Defining A New Era of "We"

Reflecting on the importance of diversity, inclusion and belonging is a moral and strategic imperative at Capital One

With each passing day, the world is put to test as we grapple with the effects of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19), a global health crisis unprecedented in its scope and complexity. Against this backdrop, in the Spring of 2020, the U.S. has been shaken by racist attacks on black men and women across the country – a heartbreaking reminder of our country’s long and troubled history of racial inequality and injustice. 

Both as individuals and as a society, our endurance, forbearance, resiliency, and moral judgement are tested in ways that force us to face fundamental and profound questions.

What is right and what is wrong? What can individuals expect from society, and what can society expect of them? Should others make sacrifices for me, and vice versa? What can we do, as individuals and a society, to end racial discrimation and promote equality – of opportunity and fairness? Will we make it through these crises? 

As we contemplate these complex questions, we are beginning to understand the importance of “we” in a whole new way.

“We” is defined by the notion of embracing diversity, inclusion and belonging. More than ever, we see the character of institutions being forged in real-time as efforts to respond to these crises with real action take priority. As the economy, our society, and way of life continue to change – the issues of diversity, inclusion and belonging must be front and center.

In moments of unparalleled uncertainty like the ones we’re in today, we recognize our responsibility to leverage the strength of our long-held values, combined with the reach of our resources, to serve as a catalyst for societal change in our communities. We’re proud to provide an initial pledge of $10 million to organizations advancing the cause of social justice for Black communities. This pledge builds on our recent commitment of $50 million to support long-standing non-profit partners struggling to pursue their core missions in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic, including many organizations dedicated to meeting the most pressing needs of the Black community.

Since our founding 25 years ago, we have committed to creating and fostering a safe, diverse, and inclusive workplace because we view diversity, inclusion, and belonging as moral and strategic imperatives. 

Serving the financial needs of the full spectrum of people is our origin story, a business model and mission that remain unique among this country’s largest banking institutions. 

Our community and philanthropic endeavors are closely integrated with our core business activities: advancing socioeconomic mobility through support of financial well-being; development of the diverse workforce of the future; financing of affordable housing; and expansion of digital access. 

While we are proud of these efforts, we understand that this battle is continuous and the undeniable needs of today require us to do more

The voices of our Associates who embrace our values of diversity, inclusion and belonging have been reflected across every facet of our company in recent months as we’ve managed through the pandemic, working to keep the health and safety of our customers, associates and communities top priority. The sum of our team’s unique perspectives brings a depth of knowledge and understanding that we have leveraged to address the rapidly changing circumstances of our trusted and diverse nonprofit partners working to support those most vulnerable who have been affected by COVID-19, as well as those affected by racism. 

While adversity continues to change our definition of “business as usual”, we must fight to elevate the conversation around the importance of humanity and ingenuity as guiding principles. At Capital One, we are embracing new norms, and learning what it means to bring our full selves to work. For many, work-life has become home-life, and that has created deeper connections with family and coworkers. Empathy and vulnerability are core practices reflected in the home and now are being emphasized as part of virtual work environments.

As people are coming together to develop new ways to work and live, a new kind of culture of belonging is forming. It’s showing up in unlikely places, like through a computer screen or cell phone camera lens. It is creating meaningful connections with leaders and their teams, and even finding a home in our kitchens while our kids do their homework.

Diversity, inclusion and belonging values that underscore Capital One’s mission are coming to life with each passing day, and despite the uncertain times, doing the work to cultivate what it means to be a good citizen – both as individuals and as an organization – will continue to take center stage.


We are honored to be recognized by DiversityInc on their 2020 Top 50 Companies for Diversity list. To learn more about Capital One’s Diversity, Inclusion & Belonging work, visit our Diversity, Inclusion and Belonging website and our 2018 CSR report.

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