Senior HR Program Consultant, Talent Acquisition,
Management, and Diversity, Sun Life Financial, US
Corporate Headquarters: Wellesley Hills, Massachusetts
Primary Business: Financial Services
Revenues: $10.3 billion
Employees: 2,845 (14,260 Worldwide)
Vision of the Future
Over the past several years, the financial industry has established more diverse corporate cultures, but there is still much more that can be accomplished, particularly with regard to hiring for executive leadership positions.
Currently, there are many programs to assist human resource departments that ensure a diverse workplace, but we will only recognize the benefits of multiculturalism when companies realize that diversity makes good business sense.
At Sun Life Financial, we operate in a global environment and understand that it is critical to employ individuals from a variety of backgrounds and cultures that bring different perspectives to how we approach our business.
Many of our diversity and inclusion programs have found great success and can be adapted to other businesses and industries. Of particular note are our Employee Resource Groups, which are open to all employees and support Sun Life’s business strategy by organizing opportunities for professional development, establishing partnerships with professional organizations, supporting community relations and enhancing diversity awareness.
Groups include the Asian American Heritage Association; Black Leadership Awareness Council; Gays, Lesbians and Others Building Equality; Hispanic Organization for Leaders and Achievers; and Women’s Leadership Network. The Employee Resource Groups, along with the company, share a vision on diversity and inclusion while each group has its own mission statement, goals, and plan of action, and each has had significant impact on the Sun Life community. The Black Leadership Awareness Council, for instance, supports Boston’s Museum of African-American History; works with human resources to have a presence at college recruiting fairs; and runs networking events for employees.
Sun Life’s Speaker Series can also serve as a model for diversity and inclusion. We look for speakers who can have an immediate impact by offering tangible, practical tips that can be utilized as soon as our employees return to their desks.
For those just starting careers in the diversity and inclusion field, it’s important to understand how crucial it is to think beyond your company’s walls and work with the community, and not just by writing a check or sponsoring an event.
At Sun Life, we work to develop relationships with nonprofit organizations and other institutions in our community by volunteering, providing work and event space, and getting our employees involved. Working with these organizations isn’t merely a marketing and branding opportunity for Sun Life; it’s truly of value to our company.
Those new to the field should also make it a point to understand exactly what impact diversity has on their particular business; to always continue learning; to be flexible; and to build allies for diversity and inclusion within all corporate levels and teams.