Monique Y. Murphy
Corporate Vice President–Diversity & Inclusion
New York Life
Headquarters: New York, NY
Business: Financial Services
“New York Life could not have achieved the success we enjoy today were it not for our richly diverse corporate culture,” says CEO Ted Mathas. “Rather than expect employees and agents to adapt themselves to a single way of doing business, everyone is encouraged to bring their own cultural and intellectual perspectives to the table.
“Nor do we pursue a one-size-fitsall approach in the marketplace; our culturally sensitive outreach to customers has established New York Life as The Company of the Community in neighborhoods that reflect the changing face of America. Little wonder that we consider our commitment to diversity to be a fundamental strategic strength.”
In 2018, New York Life continued to focus on cultivating an inclusive culture. Through the theme of #BeYourself, the company offered a series of monthly challenges, educating employees on the importance of bringing your authentic self to work and encouraging employees to show up as their true selves. The Coming Together program (a courageous conversation series started in 2016) continued with five company-wide conversations that included discussions around #MeToo and Respectful Workplaces, The Myth of the “Model Minority,” Coming Out in Diverse Communities, Latinos in the U.S., and Justice in Action. The company also linked diversity and inclusion to business strategies through town hall presentations and biannual meetings with department leaders.
In 2019, New York Life will expand its unconscious bias training program and scrub job descriptions to eliminate bias. Understanding that mentorship and sponsorship are critical components of workplace success and knowing that diverse employees tend to have less access to mentors and sponsors, the company will focus on providing mentorship opportunities for diverse employees through a program co-sponsored by the Office of Diversity & Inclusion and company ERGs.
Preparing women and people of color to take on new opportunities is a key focus area for Corporate VP Monique Murphy. By enhancing existing professional development programs and leveraging external partnerships, New York Life provides development opportunities that reach beyond soft skills to the technical skills needed to succeed in leadership roles requiring P&L management.
“Diversity and inclusion should be viewed as not merely a measure of success, but the method of success,” says Murphy. “If we really believe that, then the process is equally as important as the outcomes.”