Vice President and Chief Diversity Officer Prudential Financial
Prudential Financial Inc.
Headquarters: Newark, NJ
Business: Life insurance, retirement and investments
CEO: John Strangfeld
FINANCIAL SERVICES LEADER CONNECTING PEOPLE, MARKET & COMMUNITY
As one of the world’s largest financial services institutions, Prudential Financial’s long-standing commitment to diversity in the workplace and marketplace focuses on people, markets and communities.
The 140-year-old company knows the power of people and that individual differences represent a mosaic of business opportunities around the globe.
Under the leadership of Vice President and Chief Diversity Officer Michele Meyer-Shipp, Prudential is embracing and integrating collaborative, innovative and sustainable change in both the workplace and society as a whole.
“To remain a leader in the marketplace, companies have to think about diversity and inclusion more broadly and collaboratively, and beyond the dimensions of race and gender,” Meyer-Shipp said. “We live in a society of diverse identities, diverse backgrounds and experiences, and diverse perspectives. Each individual needs to be mindful of inclusion in all of their human interactions,” she added.
With operations in the United States, Asia, Europe and Latin America, Meyer-Shipp says changing demographics and an increase in globalization require an expansion of diversity and inclusion discussions that go beyond the traditional rhetoric.
PEOPLE – MARKET – COMMUNITY
Prudential’s three-pillar approach to diversity and inclusion focuses on relationships with its most important business drivers – people, market and community. By connecting all three, Prudential is leveraging opportunities for growth and sustainability.
“It embeds D&I practices into our company culture, and provides a backdrop for ongoing success with our employees, the marketplace and the community,” Meyer-Shipp said.
As Prudential’s chief diversity officer, Meyer-Shipp is responsible for ensuring that its businesses see D&I as a driver of business growth and innovation, as a source of top talent, and an opportunity to be an important corporate member of the community.
“With our employees, D&I drives innovative staffing and recruiting strategies, as well as talent development,” Meyer-Shipp said. On the marketing front, she explained Prudential purposefully engages diverse market segments and consumers, conducting financial experience survey segments and partnering with relevant influencers and community organizations. “Our philanthropic support includes strategic impact investments and community outreach,” she added.
COMBINING WORKFORCE AND MARKET OUTREACH
One of Prudential’s three-pillar initiatives is demonstrated in its commitment to the city of El Paso, TX. The company opened its El Paso Business and Technology Solutions Center about two years ago to provide quality jobs to the local community, including a large Hispanic population, and veterans and military spouses. In 2015, Prudential punctuated its commitment to the city with a $870,000 community investment focused on helping to create a skilled math and technology workforce, specifically targeting Latino students, veterans and military spouses.
By championing the efforts of local community members, Prudential created an opportunity for greater market outreach to potential consumers. “Our deliberate attention to El Paso’s workforce and community in El Paso is a direct outcome of our D&I strategy,” Meyer- Shipp said.
Prudential’s D&I strategy is a company imperative for all employees that is driving business and company culture. The company has 71 employees working directly on growing and developing its D&I strategy. They include 13 in the Office of Diversity and Inclusion, 21 diversity practitioners across Prudential’s business units, 14 Business resource group chairs and co-chairs, 15 women’s network leaders and 8 employees in multicultural marketing.
By linking its D&I strategy to its business strategy, Prudential is driving its ability to innovate and collaborate in a global society. “Difference can make all the difference in the world,” Meyer-Shipp said.
HIGHLIGHTS OF PRUDENTIAL FINANCIAL’S RECENT D&I RECOGNITION INCLUDE:
- Profiles in Diversity Journal – Diversity Leader Award
- Human Rights Campaign – Best Places to Work
- Ethisphere Institute – World’s Most Ethical Company
- WE (Women’s Enterprise) USA – 100 Corporations of the Year
- Working Mother – Top 100 Companies for Working Mothers
- Disability Matters – Employer of Choice Award
- Black Enterprise – Top Company for Diversity
- Latina Style – 50 Best Companies for Latinas
- National Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce – Financial Services Diversity Leadership Award
- Human Rights Campaign Corporate Equality Index – 100 percent score
- Minority Business News USA – Best of the Decade Circle of Honor/Supplier Diversity Professionals
- WE USA – Top 100 Leaders in Corporate Supplier Diversity