New York Life helps fund Center for Talent Innovation research promoting gender equality in STEM fields.

New York Life | November 1, 2018

Woman looking through a microscope

New York Life has supported new research conducted by the Center for Talent Innovation (CTI) aimed at identifying strategies to promote career advancement and increased retention for women in STEM fields. This groundbreaking study, “Wonder Women in STEM and the Companies that Champion Them,” also provides insights from women who have achieved success in their careers. While STEM employers strive to improve gender equality in their fields, women are still challenged to get ahead. The research findings will enable both employees and employers a way forward towards greater equality for women in STEM careers.

“CTI's mission and this important research initiative helps women in STEM fields by providing actionable insights and proven strategies to support their efforts to advance their careers,” said Kathleen Navarro, Vice President and Chief Diversity Officer, New York Life. “The research findings will also provide needed assistance to companies that are committed to recruit, retain and promote women in STEM by examining the impact of programs companies commonly use to engage this group.”

The Study:

3,212 respondents between the ages of 21 and 65 with STEM credentials, ranked1 10 company-led initiatives by their effectiveness in retaining and advancing women in STEM roles:

  1. A commitment to pay equity
  2. An opportunity for employees to connect with female and minority consumers
  3. Time outside of core job functions for innovative side projects
  4. Sponsorship programs
  5. Management training on empathy, integrity, or inclusion
  6. Mentorship programs
  7. Leadership development programs for women or people of color
  8. Concierge services or family care
  9. Employee resource groups
  10. Anti-bias policies or trainings

The study also identifies six strategies used by successful women in STEM, independent from any employer-led initiative. As compared to other women in STEM, the nearly one-fifth of women in STEM who are satisfied with their current jobs, respected for their expertise, and in senior-level positions are more likely to:

  1. Be extremely confident in their abilities
  2. Confront the situation when their contributions are ignored
  3. Invest in peer networks by helping colleagues
  4. Sponsor others
  5. Be authentic
  6. Build their personal brands, including by networking and attending conferences

“By supporting CTI’s research, strategies are available to help individuals and companies close the gender equality gap for those in STEM industries,” said Navarro.

1The rank order of the top ten interventions was developed by calculating the percent increase in the number of women in STEM who advance and intend to stay at a company with a specific intervention, as compared to those who are at companies that do not have that specific intervention. The success rates for these interventions and solutions varied by race.


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Media contact

Lacey Siegel
New York Life Insurance Company
(212) 576-7937