Karin W. Sarratt
Executive Vice President
Education: Master of Science, human resources development, Clemson University; Bachelor of Science, telecommunications, Ball State University
Company Name: OneAmerica®
Industry: Insurance and Financial Services
Company CEO: J. Scott Davison (Chairman, President, and CEO)
Company Headquarters Location: Indianapolis, Indiana
Number of Employees: 2,300
Words you live by: “When you know better, you do better.” This is something I grew up hearing from my parents. It was their way to get me to pay attention to the lessons that life teaches us along the way.
Who is your personal hero? My mom, Betty Fernanders
What book are you reading? Across That Bridge by John Lewis
What was your first job: McDonald’s fry station for about three weeks for a summer job
Favorite charity: United Way
Interests: Traveling with family and friends; bird watching with my husband, Edgar
Family: Edgar Sarratt Jr. (married 25 years), Kamryn (daughter), Edgar III (son), and Scout (family dog)
Do Well by Doing Good
I have always tried to make career choices with organizations that align with my values and purpose in life. I look for organizations in which the culture is their strongest asset and the people really matter. When the nexus between business and the community is most effective, you are inspired to “do well by doing good.”
Working in the insurance and financial services industry has taught me about the importance of financial security through all stages of life, and how this can create certainty in times of uncertainty. But in this extraordinary time in the history of our country, enabling greater economic empowerment in underserved communities is at the forefront for our industry and our company.
At OneAmerica®, one of our innovative strategies has been to create a Pathways Program that connects our business growth to our community commitment. The Pathways Program focuses on: 1) beginning to break generational poverty cycles for individuals; 2) improving diversity in our talent pipeline for long-term success; and 3) creating career opportunities for those who may not be college-bound, as well as those with college aspirations.
The first phase of this program was introduced in late 2018, after reviewing Brookings Institution’s research about what constitutes “good jobs.” We examined all our positions, made some immediate pay adjustments and created the Pathway to Sustainable Income. This ensures that our associates are on track to achieve a sustainable income during their career, which includes total cash compensation, and health care and retirement benefits.
To build and strengthen our local workforce, we developed the Pathways Junior Fellows program. We select high school students and recent high school graduates to participate in our Pathways Junior Fellows program during their summer breaks. They participate in a 5-week custom curriculum that includes introducing career options, building business acumen, establishing a leadership network, unique job shadowing experiences, community volunteerism, and a capstone presentation. The program has been an overwhelming success, and we plan to scale the program to create more than 100 Fellow experiences annually!
Studies show that financial empowerment can increase financial well-being across income and education levels, in addition to moving more households out of poverty. This will take time, but we are committed to improving financial security for more families, especially those in underserved communities.
One of our core diversity and inclusion beliefs says, “OneAmerica® isn’t just the name of our company— it represents our belief in unity, togetherness, and a commitment to supporting those who need us.” As a OneAmerica® leader and teammate, I am inspired every day to continue bridging the nexus of business and community! You can indeed “do well by doing good.”