Serving the Black community.

A young couple holding their baby.

Since the late 1900s, we have had within our Agency Department a Cultural and Target Markets unit focused on recruiting and developing diverse financial professionals, with cultural market professionals accounting for approximately 49% of our agency force and  approximately 58% of new hires. Our industry-leading training equips our agents with the knowledge, ideas, and resources to help our financial professionals maximize impact, reach, influence, and business growth in the communities in which we live and work.

Our Cultural and Target Markets serve many diverse communities, including the Black community. In 2011, the African American Market Unit embarked on an Empowerment Plan, a program of financial, educational, and community empowerment. The goal was for agents affiliated with the African American market to create $50 billion of transferable wealth through life insurance benefits to help remediate the racial wealth gap. We exceeded that goal in 2017. Now, through RISE: The Empowerment Plan, we are building on that work to provide wealth-building strategies and tools, increase financial awareness and literacy, and forge community partnerships to enable Black Americans to build wealth and financial security for generations.

Additionally, New York Life’s impact investing program invests in underserved and undercapitalized communities, with the objective of addressing the racial wealth gap in the United States. The program’s dual mandate has committed over $1 billion to impact investments. These investments are structured to create positive social outcomes for these communities while generating market rate investment returns for our policyholders. For example, as part of its partnership with Fairview Capital, New York Life continues to deploy its $200 million commitment to support diverse and emerging fund managers, who in turn are more likely to invest in diverse small businesses. Fairview is one of the largest minority-owned investment managers in the United States and is a pioneer in venture fund of funds and social impact investing. We have also invested $50 million each with IMPACT Community Capital, Enterprise Community Loan Fund, and Century Housing Corporation. These organizations are focused on affordable housing, small business, and community development projects in low-and-moderate income areas. Together, our investments should contribute to inclusive economic outcomes linked to personal and household advancement, job growth, and health and wellness.

Diversity, Equity & Inclusion within New York Life

New York Life is a company of employees and agents who are situated in every state in the nation. Our goal is for our employees and agents to be every bit as diverse our nation, and over the years we’ve made a great deal of progress in that direction.

Today, 42% of our employees are people of color. 25% of our executive officers are people of color.3 Half of our Board of Directors is comprised of women and people of color. Our organization has evolved over time and continues to grow more diverse with each class of new hires.

These numbers, and the work we do to achieve and surpass them, translate to real results for the people who show up at our offices each day. In our most recent companywide employee survey in May 2022:

  • 83% of respondents said they feel comfortable being themselves at work,
  • 87% believe people of all backgrounds can succeed at New York Life, and
  • 86% believe that New York Life encourages and promotes diversity.

3These figures are based on data collected in 2023. 

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