Mike Sebring

Mike Sebring
Head of Inclusion and Diversity for the Americas, MUFG Union Bank

Headquarters: New York, NY
Business: Banking
CEO: Stephen E. Cummings
Employees: 14,000+ in the Americas
Website: www.mufgamericas.com


MUFG Union Bank, N.A. is leveraging diversity and inclusion as a center of excellence for adding value to the bottom line through its own actions and words.

“We’re leveraging I&D not as a cost center, but a center of excellence,” Head of Inclusion and Diversity for the Americas Mike Sebring said. Sebring explained his team is working to create and demonstrate predictive modeling where I&D initiatives result in bottom line results. “I changed the acronym of ROI from Return on Investment to Return on Inclusion,” he added. He also uses I&D for the industry standard of D&I.

“It’s my responsibility to help others understand the positive impact of their actions and understanding of other human beings. The complexity of people, cultures, generations and beliefs is exciting and challenging at the same time,” Sebring said. “Each person’s dimensions of diversity can be so engrained that is difficult to them to change and be open to understanding others. If we can create a snowball effect of understanding, trust, and compassion think of the impact for generations to come,” he added.


MUFG Union Bank has a three year multi-prong strategy with seven key areas of focus. Each area touches every part of the business and has stages for momentum. Those focus areas include: Leadership, Accountability, and Governance; Education and Awareness; Return on Inclusion; Acquisition and Retention; Engagement; Community Outreach; and Branding and Communication.

Sebring says the short-term greatest impact area is the Leadership Council for Inclusion and Diversity headed by CEO Steve Cummings and CHRO Annemieke van der Werff along with senior leadership from each line of business as well as Canada and Latin America representation. “This group speaks a common language in sharing the strategy down through each line of business by analyzing their own data revealing trends, successes, and opportunities for hiring, retaining and promoting women and protected groups,” Sebring said.

He shared a recent exercise the company did throughout its human resources and organizational development areas that listed every team, who they support, what services or products they provide, the number of employees impacted, initiatives as part of a strategy of adding value and high performance. “I&D for the most impacted every component of the franchise throughout the United States, Canada and Latin American,” Sebring said.

He said the company’s diversity tracking is custom designed to include much more than race and gender. “We look at many dimensions of diversity which could help senior management truly understand and identify the necessary levels to pull for impactful change,” Sebring said. “These reports track each level to show trends and progress toward maximum transparency to provide coaching and support to all managers, the board and CEO,” he added.


Being a global company, The I&D team is piloting a Global Language and Relationship program to help employees within the Americas practice a foreign language and learn from cultural differences. “In the past, we had mainly focused on the Japanese tie to our parent company. We now have included many different languages and cultures, with a strong start in Canada and South America,” Sebring said.

The company’s I&D team is composed of four employees responsible for the functional department, more than 60 on the Employee Resource Group Leadership team, a six-member Inclusion and Diversity Implementation Team, and about 40 employees involved in the I&D training. Another 15 people serve on the Leadership Council for Inclusion and Diversity. The company’s internal partnership network also includes 32 members of the Corporate Social Responsibility department which includes supplier diversity, and 25 employees in the Brand, Communication, and Compliance departments.

“Our synergies continue to be our corporate culture and value system which is reinforced throughout messaging and actions of all our team members,” Sebring said.


  • Profiles in Diversity Journal – Diversity Leader Award
  • Human Rights Campaign Corporate Equality Index – 100 percent score
  • American Banker Magazine – 25 Most Powerful Women in Banking
  • Elevate Employee Resource Group Academy – 15 Best Companies for Employee Resource Groups
  • The Global FWN100 – 100 Most Influential Filipina Women in the World Award
  • CA Hispanic Chamber – Corporate Advocate of the Year
  • Sister Cities International – Global Corporate Responsibility Award