Greenleaf Trust is taking great strides to examine diversity, equity, and inclusion — both within the organization itself and the communities we serve. We are always looking for ways to give back, change our actions to be better and more inclusive and to provide opportunities for our team members to uphold the same expectations.
We utilize a targeted diversity recruiting strategy that upholds our values through partnerships, social media groups, and a scholarship and internship program which provides minority mentoring as well. To achieve racial diversity both within our company and in the field of finance, the Greenleaf Trust Scholarship was established at Western Michigan University in 1999. Over the past 22 years there have been 83 students awarded the scholarship and over $1.7 million dollars distributed. Currently, we have 13 scholars, 5 interns, and 8 current employees who are former scholars.
This fall, we also launched the Greenleaf Wealth Development Club for Student Investors. The program is designed for students of color from Kalamazoo Public Schools (KPS) high schools interested in learning more about finance. Once a month, club members meet with Greenleaf Trust professionals and dedicated KPS teachers/advisors to learn more about investing, financial career path options, and other financial concepts. At the end of the nine-month program, each club member will be awarded access to their own live trading account app with $500 to invest as they choose.
Our core values are the heart of our company and several of them point to diversity. These values are things we live, teach, and mentor on each day:
Diversity is good, it makes us better decision makers
Professionalism, respect, and dignity are fundamental principles by which we treat all others
We support the maintenance of balance between family, work, and community service
To embody our values, we formed an internal Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) Team with the vision of educating team members on actively working to become an anti-racist organization that fully supports diversity, equity, and inclusivity at all levels.
Lastly, we are really proud that we were recently recognized for our diversity initiatives as a Diversity Focused Company by Corp! Magazine. The award recognizes our success in defining and monitoring diversity; demonstrating how diversity adds value; committing to diversity among its workforce and suppliers; fostering an inclusive workplace; making accommodations for minority and disabled employees; fostering career development of women, minority, and disabled employees; supporting community outreach programs that encourage diversity and advancement of women; and creating initiatives to meet the challenges and opportunities created by diversity.
We recognize that we are only at the beginning of our journey but definitely feel up to the challenges ahead.