Through their volunteer efforts, these Zions Bankers are working to make Idaho and Utah more welcoming and inclusive for the LGBTQIA+ community.
In honor of Pride Month in June, we’re celebrating Zions Bankers who are working every day to effect meaningful progress for LGBTQIA+ individuals within our company — and our communities.
They’re taking to heart Zions Bank’s commitment to creating value by working to make Idaho and Utah more welcoming and inclusive through their volunteer efforts.
Amplifying Zions’ DEI efforts in the business community
Mikey Reynolds Jr., a compliance manager, serves as co-chair of the bank’s LGBTQIA+ Business Forum and on the board of directors of the Utah LGBTQ+ Chamber of Commerce. He says his involvement in the Chamber is a direct reflection of Zions Bank’s commitment to supporting small businesses.
“Many of the members of the Chamber are also Zions Bank customers, which creates a great opportunity to share the engagement Zions has with the LGBTQIA+ community,” Reynolds says.
“As a leading provider of financial services in these markets, and through sponsoring nonprofits like the Chamber, we are able to promote the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion efforts of our great organization,” he says.
Reynolds has also been involved in the bank’s Diversity, Equity and Inclusion efforts since 2011, and became co-chair of the LGBTQIA+ Business Forum in 2020.
“I want to create a space for LGBTQIA+ employees, and our allies, that is safe but also promotes our differences,” Reynolds says.
“As an identifying member of this group, I also want the opportunity to come together with other employees to support events, such as Pride, while still showing we are as equally as dedicated to our work.”
Empowering employees to bring their whole identity to the workplace
Wood River Valley branch service manager Jackie Cole is a member of the LGBTQIA+ Business Forum and serves as an inclusion champion for the Idaho Resort Region.
"My personal experiences have reinforced how important and beneficial it is for individuals to be empowered to bring their whole identity with them into the world, including the workplace,” Cole says.
“But beyond that, we must begin to help each other heal and rid ourselves of the internalized homophobia so many of us deal with on a daily basis,” she says.
“Being part of this Forum ensures that I am talking about these issues, and acknowledging them to myself and others, which is the only way we will move forward and set right the damage that so many of us have endured,” she says.
The Importance of Allyship
Executive Vice President of Marketing and Communications Rob Brough and is a member of Zions Bank’s LGBTQIA+ Business Forum and has served on the Encircle board of directors since October 2020.
Encircle’s mission is to build safe spaces for LGBTQ+ youth, young adults and families, and the organization is pursuing an $8 million expansion plan to build eight new homes in four states under the leadership of founder and CEO Stephenie Larsen.
As a father of three and new grandfather, Brough understands the importance of young people and their families being able to gather in safe, welcoming and judgement-free spaces.
“I’m grateful for the opportunity to contribute my skills and experience to an organization with an emphasis on family, community and enabling LGBTQ+ youth to thrive,” Brough says. “Stephenie and her team are making an incredible impact through daily programs, friendship circles, therapy and online resources.”
Cultivating Inclusion in the Workplace
Reynolds says the culture at Zions Bank is one of the key reasons he has stayed with the company for almost a decade. “My colleagues and the environment we create has never judged me based on my identification as a member of the LGBTQIA+ community, and the potential for growth is limitless,” he says.
“Aside from the opportunities personally, I witness daily how we provide for our clients, such as through the PPP loan program, sponsorships, and through employee volunteer work, like Paint-a-Thon,” Reynolds says. “We work for an amazing organization.”
While Cole acknowledges that Zions Bank isn’t perfect, she says the organization makes a greater effort and more consistently than any other institution for which she has worked.
“I would encourage anyone in the LGBTQIA+ community to apply at, work for, and bank with Zions Bank,” Cole says. “Best of all are the people I work with every day. They are kind, compassionate, open-minded. And we are supported by a corporate culture that has called out and committed itself to inclusivity and diversity.”
Looking for an employer that values and promotes diversity, equity and inclusion? Explore opportunities on the Zions Bank Careers website.
Nicola McIntosh is Social Media manager for Zions Bank.