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By Bharat Masrani
• Jul. 14, 2020
Group President and Chief Executive Officer
TD Bank Group

On July 15, Bharat Masrani, Group President and CEO, TD Bank Group shared the following important message with TD colleagues about the additional ways TD is combating systemic racism and its impacts.

Since late May, through virtual events and meetings, we have had open and transparent conversations about anti-Black racism and its impacts. I thank our Black colleagues across TD who have helped us all learn and grow by sharing their personal stories and insights. Through these conversations, TD's resolve to do more, do better and be better has grown even stronger, with a renewed sense of urgency.

We are a purpose-driven Bank, committed to enriching the lives of all those we serve and employ. That purpose will guide our work as we further expand the diversity of our leadership teams and extend the support and services we offer to Black, Indigenous and other minority communities.

Expanded Representation and Regular Reporting

When it comes to Black representation in leadership roles, we are simply not where we want to be. In early June, we moved quickly and committed to double the representation of Black executives by the end of 2022. We also established a new enterprise-wide Black Experience area of focus within our Inclusion & Diversity program, expanded the Black Employee Network in the U.S. and initiated enhanced Bank-wide training programs. While this is a strong start, more work is needed to achieve the executive and leadership diversity we seek.

Today, we are making a broader and longer-term commitment to increase minority executive representation across the Bank by 50% by 2025, at which time these communities will represent more than 25% of TD leaders. This will include a specific focus on Black and Indigenous talent. Our investments and strong working relationships with groups such as the Black Professionals in Tech Network in Canada and Urban Leadership Forum in the U.S. will help support these efforts.

We know that progress is made when we measure and hold ourselves accountable. We will report annually on our progress, highlight our challenges and provide additional detail on our programs both to you and to the customers we serve.

These ambitious goals will require an all-Bank – One TD – effort. It starts with formal career planning and development for TD colleagues to maximize their career potential. It extends to education and training across the Bank to remove biases and barriers, including an increase in anti-racism and anti-discrimination education and new programs focused on Black and Indigenous experiences. We will also focus on greater recruitment diversity, not just of executives, but also of interns, talented professionals and experienced managers to build a robust and healthy leadership pipeline to deliver sustained progress.

Community Impact

TD also has an important role to play in the fight against systemic racism and bias in society. Through the TD Ready Commitment, we fund and support organizations on the front-lines of this important work and bring our expertise and talent to their efforts.

As you know, in June, we allocated $4-million for Black-led initiatives and organizations to help address the impacts of anti-Black racism.

Overall, we will invest $16.5 million in 2020 alone on related initiatives, with $11.7 million for Black-focused and Black-led organizations and $4.8 million for Indigenous communities – with more to come in the years ahead. These investments will support community growth, professional development, education, culture and art and help address both the immediate and longer-term impacts of racism.

However, TD's commitment is about more than just funding. We will also bring our experience, expertise and other resources to these organizations to have an even broader impact. Already, colleagues across the Bank have raised their hands and their voices to contribute their efforts to this work. I am so proud of how our colleagues have once again come together to help build a better tomorrow. That is the TD way.

Customer Focus

Economic progress is key to reversing the impacts of systemic racism and bias. We must therefore bring more of the Bank – from credit to advice – to Black and other diverse businesses and individuals. Our unique footprint – with market-leading presence in both Canada and the U.S. – provides us with perspectives and experiences that will inform the programs and efforts we are standing up.

In Canada, we will expand our Diverse Business segment teams with a new dedicated focus on Black communities and businesses. The teams will be staffed, funded and trained to support these communities and their specific financial aspirations and needs. Our strategy will draw on experiences and learnings from our successful Women, LGBTQ2+ and Indigenous Peoples focus areas.

In the U.S., we want to be the bank of choice for Black communities and minority-owned businesses. This will require a market-wide effort, with multiple teams coming together to build for the future. A taskforce will be established in the coming days with a cross-section of leaders and we will share our plans and progress as we build and execute our strategy.

I have also asked Stanley Grayson, a member of the TD Bank, America's Most Convenient Bank®, Board of Directors, to lend his advice and counsel to this task force. Stan is a tireless champion for Black-led businesses and his experience will be of tremendous benefit to our collective effort.

A Long-Term Focus

It will take hard work and a long-term focus at every level of the Bank to affect the change and progress we seek. We will continue to learn and grow as an organization, tackle new challenges, set and achieve clear milestones and advance our inclusion and diversity priorities.

TD is a special organization. We have accomplished so much over the years and are rightly proud of our Bank. As always, we are focused on the future and on the programs needed to build an even more inclusive Bank and society where all can thrive and grow. I know that together we can and will make a difference once again. That's what it means to be the Better Bank.

Want to learn more about Diversity & Inclusion?
Al Ramsay: Supporting the financial emancipation of Black and Afro-descendant communities
Tim Thompson: An important message for Pride in tumultuous times
Ozhaashko Bines: "Reclaiming my Indigenous identity"

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