Banking & Finance and Human Resources

PNC honored for its record of hiring female execs

Krista Flynn has seen a lot change in her 20 years in banking.

March 14, 2014
| By Pete Daly |
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(As seen on WZZM TV 13) PNC Financial Services Group has been nationally honored for the sixth year in a row for being among the Top 50 Companies for Executive Women.

The National Association for Female Executives established the top 50 list to recognize corporations in the United States that have policies and practices that encourage female advancement in management.

According to a statement from PNC, which is based in Pittsburgh, it has a “continued trend of steady improvement” in bringing more females into the management ranks.

PNC operates 14 bank branches in Kent County, including one in downtown Grand Rapids, plus ATMs in Speedway gas stations throughout Michigan. The downtown Grand Rapids branch is “a strong business banking location,” according to a company spokesperson; a full-service branch that includes services in wealth management, mortgage, business banking and investments, in addition to traditional retail banking products and services.

According to the PNC website, it is one of the largest banks in the country based on deposits and branches, operating in 19 states and Washington, D.C., and is one of the largest treasury management providers in the U.S. and Canada, providing receivables, payables, liquidity management, international, online and mobile banking services for commercial customers across the United States.

In 2013, female corporate executives with profit-and-loss responsibility at PNC increased by 4.5 percent, and the number of female executives reporting directly to the CEO increased by 8 percent. One of the areas of greatest improvement was the total percentage of female senior managers, which has increased by 14 percent since 2012, while the number of female corporate executives increased by 13 percent.

PNC has nearly 1,250 PNC-Certified Women’s Business Advocates throughout the corporation, including 42 in West Michigan. They provide educational workshops to help women-owned companies enhance their business strategies.

PNC said more than half of the members of its West Michigan Leadership Team are women, including regional line-of-business leaders for wealth management, commercial banking and treasury management.

“No other bank has 50 percent” women among its senior leaders, said Krista Flynn, senior vice president at PNC in downtown Grand Rapids and the West Michigan group manager of commercial banking.

“That is very high for the banking industry — banking tends to be pretty much male dominated,” she added.

Flynn began her career in banking 20 years ago. A native of southeast Michigan, she has worked in Grand Rapids for the past 12 years, joining PNC two years ago from JPMorgan Chase & Co.

The Commercial Banking Group led by Flynn serves companies ranging in size from $10 million to $50 million. Many of those are West Michigan manufacturing companies, which she reports are seeing an uptick in business although it “is probably happening slower than everyone would like. But it’s certainly an upward trend.”

Flynn said banking is a service industry in which “people really want somebody who is going to listen to their needs and react. It isn’t about us; it’s about the clients. I tend to think women often tend to be better listeners.”

“I personally have never felt being a woman has held me back, but it’s really just a numbers game. When you are only one (woman) of 10 people in the room, you’ve got to be really good to succeed, and you can’t succeed just because you’re the woman — you’ve got to be good,” said Flynn.

Today, she added, she believes there is “a larger number of females joining banking, in general. So I think we will see a natural progression of success going forward.”

PNC’s fourth annual Women in Business Week outreach is May 12-16 and will feature an effort to connect with female financial decision makers at businesses in each of the regions PNC serves. PNC said the strategy is to “call on the fastest-growing business segment in the U.S. — women-owned businesses.”

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