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The 2024 ABA Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Awards

The ABA Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Awards honor and recognize ABA member banks for their internal-facing programs, initiatives and activities focused on improving diversity, equity and inclusion for their workforces. Integrating DEI initiatives promotes awareness and mitigation of bias, helps employees feel safe, creates diverse teams, and helps the organization gain competitive advantages.

Award Categories

Outstanding DEI Overall Program Award — Recognizes the most outstanding DEI program

Outstanding DEI Leader Award — Recognizes a DEI specialist or other leader who has served as an agent of change within the organization

Outstanding DEI Innovation Incentive Award — Recognizes the ABA member bank with the most creative and innovative internal DEI initiative that enables a transformation within the organization

Dates to Know

March 1, 2024: Submissions Open

May 31, 2024: Submissions Close

September 12, 2024: Announcement of Award Winners during the DEI Summit


2023 Award Winners

Outstanding Overall DEI Program Award

Winner: Wintrust Financial Corporation
Wintrust Financial Corporation created the One Wintrust Diversity & Inclusion Roadmap, which was established to anchor a strategy for key pillars including workforce/workplace, customers, communities, and strategic partnerships. A few highlights of Wintrust’s DEI program include its Annual Executive Diversity Forum, its sponsorship and mentorship program “Paired to Win,” and its business resource groups. 

Honorable Mention: United Bank
United Bank was honored for its overall DEI program, which focuses on building a sustainable and fully integrated strategy, including the implementation of initiatives ranging from developing a comprehensive metrics dashboard to executing multi-phased companywide trainings. The bank made inroads in increasing the diversity of its staff and board of directors to better reflect the communities it serves.

DEI Outstanding Leader Award

Winner: Tammy Mata
Tammy Mata is the chief DEI officer and head of people resources and relations at Valley National Bank. Mata helped create six associate resource groups and implement a DEI Governance Framework. She has also been part of the effort to recruit from a more diverse group of job candidates. 

Winner: Natonya Harbison
Natonya Harbison is the director of DEI and community impact at Pathward Bank. Harbison has worked closely with the C-suite to help define Pathward’s DEI attributes, established a strategic roadmap, constructed a DEI curriculum and managed DEI metric collection. 

Honorable Mention: Eddie Alford
Eddie Alford, the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion director at Pinnacle Financial Partners, has led design and implementation of DEI initiatives since 2020, aligning them in a manner that would be woven into every aspect of Pinnacle’s culture. Alford formed DEI Councils across the firm’s geographic markets and leads the firm’s leadership team DEI workshop series. 

Innovation Incentive Award

Winner: Primis Bank
Primis Bank’s Primis Works program was assembled to give single parents an opportunity to establish professional skills while also diversifying Primis’ talent pipeline. Participants are paid a fulltime salary, given childcare, and have access to mentors and workshops. Primus also has hired many of the participants once they complete the program. 

Honorable Mention: Bank of the West
Bank of the West stands out for Ignite, its four-month, cohort-style virtual program that focuses on advancing and helping to develop underrepresented talent. The program was created to retain and advance junior level talent who may otherwise go unnoticed through talent assessments. It allows applicants to self-nominate and provides individualized career coaching and an executive sponsor.