Over the past few years, New York Life has enhanced the leadership and development offerings for senior executives, and the goal is to eventually cascade that information throughout the organization. One challenge has been that a portion of underrepresented professionals are not senior enough to participate in the programs being offered. To address this issue, New York Life launched the Career Management Initiative (CMI), a leadership development program designed to strengthen the career advancement and engagement of mid-level employees of color—Black, Latino and Asian.
CMI is a four-month program focusing on three areas: career development, business acumen and leadership. Since the launch of CMI in 2010, fifty-five employees have successfully completed the program. CMI provides an opportunity for talented employees of color to gain exposure to high caliber leadership and development content at a critical juncture in their career. As part of the program, each CMI participant receives three 90-minute coaching sessions, and they develop a career plan that is discussed in a six-month follow-up session.
The main goal of the CMI program is to develop and accelerate the pipeline of our talented people of color. We also hope to increase their exposure to New York Life’s business, culture and senior leaders.
CMI is an example of a collaborative partnership between talent development, D&I and an outside consulting firm coming together to develop and execute the program. The outside consultant serves to both be the program facilitator and provides the one-to-one individual coaching.
Employees who have participated indicate that the program has helped them develop strategies for navigating the organization, building confidence, demonstrating leadership, creating visibility and establishing critical relationships. They also now have a better understanding of the specific challenges they face as people of color and how to develop strategies for overcoming these challenges. Most notably, managers have indicated that they have observed increased levels of enthusiasm and engagement from their direct reports who have completed the program.
In the short period of time since the launch of the program in July 2010, approximately 20 percent of the program’s graduates have been promoted: eight promotions and two lateral moves to roles with increased responsibility.