Chelsea Groton Bank recently introduced the ONE CHELSEA initiative, which highlights the strength of the Bank’s continuous commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion throughout history, and its focus on ensuring an ongoing sense of belonging for all, today and in the future.
Led by a Diversity, Equity and Inclusion steering committee, the mission of ONE CHELSEA is to recognize the extraordinary diversity of the human experience and prioritize continuous personal and enterprise growth that enriches an inclusive, equitable and supportive environment. Five sub-committees, led by employees from all levels and departments at the Bank, focus on driving this mission forward in the areas of Products and Services, Communications, Vendor Management, Workforce Diversity and Learning & Development respectively.
“Unlike many corporate committees, where a team member is asked to participate based on their role and areas of responsibility, each and every employee of Chelsea Groton Bank is invited to be a part of ONE CHELSEA. Some team members have active committee roles, while others opt to participate through dialogue, engagement activities, and learning opportunities,” shared Kristin Zummo, VP, Learning and Development Manager and Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Officer at Chelsea Groton Bank. “Everything we do is propelled by the Bank’s core values. Our team member participants help to guide, create, and hold the Bank accountable to integrate diversity, equity, and inclusion into every aspect of the Bank’s operations.”
In conjunction with the Bank’s 167th Birthday celebration on the July 4th weekend, Chelsea Groton Bank celebrated the launch of the ONE CHELSEA initiative. Since that time, the Bank’s commitment to workforce diversity has led Chelsea Groton to host career fairs at their Norwich (Westside) and New London branches.
A unique Bank-wide art project, “The Purple Palette,” celebrated the uniqueness of every employee. Team members were invited to share their inspiration in a freestyle 4×4-inch paint canvas. The canvases were gathered and placed on display together in the lobby of the Groton branch, resulting in an extraordinary celebration of engagement and diversity. Team members gathered to celebrate the art installation and honor the unique contributions of their fellow team members.
Learning continues to be a central focus of ONE CHELSEA. Team members have been involved in Bank-wide learning discussions on driving belonging and inclusion. During these collaborative conversations, team members are prompted to share their perspectives and build skills around listening and understanding others’ approaches. They explore unconscious bias and the power of language as they reflect on their role in building a culture of inclusivity. In addition, managers are invited to join discussions and share resources on best practices for managing diversity and innovation.
Chelsea Groton’s customers and community are included as well. As part of the Bank’s birthday gift to the community, Chelsea Groton’s Facebook following was invited to vote on five organizations who were deserving of having an extra team of volunteers for a day. Once a month, 10 Chelsea Groton team members join each of the selected organizations for a day of service. Recently, Chelsea Groton has partnered with Habitat for Humanity’s Waterford ReStore, Jonnycake Center of Westerly, Norwich Arts Center, and St. Vincent de Paul Place, among others.
Sara Lundy, AT, Compliance Manager at Chelsea Groton Bank, expressed, “The work we’re doing gives me an immense feeling of purpose and meaning. ONE CHELSEA continues the Bank’s legacy of reaching ALL members of our community. We’ve always done what’s right, but our new focus on considering diversity, equity, and inclusion as a part of every new product, service, or initiative, is presenting opportunities for creativity and innovation. It’s a very exciting time, and one that links my profession directly to my passions.”
Internal and external communications have spotlighted many diverse, local businesses and bring enrichment by highlighting a wide array of cultural holidays and celebrations in the area. In addition, the Bank’s well-established book clubs have dedicated a focus on books related to diversity, equity, and inclusion. Recent book offerings include Blind Spots, The Memo and Lead from the Outside. And, the Bank’s interpreter services, once only available by phone, will soon be enhanced to also include interpreter video services and sign language.
“Chelsea Groton Bank’s dedication to reflect diversity, ensure equity, and act inclusively will continue to permeate every aspect of the Bank’s work, both now and in the future,” shared Zummo.