Arvest Bank: DE&I is Everyone’s Responsibility

by Jan/Feb 2024


Diversity, equity and inclusion are fundamental to how Arvest Bank activates all areas of its organization. With people at the heart of the company, Arvest grounds its DE&I principles in how to best serve its communities.

Support for Arvest’s DE&I programs begins at the top with the intentional commitment of CEO Kevin Sabin. In his long-standing public statement and by actively demonstrating cultural humility, Sabin spells out his commitment to:

  • Foster a culture of inclusion by cultivating an environment where everyone is valued, respected and heard
  • Demonstrate a commitment to diversity and inclusion in everything Arvest does
  • Recognize and embrace the similarities and differences of all associates
  • Respect individuality, diversity of thought and varied backgrounds, characteristics, experiences, ideas, opinions, beliefs, motivations and choices of everyone
  • Attract, hire, retain and provide career opportunities and total rewards to a diverse group of talented people to help Arvest achieve its vision

In March 2019, Arvest’s senior leadership made a significant investment in its DE&I efforts by creating a formal department. This team strives to ensure that Arvest is the most diverse, equitable and inclusive workplace it can be by driving accountability, spearheading collaboration across the enterprise and engaging its communities.

Since then, the company hired Cinthya Allen as diversity equity and inclusion officer. Allen’s approach to Arvest’s DE&I mission includes challenging all associates to see themselves as owners of DE&I and driving the message that this important work has an opportunity to impact and benefit everyone. Allen and the team continue to build on the strong foundation established for intentionally integrating DE&I as part of the bank’s ongoing transformation in terms of people, processes and technology. Their passion, drive and dedication to DE&I — both within the bank and its communities — are key to the success of Arvest’s DE&I initiatives.

In 2020, Arvest initiated a Diversity Week, which has been instrumental in helping the company achieve its DE&I goals. In 2023, Arvest’s DE&I team collaborated with 17 different departments across the organization to organize and produce the event. Those partnerships gave the DE&I team new ways of highlighting the importance of diversity, equity and inclusion through several events, including:

  • A virtual job fair aimed at both current and non-employees that allowed the DE&I team to help hiring managers ensure they were hiring qualified and diverse talent
  • The “Power of BIPOC Dollar” event, for which two of Arvest’s bank markets collaborated and provided speaker recommendations
  • Coordinated efforts during the Arvest Million Meals campaign (which runs from April to May) to enlist food partners to speak to associates about food insecurity in the communities the bank serves

Arvest’s strategic approach to its DE&I mission encompasses three pillars: associates, community and business. Any DE&I initiative Arvest develops meets one of those pillar goals and ideally spans across more than one.

To execute its three-pillar, people-first method, Arvest uses a multi-prong approach, which includes the development of its workforce through specific training, leadership and exposure opportunities, as well as the critical work of its eight Associate Impact Groups. These groups focus on specific, diversity-niche segments to drive community impact, share bank product awareness and provide a safe space for learning about one another’s cultural or community experience. Ultimately, the groups highlight underrepresented communities and provide direct access to opportunities that elevate associate and community engagement.

DE&I is not a priority or responsibility of just one department within the company. Arvest continuously communicates its perspective and expectation that diversity, equity and inclusion are everyone’s responsibility. Arvest strives to create a workplace and a community that supports equity and inclusivity in all that it does. •

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