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Learn how New York Life supports its inclusive culture.

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New York Life’s Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion Center for Advocacy and Awareness supports the company’s inclusive culture by integrating DE&I into our approach to educating, engaging, and developing employees. The center helps employees identify their personal goals and thrive in their career, supports managers in developing diverse talent, and connects employees across the company.

The DE&I Center’s focus is entirely on our community of employees, and on building programs that will enhance their experience while working here"

— Cathy Council, Vice President, Head of the DE&I Center and former co-chair of The Women's Initiative

“The DE&I Center’s focus is entirely on our community of employees, and on building programs that will enhance their experience while working here,” says Cathy Council, Vice President, Head of the DE&I Center and former co-chair of The Women's Initiative (TWI). “Whether its career development, culture, or inclusivity, we aim to create a sense of belonging and give employees a reason to want to stay here and thrive in their careers,” says Council.

As an evolution of the Office of Diversity and Inclusion (ODI), which was established in 2006, the DE&I Center focuses on awareness — continuation and expansion of work that supports the company’s inclusive culture — and advocacy —  new programming to support the development of our employees and managers.  In 2022, its first full year, the DE&I Center set out to achieve three primary objectives:

  • Raise awareness of the Center and build engagement with its inclusion programs and advocacy work.
  • Equip managers with tools to effectively support the career development of their diverse and non-diverse team members alike.
  • Provide access to career development programs that help optimize advancement opportunities for all diverse employees.

More than 3,000 employees participated in programs hosted by the DE&I Center in 2022. New programs launched or piloted by the DE&I Center this year help employees identify their personal goals, understand and utilize their strengths, connect with colleagues across the company, and flourish in their careers. These programs include:

Building My Career

A three-month program for diverse Senior Associates and Associates that explores career development through understanding strengths. Participants in each cohort receive one-on-one coaching, instructor-led training, and individual development planning in partnership with their managers. In addition, each participant’s manager attends inclusive leadership training.

“I got to work on my strengths, networked, and had a wonderful mentor,” says participant Heather Pierre, a manager in our Service department and TWI member. “This program gave me the tools and knowledge I need to develop my career.”

 Career building at New York Life

Learn about the Building My Career program at New York Life offered by our DE&I Center in the above video. Check out careers at New York Life.

New York Life sponsors seven Employee Resource Groups (ERGs) that are open to all employees to join. Our ERGs help the company to foster an environment in which differences and unique perspectives are encouraged and valued. As of December 31, 2022, more than 3,500 of our employees were members of at least one ERG.

Logo for employee resource group Asian Pacific Circle

APC held many events in 2022 that supported the three pillars of its mission, which are to educate employees to build awareness and advocacy of the Asian American and Pacific Islanders (AAPI) culture, engage with internal and external partners, and empower the group’s members to pursue excellence across the company. Highlights included May’s Asian American Heritage Month celebrations featuring several events with the senior leaders who serve on APC’s Advisory Board, as well as an observance of the Diwali holiday in October.

Logo for employee resource group Bold

In 2022, BOLD introduced the new Master Class series, where senior leaders from across New York Life provide valuable insights into key business skills.  We also continued to deliver on our other core programs, including the Planning BOLDly series that teaches various concepts of personal finance, as well as the NYL360 series that provides a platform for our members to learn about the various departments within the company.

Logo for employee resource group Enable

In 2022, ENABLE advanced on efforts to reframe how we think about disabilities to showcase the unique strengths and skills that employees with disabilities and employees who are caregivers bring to our teams and the advancement of our business objectives. To this end, ENABLE facilitated a live employee experience panel, co-hosted mental health awareness events, and brought in a keynote speaker who highlighted her positive experience around self-identifying as having a disability. 

Logo for employee resource group Lead

In 2022, LEAD raised funds for the American Dream School, partnered with BOLD, ENABLE, and APC on a series of walkathons, raised funds for the National Alliance on Mental Health, and helped generate countless donations for the Hispanic Federation and  Global Giving to help the people of Puerto Rico in the aftermath of Hurricane Fiona.  During Hispanic Heritage Month, LEAD hosted sessions with award-winning chef Aaron Sanchez and Dr. Juana Bordas, author of The Power of Latino Leadership.

Logo for employee resource group NYL Pride

NYL Pride has evolved its focus to address the growing needs and concerns of the LGBTQ+ community, including attacks on equal rights. The group has raised awareness of and provided resources to broaden the collective understanding of the challenges facing our community and the intersection of race, sex, and gender identity. In 2022, they saw the return of in-person Pride celebrations, supported LGBTQ-focused advertising and brand-activation, and more.

Logo for employee resource group NYL Vets

During Veteran’s month, NYL-Vets published spotlight videos to showcase veteran employees, held a panel discussion to hear from New York Life veterans on how their military experience translated to their civilian careers, and held a speaker event to hear external veterans’ perspectives on leadership and networking. The ERG also raised $22,000 for the Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors (TAPS) through a national walkathon. NYL-Vets saw a 15% increase in its membership over the previous year.

Logo for employee resource group The Womans Initiative

TWI celebrated its 20th year by hosting events that highlighted the group’s rich history and showcased its focus to inform, connect, and empower women to enhance their career growth. Members heard from company leaders and external partners on inclusive networking, leadership opportunities, and professional development. TWI also gave back to the community in 2022 by supporting numerous nonprofit organizations through grants, donations, and walkathons.

Professional development is a core focus area for each of our seven Employee Resource Groups (ERGs). An example of this in action is the work our Latinos for Excellence, Advancement & Development (LEAD) ERG does to develop and connect members. LEAD’s signature program, the Adelante! Professional Development Series, empowers its membership through educational programming to enhance awareness of important topics, navigate career and development opportunities, and showcase New York Life, our leaders, and our strategies. Recognizing the importance of networking and building relationships, LEAD launched the Cafécito series in 2020 which connects the LEAD community with internal and external leaders.

All employees can meet one-on-one with a certified executive coach from New York Life’s internal coaching practice for a confidential conversation, tailored to their needs. During coaching sessions, employees can focus on any career-related topic, such as:

  • How to get motivated and inspired in their role and create a positive mindset
  • What they have accomplished so far, and what they hope to achieve
  • How to create measurable development goals and action steps to achieve them
  • Overcoming obstacles and barriers to success

Empower is a one-year program for Employee Resource Group members (our ERGs are open to all employees) that offers mentorship opportunities and provides resources. Participants complete a questionnaire that matches mentoring pairs based on goals and preferences, which helps create a more personalized and focused experience.

 

“The Empower mentorship has been vital for my personal and professional growth. With support and guidance from my mentor, I learned how to deal with setbacks, present myself more effectively, identify and capitalize on opportunities, and network in a virtual environment,” says Megan American Horse, Senior Associate in Group Benefit Solutions and TWI member, “The best part is, the skills and confidence I gained were exactly what I needed in order to accomplish a career goal that I’d been pursuing for years.”

Building relationships is at the core of New York Life’s inclusive culture and a cornerstone to career development. Employees in  the DE&I Center's formal networking program connect with colleagues to gain different perspectives and learn about other areas in the company. The program also creates a platform that employees can lean into for advice and guidance.

 

“The DE&I networking program helped to demystify what networking is and is not and how to best make it work for you,” says program participant Samantha Chinn, Corporate Vice President, Agency Field Operations and former co-chair of NYL Pride. “The program highlights the benefits of learning about other areas and employees and being able to bring the knowledge gained into our current roles and perspectives. A common theme amongst participants was that it wasthese relationships that helped to deepen one’s engagement and connection to the company.”

Through our Supplier Diversity program, New York Life has an ongoing commitment to drive inclusion of businesses owned by Minority, Women, LGBTQ+, Disabled, Veteran, and Service-Disabled Veteran individuals and groups. “Our long-standing Supplier Diversity program embodies New York Life’s firm commitment to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion. We are focused on reaching 100% inclusion of diverse suppliers in competitive sourcing opportunities, as well as driving targeted matchmaking initiatives and mentorship,” says Swati Scanlon, Vice President, Head of Governance and Supplier Diversity and APC member. "Programs such as these will provide value for both New York Life and our communities by ensuring a diverse supply chain, increased competition, and efficient and ethical sourcing. It’s just right for so many reasons."

 

Our Supplier Diversity Program includes diverse-owned entities in the investment field. An example of this is our strong partnership with Academy Securities, a veteran-owned bank. The relationship between New York Life and Academy began in 2017, just as the newly formed firm was beginning to gain traction in what is a very crowded space. Academy is our nation's first post-9/11 veteran-owned and operated investment bank and is unique in the authenticity of its mission. Almost half of the bank's employees and 63% of the ownership of the firm are military veterans. Our relationship with Academy is mutually beneficial, as the bank has a geopolitical advisory board that includes a number of prestigious military officers who offer valuable perspectives on the current landscape. As well, over the past few years, many of these advisors have appeared at various New York Life events. For example, Janie Mines, the first African American woman to graduate from the U.S. Naval Academy, headlined an event jointly sponsored by our Investment Annuities business and the NYL-Vets Employee Resource Group.

 

Academy has built a deep debt capital markets infrastructure in a short period of time. In recognition of this and the strong relationship between our two companies, Academy was the second bank New York Life utilized as a joint bookrunner on a recent medium-term note transaction. In this role, Academy had the same responsibilities and received the same economics as the more established banks on the transaction.

  

"The business partnership, revenue generating opportunities, and strategic alignment that Academy Securities shares with New York Life as a result of their support and advocacy helps us to reinvest in our platform through the fulfillment of our social mission, the growth of our capabilities, and the reinforcement of our balance sheet," says Spencer Wilcox, Academy's Managing Director, Head of Debt Capital Markets. "This attributable impact facilitates Academy’s effort to be an evangelist to the marketplace regarding the value of worthy and talented veteran teammates and their ability to add value to organizations."

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Supporting the disability community

We recognize the disabled community as a valued talent segment, and we’re dedicated to recruiting individuals who identify as having a disability and creating a culture of support and inclusion to grow and thrive. 


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Workforce data


We are committed to transparently sharing our workforce data to measure progress and identify areas in need of improvement. 


Download the entire New York Life DE&I Report.

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Media contact

Jacqueline Meere
New York Life Insurance Company
(212) 576-7937
Jacqueline_Meere@newyorklife.com