the organizations we collaborate with:
We’re serious about promoting diversity both inside our own walls and throughout the community. That’s why we actively seek suppliers who are certified minority- and women-owned business (MBE, WBE & MWOBE) enterprises as well as certified veteran (VBE, SV-VOBE, V-VOBE), Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender (LGBT), Disabled and small businesses (SBE), among many others. We are committed to helping advance the inclusion and diversity efforts within the communities we serve by establishing a diverse supplier chain as part of our ongoing procurement plans.
We are intentional in the steps we take to gain a better understanding of the priorities and financial needs of women and people of color.
A significant portion of the unbanked are minority and low- and moderate-income families. This can pose barriers to building savings and credit — which is necessary to obtain housing, among other basic living needs. At Commerce, we are committed to helping to lower barriers to banking. We have developed a new product, Velocity Pay®, that is available to those looking to establish their first relationship with a bank, or those who simply want an alternative financial solution to a traditional deposit account. Velocity Pay® received the BankOn certification seal, as we aligned the product to meet the low-cost needs of the “unbanked” segment.
With key challenges identified in the wealth gap, we recognize that homeownership is the best way for Americans to build wealth that can be passed on to the next generation. But there are many barriers to homeownership, and they exceedingly affect minority and low- and moderate-income communities. Through Commerce’s Neighborhood Connection™ loan program, Commerce is dedicated to addressing these disparities by helping people manage their money, improve their credit and pursue homeownership.
As a socially responsible corporate citizen, we continuously seek opportunities to make a difference. Our community involvement, diversity, equity and inclusion initiatives and sustainability efforts are all products of a culture formed nearly 160 years ago to be a force for good in our region and our industry.
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