2015 Diversity Leader

NYL_4CNew York Life Insurance Company
Headquarters: New York City, NY
CEO: Ted Mathas
Employees: 8,551

Recent Recognition Includes:

  • Fortune magazine, “World’s Most Admired Companies,” 2014
  • Asia Society, Best Practices Award–Market Opportunities, 2014; Best Company for Support of the Asian Pacific American Community, 2012
  • CAREERS & the disABLED Magazine, “Top 50 Employers,” 2013
  • Diversity Inc, “Top 50 Companies for Diversity,” 2013 and 2014
  • Working Mother Media: “100 Best Companies for Working Mothers,” 2012, 2014
  • WMM, “Top 25 Companies for Multicultural Women,” 2012–2014
  • NAFE, “Top 50 Companies for Female Executives,” 2012 and 2013
  • Dave Thomas Foundation, “Adoption Friendly Workplaces,” 2012–2014 (#1 in Insurance industry)
  • Latina Style, “Latina Style 50,” 2012–2014
  • Profiles in Diversity Journal, Diversity Leader Award, 2014; Innovations in Diversity Award, 2013
  • SIFMA: Sustained Diversity Leadership Award, 2013
  • Hispanic Business: “Best Companies for Diversity”, Rank #41 (2012-2013), Listed in 2014
  • Human Rights Campaign: “Corporate Equality Index”, score 85% (2012-2013); score 90% (2014)
  • Work Life Matters: “Top Companies for LGBT Equality Award Winner” (2012-2013)

Joanne Rodgers

Joanne Rodgers

Understanding unconscious bias enables us to hire smarter, manage better, and create a truly inclusive workplace, says Joanne Rodgers, Vice President and Chief Diversity Officer.

“Diversity in an organization is not just about numbers. Strong representation only gets you halfway there. Once you have a diverse workforce, you must provide an inclusive environment where every employee can thrive. It’s what makes diversity work. Educating our people leaders about bias, both conscious and unconscious, helps New York Life overcome obstacles to achieving a truly diverse workforce. From our hiring process to the way we develop and promote our people, we’re raising awareness with this multifaceted approach:

1. Unconscious Bias Awareness

New York Life’s Executive Officers, including our CEO and Executive Management Team, attend a half-day workshop with Dr. Mazharin Banaji of Harvard, an expert in the field of unconscious bias. And, using Dr. Banaji’s research, we designed a training series for people managers, titled Managing for Inclusion, which explains unconscious bias, explores how it affects decision making, and demonstrates how to recognize and mitigate it.

2. Behavioral Based Interview Training

Our Behavior Based Interview Skills program teaches interviewers to focus on skills and behaviors, while mitigating potential bias regarding characteristics that are superfluous to the requirements of the job. We are working with Talent Acquisition to up-skill all recruiters and make this integral to the interviewing process. We are also working with our executive officers and hiring managers to ensure that they understand how to conduct behavior based interviews.

3. Diversity & Inclusion Education

New York Life also provides training that covers areas where bias may exist, such as gender and generations.

“We believe this multifaceted, holistic approach, which focuses on eliminating root causes that inhibit the creation of a diverse and inclusive environment, will have the greatest positive impact going forward.”