Getting 'on board' for community service

March 2016 │ New York

In celebration of Black History Month, Deutsche Bank hosted a panel discussion at its Wall Street headquarters about increasing the diversity of New York City’s nonprofit boards.

The event, “Get on Board,” was convened by the Bank’s Multicultural Partnership (MCP), an Employee Resource Group committed to making Deutsche Bank an inclusive environment that attracts, develops and retains employees from diverse backgrounds. Representatives from AB, Barclays and BNY Mellon also participated. Keith Jackson from Wealth Management, who spearheaded the event, remarked how unusual it was for four Wall Street firms to come together “as peers rather than as competitors.” “We do so today because this issue is so vitally important to our communities,” he said.

Moderator Stanley Smith of Youth Inc USA framed the discussion, noting that there are thousands of nonprofit organizations in the City that need board and junior board members to help carry out their vital and inspiring work. Due to historical barriers and inequities, the leadership of New York City’s nonprofit groups does not yet reflect the demographic diversity of the city and communities they serve.

The panel included leaders from each of the four participating firms, including Deutsche Bank’s own William Shelton, Head of US Equity Structured Solutions, who spoke passionately about his experiences as a board director for organizations such as USA Track & Field, the Andrew Young Center for Global Leadership at Morehouse College and Komen Greater NYC.

Chris Cheesman (AB), Lauren Samuel (Barclays) and Debra Baker (BNY Mellon) each offered anecdotes and insights from their own paths to board service. Edwin Torres, Deputy Commissioner of New York City’s Department of Cultural Affairs, shared his experiences and discussed his agency’s efforts to increase board diversity in the City’s cultural sector.

The panelists agreed that the personal and professional rewards of board service are profound. They advised that individuals get clarity about a board’s expectations of time and monetary (“give-get”) contributions before signing on but emphasized the wealth of resources and supports available. A networking reception followed.

Nonprofit board diversity is a priority for Deutsche Bank Americas Foundation, which is offering a new board placement and training program for employees that will launch with a focus on diverse leaders at the Bank. Through its grantmaking, the Foundation also supports programming to increase diversity at the City’s cultural nonprofit organizations.

William Shelton (second from right), Deutsche Bank's Head of US Equity Structured Solutions, spoke passionately about his involvement with various nonprofit groups.

William Shelton (second from right), Deutsche Bank's Head of US Equity Structured Solutions, spoke passionately about his involvement with various nonprofit groups.

William Shelton (second from right), Deutsche Bank's Head of US Equity Structured Solutions, spoke passionately about his involvement with various nonprofit groups.


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Last Update: February 14, 2017
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