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Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

Our Commitment to Inclusion at Commerce

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 a culture of inclusivity in the workplace is integral to our success.

What does inclusion mean to us? 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.

Building an inclusive workplace

We believe our differences make the difference. We’ve worked thoughtfully to establish a variety of programs and initiatives designed to embrace an inclusive 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:

  • Observance and celebration of cultural, heritage and awareness months
  • Mentorship programs to support professional development and talent mobility of diverse leaders and team members
  • Team member training: Educational workshops on topics including "Unconscious Bias", "Being an Ally" and "Equity Lens"
  • Community alliances to advance inclusive efforts
  • Employee Resource Groups to help us better understand and meet the evolving needs of our team members, customers and communities
  • Feedback tools to hold us accountable and help us see if we’re trending in the right direction

We demonstrate our commitment to excellence by striving to be an employer of choice, as evidenced by being recognized on Forbes’ 2024 America’s Best Midsize Employers List for the seventh year in a row and for the third 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. Commerce was also named to Newsweek's inaugural America's Greatest Workplaces for Diversity list in 2023.

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 engagement, enablement and overall satisfaction with their employment at Commerce.

We know a wide range of thoughts and experiences leads to better solutions, because we each bring something different to the conversation. When we listen and learn beyond our own experience, we can discover new ideas, help people to feel valued and gain the opportunity to make real change.

Our Employee Resource Groups were established to help our team members from different backgrounds feel a sense of belonging, make personal connections with others who share similar experiences and further their careers. Each Employee Resource Group is open to all team members and is made even stronger when our allies join.

EMERGE strives to support and promote a workplace culture at Commerce that attracts, develops, engages and ultimately retains young professionals. Our goal is to help Commerce build and grow highly motivated emerging talent through development, networking and communication.
ENABLE fosters an inclusive environment where those with apparent and non-apparent disabilities, caregivers and allies can thrive, collaborate and serve as a resource for employee advocacy and customer insights.
PRIDE logo
PRIDE works to provide an open forum where LGBTQIA+ and allied teammates with a shared interest can aspire, develop and collaborate to reach their highest potential. PRIDE members represent Commerce in our communities and serve as a key resource for specific consumer and employee insights.
RISE logo
RISE promotes the advancement, retention and recruitment of women at Commerce by creating networking forums, opportunities for women to leverage their skills, experience and potential to support their personal and professional growth, as well as fostering a mentorship environment within the organization.
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SALUTE is responsible for creating an inclusive, dignified, and welcoming space for team members with a passion for supporting military veterans and their families. SALUTE invites veterans of foreign and domestic militaries, active service members, friends and family members of those who have served, and all supporters of veteran causes and communities.
VIBE logo
VIBE aims to foster an environment where team members are valued, empowered and engaged to promote multi-cultural representation and retention. VIBE encourages the recognition and celebration of diversity through servant-leadership at Commerce Bank and in the communities where we live, serve and play.
"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."

Felecia Hogan
Senior Vice President
Director of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

We’re committed to building a workforce that lets us see challenges from a wide variety of perspectives and is representative of the markets we serve.

"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 an 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."

Kim Jakovich
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 believe small businesses are the foundation of a thriving community. Commerce Bank actively seeks 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 efforts within the communities we serve by establishing a diverse supplier chain as part of our ongoing procurement plans.

Learn more about Supplier Diversity program

We are intentional in the steps we take to gain a better understanding of the priorities and financial needs of our customers and the communities we serve.

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.

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.

Learn more about Neighborhood Connections™

As a socially responsible corporate citizen, we continuously seek opportunities to make a difference. Our community involvement, 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.

Read our latest Environmental, Social & Governance report[PDF]


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