Being good caretakers of both the environment and our planet goes hand-in-hand with serving as stewards of our clients’ assets for the long-term.
Strategy for Addressing Climate-Change Risks
Not only do we develop sustainable investment strategies and innovative products for our clients that reflect and advance their environmental priorities, manage climate-related risks and realize investment opportunities in the transition to a greener world—we also embed sustainability principles and continually improve our practices across products, services and processes.
The fundamental principle of sustainability is to meet the needs of the present generation without compromising the abilities of future generations to meet their own needs. We align our business to this concept by integrating environmental considerations into company-wide processes, continually improving our business practices and delivering tangible, positive results related to the environment.
In addition to our desire to preserve the environment for future generations, we know the long-term viability of our business and the success of our clients are tied to the health and well-being of our planet. That’s why we commit to protecting the environment and mitigating negative environmental impacts from our operations.
We have reduced our carbon emissions per partner by more than 69 percent since our 2015 baseline, and reduced our energy consumption by more than 46 percent.
We have therefore taken a closer account of the impact climate change has, or may have, on operations, credit conditions and regulatory compliance across the globe, and established a cross-disciplinary group, known as the Risk Climate Caucus, to monitor and react to developments related to climate risk to our organization, ensuring it is appropriately considered.
Northern Trust's Workplace Services function manages our real estate portfolio, procurement and facilities services with the goal of reducing the negative environmental impacts of our supply chain. We use energy to power our data centers and facilities, the majority of which are in North America. As a result, the bulk of our greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions come from our North American operations. Since we began tracking our carbon footprint (comprised of the carbon dioxide equivalent of all GHGs produced from our operations), we have improved our data collection processes and calculation methodologies to align with the GHG Protocol.
Working closely with our building managers, Northern Trust follows the environmentally friendly building strategies and practices outlined by the U.S. Green Building Council's Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) program. More than 12 percent of our buildings are either LEED- or Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Method (BREAM)-certified.
In 2020, LEED awarded our North American and Asia Pacific (APAC) offices one platinum, six gold and two silver certifications, while in 2021 we added another silver certification to our roster. In addition, we use reliable and sophisticated tracking programs to monitor and manage our environmental performance and calculate our annual carbon footprint.
In India, all sites have moved to common centralized dustbins and have reduced approximately 80% of plastic garbage liners.
As of Dec. 31, 2021, we have reduced our emissions by more than 69 percent since our 2015 baseline, and reduced our energy consumption by more than 46 percent. In 2021, most of our staff continued to work from home, and business travel remained significantly reduced from prior years. In addition, we continued to supply more than 12 percent of our portfolio with a renewable energy electricity supply. We estimate that the impact of COVID-19 on our global emissions equates to an approximately 25 percent reduction.
Realizing that climate impacts threaten more than supply chains and physical infrastructure, we made the commitment to be net-zero carbon by 2050, using our 2019 baseline. In the coming months we will provide additional details on our strategy, including plans to have 100 percent use of renewable energy (or equivalent) in all locations, de-gas our real estate portfolio, install renewable energy technologies including photovoltaic (PV) and wind turbines, upgrade to electronically commutated (EC) fans in data centers, electrify our company-owned shuttle fleet and eliminate single-use plastics from our premises.
We are also continuing to reduce our carbon emissions, as well as expanding the types of emissions on which we report, such as the recent additions of water and waste emissions data.
Water and Waste
We began gathering data on water consumption and waste in our buildings in 2020. In 2021, 26 percent of our portfolio buildings were able to provide water-use data, representing 23 metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent (MtonCO2e)/year.
More than 22 percent of our portfolio buildings provided waste data in 2021, representing 4,881 MtonCO2e/year. This was an increase of 1,069 percent compared to 2020, largely reflecting employees beginning to return to the office during 2021 after working remotely during much of the COVID-19 pandemic, and increased efforts to collect more waste data.
Since we only began collecting this data in 2020, when the vast majority of our employees were working remotely, it is expected that the latter part of 2022 will provide us with a more accurate representation of what our typical water and waste consumption looks like. To reduce our water and waste footprint, we will continue to work with facilities teams across our portfolio to expand the number of locations supplying this data for our carbon emissions report.
In our Limerick office, timers have been put in place to minimize the volume of water used in bathrooms, and taps/faucets are also spring-loaded to enable automatic shut-off after use. Rainwater is also being collected and used for maintenance of the grounds.
Similarly, in Luxembourg, rainwater collectors are being used to reduce water consumption and costs.
In India, all sites have moved to common centralized dustbins to dispose of waste in the office and have reduced approximately 80 percent of plastic garbage liners. Arecanut plates and cups are used in place of Styrofoam items, and wooden, single-use cutlery is used as an alternative to plastic.
In Limerick and London, paper cups have been removed and replaced with travel mugs for partners. Likewise, in Dublin, paper cups have been replaced with porcelain mugs.
Non-Governmental Organizations and Advocacy Groups
Collaboration with non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and advocacy groups allows us to maintain transparency and hold ourselves accountable to our environmental sustainability practices. Northern Trust and our surrounding communities benefit when we publicly report our environmental footprint, such as our GHG emissions, energy use and the risks and opportunities associated with climate change, under the supervision and guidelines of reputable third-party organizations. By joining communities of investors who hold the health of our planet in high regard, we strive to effect positive change for our environment.
The NGOs with which we collaborate include the U.S. Green Building Council, CDP and the Institutional Investors Group on Climate Change.
The Sustainability Network
The Sustainability Network, Northern Trust’s global employee environmental engagement program, aims to increase awareness of sustainability issues, promoting best practices and unifying environmentally focused business operations. This program conducts celebrations around Earth Hour and Earth Day, and facilitates volunteering in local communities. In 2021, the Sustainability Network focused on topics such as local biodiversity, elimination of single-use plastics and energy efficiency.
Northern Trust functions as a global citizen whose commitment to building a healthy, sustainable environment involves deep regard for our surrounding communities. We understand our footprint affects the larger ecological system and the lives of community members, and we believe in the power of community-based actions to effect positive change for the good of our planet.
We are committed to a culture that embraces diversity, encourages equity and promotes inclusivity, and we support our employees, communities and clients to achieve greater.
Northern Trust’s enduring principles of service, expertise and integrity are foundational to that support. We partner with mission-aligned organizations to improve access to resources and opportunities in local communities. For employees and clients, we are continuously creating a diverse and inclusive culture in which all individuals are welcomed, respected, supported and valued so they can fully participate in, and contribute to, realizing their goals and achieving greater for our clients, our business and society.
Since our founding in 1889, Northern Trust has actively advanced a culture of caring and a commitment to invest responsibly in the communities we serve worldwide.
Global Philanthropic Strategy
In 2021, we continued to make progress on a recently instituted philanthropic strategy, which has focused our contributions in four key areas of fundamental impact proven to improve financial futures: educational excellence, food security, accessible healthcare and affordable housing.
Over the past 10 years, our employees have contributed nearly a million cumulative hours of volunteer service.
Our goal is to create more equitable opportunities to achieve long-term financial success for those who too often face unfair hurdles because of their race, ethnicity, gender, geography or socio-economic conditions. Programs we support provide shelter for children in India and ensure health services for vulnerable populations in London. In Chicago, through the new Northern Trust Foundation, we have expanded access to resources that address the physical and mental health needs of young people on Chicago’s South and West sides.
In 2021, Northern Trust made charitable contributions of $18 million, bringing our total giving over the past decade to $160 million globally.
Community engagement opportunities and paid time off for volunteerism enhance our communities, put our values into action and help make us an employer of choice. We have found that employee volunteerism options are a strong priority for college graduates considering future employers. Nonprofit and civic board involvement is integral to talent management, as it provides employees with a means of improving the world around them, leadership experience, skills development and networking opportunities beyond the scope of their roles.
During a monthlong annual volunteerism campaign, our employees contributed more than 12,000 hours of service, supporting more than 800 global charities.
During the 2021 Achieving Greater Together volunteerism campaign, a monthlong effort in which employees are encouraged to donate their time and skills to community organizations, our employees contributed more than 12,000 hours of service, supporting more than 800 global charities. For every hour employees volunteered, Northern Trust donated 50 meals to those in need, globally, through our philanthropic partners. To further encourage employee involvement in their local communities, we offer all employees two full days of paid time off to volunteer with approved nonprofit organizations. Over the past 10 years, our employees have contributed nearly a million cumulative hours of volunteer service. Despite the challenges brought about by COVID-19 restrictions, our Achieving Greater Together campaign enabled employees to participate in activities such as virtual mentoring to underserved youth and writing letters to frontline healthcare workers, seniors in retirement homes and sick children.
In 2021, we introduced a “Give Back” feature as part of our Celebrate Great internal recognition system, in which employees are recognized with points they can convert to gift cards for their service, expertise, integrity and commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion (DE&I). This new feature allowed employees to gift some or all of their Celebrate Great points to charities of their choice.
To learn more about how Northern Trust puts its values into action, visit our 2021 Philanthropic Impact Report.
At Northern Trust, we believe creating long-term sustainable change in communities requires direct investment of capital using impact-first investments that prioritize social impacts rather than the maximization of financial return.
We believe change starts at the neighborhood level, and we use our capital to empower community stakeholders and residents as they revitalize and stabilize communities. The Northern Trust Company’s Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) designation as a wholesale bank allows us to concentrate efforts and resources on investments that have direct and sustainable community impact. The Corporate Governance Committee of the board of directors receives an annual CRA and fair lending report, and approves our policies in these areas. We have maintained an outstanding CRA rating for 27 consecutive years. In 2021, we originated new community investments totaling over $1.4 billion. As of Dec. 31, 2021, our community investments portfolio exceeded $4.5 billion and serves the following priorities:
$4.2 BILLION PORTFOLIO
Support the creation and retention of affordable home rentals and homeownership in partnership with mission-driven lenders and developers.
Habitat for Humanity
In 2021, we invested more than $16 million in nine local Habitat for Humanity organizations in California, Texas, Illinois, Ohio and Florida. Our investments purchased Habitat for Humanity’s single-family, zero-percent mortgage loans, allowing it to recycle the capital to build more homes and provide mortgages to new families. Without the ability to raise this capital through the sale of its mortgages, Habitat for Humanity would be significantly restricted in the number of families it could serve each year. By purchasing the zero-percent mortgages using an investment model, we are maximizing the amount of capital available to reinvest in new homes and new homeowners, which greatly increases the impact and long-term sustainability of each Habitat for Humanity location and the community it serves.
$179 MILLION PORTFOLIO
Provide long-term capital and equity for the development of community and educational facilities and programs such as charter schools, health clinics and daycare centers.
Miami Lighthouse for the
Blind and Visually Impaired
Building on a 20-year relationship with Northern Trust, Miami Light House for the Blind and Visually Impaired undertook the development of a new five-story, 29,000 square-foot addition to its existing campus in the Little Havana neighborhood in Miami. The new property includes classrooms for new K-2 educational programming, a classroom for the Blind Babies program, a sensory room for physical therapy and a multipurpose space for increased parental and student engagement. In addition to our equity investment of $3.5 million to finance the new development, we also provided a low-cost, direct investment of $1.5 million, which enabled the purchase of an adjacent lot that will provide a new outdoor playground designed for visually impaired children, and allow for ownership of the full block.
$220 MILLION PORTFOLIO
OBJECTIVE: Support mission-driven micro-loan origination programs and the expansion of businesses and job creation.
Women’s Bean Project
The Women’s Bean Project is a transitional employment program founded in 1989 by a volunteer at a Denver, Colorado women’s shelter, who realized that while the shelter kept women safe, it lacked programs to transition women to independence. The organization’s goal is to help women start on the path toward self-sufficiency, and address barriers to employment through a combination of on-the-job training, life-skills classes, career-service assistance and case management. Nearly 90 percent of women in the program are racial/ethnic minorities.
An equity investment of $2.5 million from Northern Trust helped to finance the purchase and renovation of a new site, which will allow The Women’s Bean Project to significantly expand and add 65 female employees in 2022, before scaling to 90 jobs by 2024. Jobs will go to unemployed women who are experiencing addiction or substance abuse, chronic health issues, a history of incarceration, domestic violence, unstable housing, lack of high school diploma and/or who are single mothers. Partnerships include the Department of Corrections, where women are hired on work release to complete the program and prepare for the workforce, and the Denver Housing Authority, which provides access to affordable housing.
$42 MILLION PORTFOLIO
OBJECTIVE: Invest in Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs) and community credit unions that provide capital to meet the needs of the unbanked, underbanked and underserved members of our communities.
Richmond Heritage Federal
Richmond Heritage Federal Credit Union was formed in 1936 with the mission of serving Black teachers and community members who were excluded from participating in Richmond, Virginia’s mainstream economy. Richmond Heritage is the only remaining Black-led and focused financial institution in the city of Richmond. With Self Help Ventures Fund and Self Help Credit Unions, which are providing direct support for the growth and stability of Richmond Heritage, we provided a $1 million low-cost, long-term investment. It will be used as secondary capital to help expand the credit union’s membership base, allow it to provide home loans, financial education and access to fair, responsible lending and deposit accounts, helping reduce the racial wealth gap.
We recognize that employees are critical to our success, and take seriously our search for, and retention of, top talent.
Talent Management Overview
Northern Trust's talent management department is led by the chief talent officer, who reports directly to the chief human resources officer. This team is accountable for establishing policies, programs and practices focused on talent acquisition, learning and development, talent planning and organizational effectiveness.
To achieve our recruiting goals, we target our talent identification, sourcing methods and recruiting strategies to specific locations using a variety of channels including job boards, colleges, professional networks, associations and online social networks. We base hiring decisions on a variety of factors, including educational background, relevant experience, past accomplishments, professional licensing and strong evidence of integrity and ethical behavior. We also ensure our recruitment efforts are aligned with our DE&I goals (see Diversity, Equity and Inclusion section to learn more).
Learning & Development
Through the Northern Trust University (NTU) portal, employees can easily access a customized portfolio of core professional-, manager-, sales- and client-servicing training solutions. In addition, NTU provides and tracks all mandatory compliance training, as well as functional training specific to various jobs and roles. In 2021, employees consumed nearly 520,000 hours of training in a combination of self-paced, virtual and instructor-led formats.
Our Future-Focused Skills Learning Center is designed to increase employees' proficiency in the skills needed to serve our clients and grow our employees' careers in a digital economy. Areas of focus include data analytics, commercial acumen and digital transformation skills. Three new Learning Centers were also established to support our new way of working due to the pandemic—Managing in a Hybrid World, Working in a Hybrid World and Wellbeing, which includes extensive programs on wellness and resilience. We have also recently expanded our focus on DE&I through such enterprise-wide initiatives as an Unconscious Bias program and an emphasis on diverse representation in all our development programs.
Northern Trust also encourages our employees to pursue further education outside of the organization. Our Education Assistance Program provides tuition reimbursement globally to employees who want to earn degrees. We also support selected industry certifications through this program.
Northern Trust provides targeted development opportunities for employees transitioning into management, and throughout their management career. Our interactive programs include curated content from external providers, as well as internally developed content from our own thought leaders. Many programs include opportunities for peer networking and direct access to well-known expert facilitators. We also provide several resources and programs to develop and equip a diverse pipeline of future leaders at all levels of the organization.
Talent Planning and
Northern Trust continually assesses our talent pool to ensure we have the breadth, depth and diversity of technical and leadership skills to execute our business strategies today and in the future.
LEADERSHIP DEVELOPMENT PROGRAMS
The Rotational Development Program helps entry-level employees build their technical and leadership skills in a specific career track—credit, finance, investments, asset servicing or technology. Rotations involve training, mentorship, access to speakers, community service and a case challenge.
The Enterprise Talent Leadership Program prepares a diverse range of mid-career talent for leadership success. It includes assessments, career and development planning, access to executive coaches, mentorship, access to speakers, targeted development and exposure to senior leadership. More than 50 percent of the program's alumni have either achieved, or are in the pipeline for, key leadership roles.
The A Approach for Managers Summit also brings together mid-level leaders for 2.5 days to engage in a dialogue with their peers about what it takes to succeed in their roles at Northern Trust. Through highly interactive experiences, individual and group projects, panel discussions with senior leaders and large group events, participants build the skillset required to lead today, and be prepared for what lies ahead tomorrow. They leave the program with practical tools and a well-established network they can leverage on the job.
The Senior Leadership Development Program convenes 60 Northern Trust senior vice presidents annually to align and evolve their leadership skills to match company expectations, prepare and empower them to lead today and in the future, and operate more nimbly across business units and regions. A variety of immersive experiences are employed to challenge assumptions and allow for exploration and practice, including a digital transformation studio to provide opportunities to address real-life examples and experiment in a safe environment. Participants build their network, leverage a global mindset to drive transformation and gain additional exposure to our senior management and executive vice presidents.
Managers conduct talent assessments for nearly 10,000 employees annually, and business and regional leadership teams hold regular talent-review discussions focused on specific topics, such as workforce needs, retention risks, diversity, top talent, readiness for promotion, readiness-to-move and succession plans. Each year, a talent-review meeting is conducted with members of our senior management team. A formal talent review is also conducted with our board of directors each year, led by our chief executive officer and chief human resources officer.
Our talent-management team oversees several processes that support organizational effectiveness, including performance management, internal mobility, engagement and recognition. Priorities are set by our chief executive officer, and communicated to each business, department, team and individual, and managers are encouraged to provide regular feedback and coaching to elicit performance and results.
We collect employee perspectives and ideas through our annual Engagement Survey, and use this feedback to inform Northern Trust’s strategic priorities and measure progress of those efforts over time.
Northern Trust implemented several practices to support our new work model, including greater levels of flexibility around where work is performed, enhanced technology, expanded well-being resources, training and support for employees and managers working in a hybrid environment.
The Future of Work
Northern Trust recognizes that the events of 2020 accelerated changes around expectations of how and where work will be completed. In 2021, a cross-functional taskforce was created to align our employee experience with work trends that were anticipated for an eventual post-COVID era. Our framework was built around the core principles of enhancing client satisfaction, maintaining our risk profile, strengthening our unique culture, improving employee engagement and helping us achieve our financial goals, as well as the health and safety of our employees.
Northern Trust implemented several practices to support our new work model, including greater levels of flexibility around where work is performed, enhanced technology, expanded well-being resources, training and support for employees and managers working in a hybrid environment, and refining the purpose of our physical offices to focus on client service, collaboration, connection and community.
Diversity, Equity and Inclusion
We are committed to advancing an inclusive culture in which all individuals are valued, respected, supported and can fully participate and contribute to our success. Our focus on DE&I is rooted in our core values of service, expertise and integrity—allowing us to provide unrivaled service to clients—and create a dynamic culture composed of employees from diverse backgrounds with unique leadership styles and skillsets.
Our vision for DE&I is embedded at all levels of the organization—starting at the top, with women and ethnic minorities representing 58 percent of our board of directors, as well as 51 percent of our U.S. senior vice president and above population. In addition, 46 percent of the employee population in our APAC Client Centers are women. At the senior vice president level, women represent 36 percent of the workforce. In EMEA, females represent 46 percent of our entire population, with 35 percent females at executive vice president and senior vice president levels combined.
Reflecting the importance of DE&I, our head of Corporate Sustainability, Inclusion and Social Impact serves as an executive vice president and reports directly to our chairman, president and chief executive officer. Two chief DE&I officers are responsible for the design and execution of topic-relevant programs across the Americas, Europe Middle East and Africa (EMEA) and APAC. Our board of directors, through its Corporate Governance Committee, also engages in active oversight of our DE&I strategies, programs and principles.
We know that it is imperative to continually commit to fostering an inclusive environment in which there are equitable opportunities to contribute to the success of our organization, our communities and each other. Our commitment is practiced within our organization, amplified by leaders and reflected in the composition of our clients. In 2021, we reaffirmed that commitment, accelerated our efforts to recruit and retain talent from diverse backgrounds, and scaled our programs for even greater impact.
As we continue to strategically develop a diverse pipeline of future leaders, we provide an array of resources and unique programs that engage our talent and strengthen our culture of inclusion.
We have a DE&I strategy that is designed to develop a diverse, equitable and inclusive workforce that reflects our values and allows us to grow as a business. Our strategy focuses on three key areas: driving accountability, enhancing development programs and placement, and advancing culture. These priorities inform our hiring, development, advancement and retention of women and people of color at every level.
We are committed to ensuring representation at all levels of our organization through our DE&I governance structure and by measuring our performance. Our policies, practices and structure enable how we lead change, with DE&I embedded into our business strategy and influenced at the highest levels of the organization.
DE&I GOVERNANCE STRUCTURE:
Our structure comprises several councils that help facilitate the development of an inclusive culture. These councils include:
- The Global Executive DE&I Council is responsible for providing strategic oversight and defining and driving accountability on the global diversity, equity & inclusion priorities. It is chaired by Chief Executive Officer Mike O’Grady, and Kimberly Evans, our head of Corporate Sustainability, Inclusion and Social Impact.
- Business Unit Management Councils are responsible for the execution of the strategic initiatives and communication of DE&I policies, practices and procedures to foster an inclusive culture. Each of these councils is chaired by a business unit president.
- Regional Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Councils are responsible for collaboration across the business units and regions. These councils, chaired by senior leaders within the business with oversight from regional chief diversity officers, provide oversight and connection with the business resource councils.
- Business Resource Councils (BRCs) are responsible for creating and implementing strategic plans for their councils and contributing to the organization’s success by fostering professional and leadership development. They enhance cultural understanding and provide diverse business insights. Employee-led, the councils work with our DE&I team to align initiatives to their pillar framework and corporate priorities.
Our senior leaders are also held accountable for driving DE&I similar to how they are held accountable for business results. As such, the following were refined or implemented in 2021:
- A DE&I dashboard to assess our outcomes quarterly on hiring, retention and promotion. Using this quarterly dashboard, our senior leaders report progress to senior management through our Global Executive DE&I Council.
- Performance expectations to hold leaders accountable for addressing identified DE&I gaps, taking steps to meet DE&I goals and modeling inclusive leadership.
- Tracking of diverse representation goals at senior levels.
Enhancing Development Programs and Placement
Our focus is to provide our employees with equitable opportunities to contribute to and participate in our company’s success through targeted and scalable programs at various stages, including:
- Women in Finance Charter
Northern Trust is a signatory to the Women in Finance Charter. Established by the HM Treasury in the U.K., the charter aims to bring companies together to build a balanced and fair financial services industry. Teresa Parker, Northern Trust’s president for EMEA, champions this charter and our wide-ranging diversity efforts in the U.K. We take great pride in aligning ourselves with this important initiative, and believe that such cross-industry efforts are vital to our industry’s success. When we signed on to the charter in May 2017, we had 31 percent female representation in senior management. As of September 2019, we had 35 percent female representation in senior management, meaning we achieved our representation commitment more than a year ahead of the deadline. As of September 2020, we maintained that percentage. In November 2020 we announced a renewed target of reaching 38 percent women in senior management roles by December 2023 in the U.K.
- The Asset Servicing Advanced Rotational Program is a new program within our Asset Servicing business unit aimed at helping high performing, diverse employees to develop a deeper understanding of the business unit's products and services. Participants complete a total of four six-month rotations across different teams.
- The Women’s Leadership Development Forum is a U.S.-based program focused on the development of women at the second vice president and vice president levels. It is designed to address Northern Trust’s corporate need to grow and develop strategic thinkers and leaders. Led by our Women in Leadership BRC, along with a consultant, participants go through a five-month intensive development program that has become fully virtual.
In May 2017, we had 31 percent female representation in senior management. As of September 2019, we had 35 percent female representation in senior management.
In 2021, we refined this long-standing program by transitioning men from allies to fully integrated co-leaders, facilitating discussions that allow for a deeper understanding of women’s experiences in the workplace.
Additionally, we added reflection sessions to the program to provide cohort participants the opportunity to further reflect on their learning with a woman senior vice president.
- The Enterprise Talent
Leadership Program is a global, internal program that seeks to prepare diverse, mid-career talent for leadership success. It includes assessments, career and development planning, mentorship, access to speakers, targeted development and exposure to senior leadership. The 2021 cohort comprised more than 55 percent women globally, and 60 percent people of color in the U.S.
The Senior Leadership Development Program, which launched in 2021 for our senior vice presidents, focuses on evolving leadership skills, leveraging a global mindset to drive transformation and building an invaluable peer and executive network.
- The Diverse Leaders Program, which we have hosted in EMEA each year since 2014, holds one session for women and one for ethnic minorities at the mid-management level, and was designed to help participants realize their authentic leadership style and build the necessary skills and confidence to successfully navigate our organization.
It also provides participants with access to a professional coach, a mentor and ongoing networking opportunities. While the program is about more than getting promoted, 65 percent of participants have expanded their role or been promoted after attending the program.
- Lean-In Circles were created for junior female talent, based on the non-profit founded by Sheryl Sandberg, former chief operations officer at Meta Platforms, Inc. (formerly known as Facebook) and author of Lean In. These female-only mentoring circles provide an opportunity for our employees to share experiences, build their network, strengthen confidence and learn from others. Similarly, the circles are led by mid-to-senior female talent who are keen to support the next generation of female leaders and develop their own leadership skills. We have two Lean-In Circles in India, one in Asset Servicing and one in Technology.
- The Cross-Company Talent Accelerator Program is a powerful cross-company initiative that integrates evidence-based learning into a virtual environment by involving the organizational ecosystem, including executive sponsors, line managers, DE&I practitioners and employee-network leaders.
- The Women’s Development Program is run in two cohorts of high-potential female talent each year in India. The junior cohort, comprised of entry-level managers, goes through a program called Stand Tall, focusing on self-exploration of personal power, assertive influencing and building and leveraging a powerful network for success. After the program, each partner gets assigned a mentor for six months.
The second cohort, which consists of mid-to-senior level female employees, goes through a nine-month program called Women Leading from Within, grounded in the principles of mindful leadership.
The leadership learning journey consists of 12 modules, self-reflection exercises and assignments, a mentor network and one-on-one coaching sessions with a certified external coach. More than 200 employees have attended these programs with a retention rate of more than 90 percent, and more than 80 percent have obtained functional and official title promotions.
- Dell’s Intercompany
Mentoring Program — The program engages companies outside of Dell Technologies to promote diverse leadership development, and offers mentorship opportunities for female leaders. For the last three years in India, six female leaders have participated as mentees and two senior leaders participated as mentors.
- Disability Mentoring — Northern Trust runs a group-mentoring program for our employees with disabilities, including a group-mentoring session with senior leaders.
- Transgender Mentoring — In partnership with Perifery, an external organization that supports transgender inclusion in India, we run a mentoring program in which senior leaders mentor members from the community.
In addition to developing our employees, we are intentional about talent outreach to recruit and attract a diverse pool of entry-level hires and experienced professionals.
Recruitment and Retention Initiatives: Our Talent Acquisition team uses a variety of strategies to identify and attract people of all colors and genders as well as individuals with disabilities and veterans. The team also proactively builds and maintains relationships with prospective candidates for future opportunities.
Entry-level and new graduate recruitment is focused on campus career-fairs, diversity-focused campus events and on-site interviewing at historically Black colleges and universities. Diverse, experienced hires are sourced through diversity-focused financial services industry events, sponsorship and support of programs hosted by diverse professional affinity groups, and attendance at professional forums and networking opportunities.
Our internal sourcing team has generated a list of targeted groups and associations, including:
- Chicago Booth Women’s Network
- Chicago United
- Hispanic Alliance for Career Advancement (HACE)
- National Association of Asian American Professionals (NAAAP)
- Out & Equal Workplace Advocates
To increase the diversity of our hires, recruiters are required to present diverse candidate slates that include both women and people of color and have set goals for each category (e.g., women—globally; ethnicity - in the U.S.) across the organization. Additionally, we include diverse interview panels and decision-makers in the interview process.
In 2021, we hired a DE&I sourcing consultant to the Northern Trust Talent Acquisition team. In this role, the consultant targets diverse candidates at senior-career levels. Their additional responsibilities include partnering with the DE&I team to proactively maintain existing relationships and build new ones externally that help promote our brand and attract diverse candidates to our organization.
An internal global executive search team also focuses on bringing in candidates from alternative backgrounds to provide a more wholesome recruitment strategy. The team provides compensation consulting, geographic statistics, competitor intelligence and diverse pipelines. In 2021, the team placed 102 candidates, of which 63.7 percent were women and ethnic minorities.
From a retention perspective, we have a Global Internal Mobility program that is aimed at enhancing the employee experience by creating opportunities for career development, as well as increasing mobility and job satisfaction. Approximately 4,500 employees set up the job-alert feature in 2021, which increases access and awareness of internal opportunities.
- In the U.K., we are committed to supporting the #100BlackIntern initiative, aimed at providing Asset Management internships for 100 black students. Our commitment also extends to the #10000BlackIntern initiative, which extends beyond Asset Management and into financial services and other industries.
- In partnership with the University of Limerick, we co-founded the Mid-West Disability Forum, a best-practice sharing forum to support disabled people obtaining employment within the region. Sessions are hosted quarterly and address a variety of topics and themes, all of which are aimed at supporting the recruitment life cycle and onboarding opportunities for people with disabilities.
- In 2020, our Talent Acquisition function underwent an extensive review of our hiring processes and procedures with a focus on gender identity inclusion. A similar review was undertaken in 2021 with a disability and neurodiversity lens.
We work closely with student affinity networks on our target university campuses to ensure we are connecting directly with diverse graduate talent – notably, at the University of Greenwich, University of Bath and University of Limerick, we are the 2022 corporate sponsor for their LGBT Student Affinity Network.
- In India we have sponsored RISE, a leading conference and job fair for LGBTQ+ talent in the marketplace.
We run a returnship program for women who have taken a break in their careers. Since the program was started in 2018, we have hired 92 women who have been onboarded across different levels in the organization.
We have partnerships with several external organizations with a focused effort on hiring diverse talent, including persons with disabilities as well as people from the armed forces.
We run several learning programs on managing bias in hiring for our Talent Acquisition team as well as our hiring managers. Most recently the focus has been on managing bias in hiring for LGBTQ+ talent and managing bias within the Indian cultural context.
We consistently work to enhance transparency, elicit action, improve global work-life policies and promote retention of diverse talent.
- Training: Our employees benefit from ongoing training to understand bias, and to practice and embody inclusive leadership. Our approach to DE&I training is multi-faceted throughout our curriculum, and follows two main pillars:
- Specific DE&I training on assorted topics such as LGBTQ+ inclusion and allyship, bias in recruiting and managing remote teams inclusively
- Integration of DE&I concepts and skillsets into broader management training such as our A-Approach for Manager program, which has aspects of inclusive leadership woven throughout
- The DE&I Executive Leadership Series was launched to provide executives with training and resources, including facilitated discussions and reverse mentoring, to advance their DE&I knowledge and further strengthen our culture of inclusion.
- Managing Bias in Interviewing supports an equitable recruiting process, in which our recruiters and hiring managers are required to take a “managing bias in interviewing” course. The course focuses on behavioral-based interviewing skills and minimizes unconscious biases during the interview process.
- Unconscious Bias and Inclusive Leadership is an online e-learning module required for all employees. We achieved a 98 percent completion rate globally. This was followed by a required three-module program for managers, spread out over four months and including post-module, action-learning tasks to put their knowledge to work. We reached an 87 percent completion rate in 2021. Both training courses will continue to be rolled out to new team members who join Northern Trust and new managers who join or are promoted.
- Including Everyone – LGBTQI+
in Asia Pacific is an e-learning course that provides an overview of the key elements of LGBTQ+ inclusion, keeping in mind the social, legal and cultural context for each location where Northern Trust operates in APAC. It is designed to help participants understand and appreciate our differences in terms of sexual orientation, gender identity and gender expression; challenges of the LGBTQ+ community; and how to be an ally, thereby helping build a safe and inclusive environment for all.
- DE&I Audiocast Series is a series of audiocasts launched in 2021 called, “Beyond Words: Taking Action to Build a More Inclusive Environment,” to provide our employees with tangible and sustainable actions to foster a culture of inclusion. The series included a discussion on the historical context and economic implications of structural and systemic racism, and offered some realistic ways to build a more equitable and inclusive organization. More than 2,000 employees watched the series.
- The Promotion Process has been assessed and enhanced to ensure DE&I has been taken into account. Of the total executive vice president promotions in 2021, 30 percent were people of color, 30 percent were women and 40 percent were located outside of the U.S.
Business Resource Councils (BRCs)
Northern Trust offers 11 BRCs which are employee-initiated and governed groups that increase education and awareness through engagement-based activities:
BUSINESS RESOURCE COUNCILS
Business Resource Council
Advisory Council (BRCAC)
Aligning the BRCs to our DE&I strategy, this council fosters collaboration to form more intersectionality, and provide guidance to create consistency across the BRCs. The BRCAC is co-chaired by the DE&I senior consultant and a senior-level business partner, with oversight by an executive leader. For the second consecutive year, in 2021, the BRCAC earned a spot on the Top 10 Strategic or Enterprise-Wide Employee Resource Groups Awards list sponsored by The Global ERG Network for its efforts to support our employees and the organization.
The BRCs champion our DE&I efforts, and executed more than 170 programs, initiatives and efforts in 2021.
NOTABLE INITIATIVES IN NORTH AMERICA INCLUDE:
Mental Health Awareness Month (May) – These efforts aligned to Mental Health America’s 10 tools to manage mental health, and engaged senior leaders to record their personal perspectives to one of the 10 tools. We hosted several programs, including “Talk Saves Lives,” focused on managing mental health in the context of suicide prevention, supporting employees in mental health and well-being experiences and providing resources on an internal website.
Asian American Pacific Islander (AAPI) Listening Circle — Conversation designed to support candid discussion around AAPI discrimination in the U.S. Asian-American and Pacific-Islander employees were empowered during this structured dialogue to candidly share their experiences regarding discrimination they have encountered.
Juneteenth Panel Discussion – Chairman and CEO Mike O’Grady kicked off the open conversation with Black senior leaders to discuss “The Costs of Freedom: Past, Present and Future.” Hosted on the day that Juneteenth was designated as a U.S. federal holiday, key parts of the discussion included how the meaning of Juneteenth may have changed for each leader over time, and its impact on creating equity in our workplace.
“Make Your Flight Plan” – Hosted by the Latin Heritage Leadership Council, this virtual learning series helped employees feel empowered to execute their career plans, and was held in partnership with the external consultant, Pilotina.
PodPerspectives – Internally produced by the Women in Leadership BRC, these 20-minute podcasts highlighted current topics, trends and how they connect to our business and clients. Listeners learned specific tips and tools from senior leaders, and utilized the insights gained to help them manage and advance their careers. Topics included adaptability, resiliency, strategy, and allyship.
IN EMEA, NOTABLE INITIATIVES INCLUDE:
Pathway to Promotion – A collaboration across EMEA Women in Leadership Business Resource Councils, this discussion profiled women promoted to senior vice president in 2021. Recognizing the importance of visibility and role models, the speakers covered a variety of topics, from career planning to achieving a work-life balance and exploring their role models. They also discussed their first 100 days in their role, and shared insights from their experiences.
Black Business Resource Council (BBRC) – To mark Black History Month in 2021, the BBRC welcomed a nurse for a candid conversation assessing the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the Black community.
Working Families Business Resource Council – This BRC continues to provide practical support to employees, notably delivering a session on the basics of inheritance tax and wills, in addition to a session on Alzheimer's disease and dementia, for those with caregiving responsibilities.
Multicultural Business Resource Council – In Ireland, this BRC marked World Refugee Day by hosting a fireside chat between Northern Trust Country Head Meliosa O’Caoimh and Minister Roderic O’Gorman, which addressed the Irish Government’s commitment to end Direct Provision (a system of asylum-seeker accommodation) and replace it with the new International Protection Accommodation Policy.
IN INDIA, NOTABLE INITIATIVES INCLUDE:
Monthly Mentoring – APRC’s flagship program, Monthly Mentoring, invites leaders across the organization to share their perspectives on different topics. The program involves a mix of leadership perspectives as well as working across cultures.
Working Families Business Resource Council – This council runs two support groups, Circle of Parents and Circle of Caregivers. The groups provide a forum for parents and caregivers, organizing sessions on relevant topics, with external experts, including caregiving for children with autism and elder care.
Sign Language Club - DBRC launched a sign-language learning club through which employees have been trained in basic and advanced sign language by an external organization.
Know Your Soldier - MAARC runs a flagship Know Your Soldier and Confluence initiative to educate our employees and managers on the value and skills that veterans bring to corporate life
Women in Leadership – The group has three broad pillars: Power - inviting external and internal speakers on relevant topics related to professional development; Impact - focusing on workshops with external experts; and Make a Difference - focusing on programs that involve male allies for gender diversity.
IN APAC, NOTABLE INITIATIVES INCLUDE:
Confidential Contacts – Organized in 2021, this group provides Australian employees with an opportunity to speak confidentially with an LGBTQ+ community member or anchor ally, as an avenue in continuing to be understood, respected, accepted and included.
First Nations BRC - Hosting several activities to educate employees on Australian indigenous history and culture, the group has held National Reconciliation Week, National Aborigines and Islanders Day Observance Committee Week and Indigenous Literacy Day.
LGBTQ Days of Significance - Our Northern Trust Pride BRCs in Australia and the Philippines celebrated and promoted LGBTQ+ Days of Significance across the organization while educating employees on why these dates are important. International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia and Transphobia (IDAHOBIT), Pride Month, Wear It Purple and Transgender Day of Remembrance were among the days observed. The BRCs also initiated several strategies to further create a culture of LGBTQ+ inclusion such as driving LGBTQ+ eLearning, organizing sessions and panel discussions about LGBTQ+ and Parenting,
Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity Expression (and Allyship); participating in industry pride events such as Pride March; showing visibility of allyship through rainbow flags on office desks; and use of virtual rainbow backgrounds.
beyonD: This Ability eJournal – This monthly publication of the Disability BRC in the Philippines raises awareness and educates employees on disability and the possibilities for improving access.
Webinars for Working Families - Several webinars covering relevant topics were organized by the Working Families BRC. The topics included: Career, COVID-19 and Kids, and Managing Career for Working Parents (Australia); Recognition Strategies for Parents in the Workplace (Hong Kong); Well-Being and Work-Life Harmony (the Philippines) and Building Healthy Habits While Working from Home (Singapore).
Project Red Ribbon – In the Philippines, our Pride BRC organized a virtual donation drive for Project Red Ribbon’s Duyan Foundation, a non-profit organization providing care and support to children living with HIV. The donation drive raised a total of 479 food and grocery packs.
Wear It Purple – Organized by our Pride Australia in 2021, this event aimed to create awareness on how to foster supportive, safe and inclusive environments for LGBTQ+ youth. A 5,000 AUD donation was pledged to the Victorian Pride Centre by Northern Trust’s Australian office. The Victorian Pride Centre is the first purpose-built center for Australia’s LGBTQ+ communities, and serves as a hub for LGBTQ+ groups and organizations to share ideas and resources and further their work supporting equality, diversity and inclusion across the state.
Human Rights and
Northern Trust recognizes our responsibility to respect human rights, as outlined in the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights. We are committed to conducting business in a way that respects human rights and the dignity and equality of people. This includes framework for managing the risk of modern slavery in our operations and supply chains. We are committed to practices consistent with the International Labour Organization's (ILO) standards and the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development's (OECD) guidelines for multinational enterprises.
Employees worldwide may exercise freedom of association regarding collective bargaining and trade agreements as permitted by applicable regional laws. They receive training in anti-discrimination, DE&I, modern slavery and anti-harassment. We are committed to providing fair and equal wages to all employees, and offering competitive compensation and benefits to our workforce.
Our Supplier Code prescribes that our suppliers must have in place adequate procedures to identify, prevent, mitigate and account for human rights impacts in their operations and supply chains.
Senior management in multiple business units and corporate groups, globally, including Corporate Sustainability, Inclusion and Social Impact; Human Resources; and Risk and Compliance, are responsible for the execution of our human rights and workforce principles.
A rigorous governance structure underpins how we work, enabling us to guard against risk and capture opportunities, helping our clients trust us to deliver long-term value.
Our corporate stewardship begins with rigorous oversight of our operations, and extends to embedding ESG factors into our process, our active ownership of the assets we manage and the community investments we make to advance sustainable practices and drive positive change.
Our vision for ESG is embedded at all levels of our organization. Our board of directors, and its Corporate Governance Committee engages in active oversight of ESG matters of significance to the corporation and its subsidiaries. In addition, the board’s Business Risk Committee provides oversight of certain financial and operational risks associated with climate change and other environmental factors through its oversight of the corporation’s global risk-management framework and risk-management policies.
Our head of Corporate Sustainability, Inclusion and Social Impact, who reports directly to our chairman and chief executive officer, is responsible for the design and implementation of our enterprise ESG strategy. She also chairs the Enterprise Sustainability Council, comprised of a group of senior employees who enable the implementation of Northern Trust’s ESG strategy by reviewing emerging trends and issues that impact Northern Trust sustainability initiatives; steering adhoc working groups that accelerate alignment and resolution; reinforcing enterprise policies, programs and best practices that drive sustainable outcomes; and formulating balanced and data-based enterprise views for ESG decision-making processes.
We expect all employees to uphold our core values, exercise the highest ethical judgment and comply with the laws and regulations that govern our business. All information should be treated appropriately based on its classification. Breaches of highly sensitive client or business information may result in disciplinary action. Employees are required to take the following five courses annually: “Anti-Money Laundering (AML) & Economic Sanctions,” “Antibribery, Corruption and Fraud,” “Global Privacy and Data Protection,” “Information Security” and “Standards of Conduct.” They are also required to certify their compliance with the Code of Business Conduct and Ethics. Each of the training courses was completed by more than 99 percent of employees in 2021.
Additionally, certain employees are required to complete periodic certifications and attestations regarding personal securities transactions, political contributions and the provision of gifts and entertainment. Employees in the APAC and EMEA regions complete expanded AML, conduct and privacy training in accordance with the regulatory characteristics of those respective regions.
Government Relations and Political Contributions
Northern Trust concentrates its public policy positions in areas most relevant to its businesses, including U.S. federal, state, municipal and European Union financial regulatory reform efforts. We work with the trade associations of which we are a member and meet directly with federal, state and municipal legislators, regulators and other government officials globally to discuss our positions and make recommendations for improved policy and regulation. At the U.S. federal level, we focus on proposed regulatory and policy changes that will affect our businesses by enhancing the safety of client assets and the financial system, as well as the strength of the global economy. At the state and municipal levels, we regularly meet with elected and appointed officials to discuss public policy positions that will affect our businesses. In appropriate circumstances, we file comment letters to proposed federal regulations, copies of which are publicly available.
The Corporate Governance Committee of our board of directors provides oversight of the political, lobbying and other public advocacy activities of Northern Trust, including significant trade association memberships.
Northern Trust expects employees to seek guidance and pre-clear certain individual political contributions in accordance with the guidelines set forth in federal, state and municipal "pay-to-play" regulations and internal policies and procedures.
Corporate and Political Action Committee Political Contribution
Northern Trust contributes corporate funds to industry trade organizations in support of the corporation’s public policy objectives. Participation in these organizations is important to gaining industry insight, fostering relationships and developing professional opportunities within the industry. The principal trade associations to which Northern Trust belongs are the American Bankers Association, the Bank Policy Institute, the Investment Company Institute and the Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association. We are also a member of the Illinois Bankers Association, the California Bankers Association and the Florida Bankers Association.
Northern Trust engages in the political process to advance and protect its long-term interests, without regard to the private political preferences of our executives. We do not contribute directly to political parties, committees or candidates for public office.
We do, however, sponsor both a federal-only political action committee (PAC) and a multi-candidate PAC, both of which are permitted to solicit segments of a restricted class of Northern Trust's U.S. employees for contributions used to support candidates who support legislation important to Northern Trust. All contributions to the PACs are voluntary; employees are neither favored nor disadvantaged based on their participation. The leadership of each PAC reviews proposed political contributions based on the public policy interests of Northern Trust. Federal lobbying reports may be found on our website:
As detailed in our Supplier Code of Conduct, Global Procurement Policy and Third Party Management Practice Standards, Northern Trust expects our providers to conduct business in an ethical, legal and socially responsible manner.
We regularly review vendors' adherence to our policies and pursue corrective measures when necessary. We use the U.S. Office of Foreign Assets Control to screen each vendor for compliance with all economic and trade sanctions.
Northern Trust is committed to integrating ethical, social and environmental factors into our Global Procurement Policy.
ASPECTS OF OUR GLOBAL PROCUREMENT PROGRAM INCLUDE:
- Requiring any vendor providing goods and/or services outside of the U.S. to complete an anti-bribery questionnaire
- Requiring vendors to obey the laws of the country of manufacture, sale and distribution
- Promoting a Third Party Management Practice Standard that assesses risk, monitors performance and promotes continuous improvement activities
This process maximizes relationships with vendors resulting in ongoing risk mitigation and value delivery. We continue to invest in and review new vendor-management techniques and processes that will increase coverage to additional supply categories.
The goals of Northern Trust’s
vendor management program are to:
- Provide and implement the process to monitor and manage vendors
- Ensure consistency and compliance with regulatory guidance
- Instill a continuous improvement
philosophy into the vendor relationship
- Ensure compliance with contractual terms and conditions
The vendor management
program process includes:
- Using vendor segmentation
- Applying a governance model appropriate for the vendor's designated segment
- Administering jointly developed key performance indicators
- Developing and implementing a vendor management plan
- Assigning vendor managers responsibility for specific activities required by the segmentation
- Monitoring and reporting on the status of open vendor issues
Business diversity is an essential component of a world-class, global procurement organization. How, and with whom, we do business reflects our commitment to developing and supporting diverse business owners.
Diverse suppliers contribute to our success, foster increased competition and innovation, and enhance our ability to provide clients with service excellence.
Northern Trust collaborates with several organizations to encourage the economic development of our diverse vendors, including the National Minority Supplier Development Council, the Chicago Minority Supplier Development Council, the Women's Business Development Center, Chicago United, Financial Services Roundtable for Supplier Diversity, Disability:IN and the LGBT Chamber of Commerce of Illinois.
We strive to:
Engage with certified and qualified diverse businesses
Stimulate and promote economic development in the communities where we work
Help break down barriers to growth that still exist for minority- and women-owned businesses
Recognize and support firms that exhibit a commitment to diversity, irrespective of company size, longevity and ownership
Use a quantitative approach to how we measure our engagement
Northern Trust’s Business Diversity Program includes the measurement and reporting of key aspects of diversity including: the composition of the company’s ownership, leadership, and employees; its philanthropic activities; and its own supplier diversity program.
In addition, our program requires our suppliers to also do business with diverse suppliers, which we track and measure.
Northern Trust's Business Diversity program is led by a senior-level manager, the global head of Business Diversity. In 2021, we spent more than $83 million with businesses owned by minorities, women, veterans and LGBTQ+ and disabled people, as well as small business enterprises. Northern Trust continues to bring diverse suppliers into our supply chain.