Lance Lavergne

Lance Lavergne

Title: Vice President and Chief Diversity Officer
Company: New York Life Insurance Company
Corporate Headquarters: New York City, NY
Primary Business: The largest mutual life insurance company in the US
Revenues: $14.38 billion
Employees: Approx 9,098

Vision of the Future

In scanning the diversity and inclusion landscape, it is evident that many companies have made great strides in advancing beyond the old affirmative action and compliance paradigm to a place where they are able to articulate an appreciation for the value of diversity in terms of talent management practices and business operations. We still seem to have a vista of opportunity in terms of moving to truly inclusive environments that realize the full potential of diversity by giving voice to that difference.

A persistent challenge still exists around the notion that the emphasis is on providing opportunities for one group at the expense of another. As diversity practitioners, it is vitally important that we continually reinforce the notion that the work we do is designed to ensure fairness and equality for everyone, irrespective of their difference or representation in a particular group. To that end, programs that are most effective in advancing the construct of diversity and inclusion within an organization are ones that are based on verifiable data or tangible employee perspectives.

A persistent challenge still exists around the notion that the emphasis is on providing opportunities for one group at the expense of another.

Successful diversity and inclusion initiatives must be aligned with overall corporate objectives—enhanced leadership capability, greater employee engagement, top line revenue growth in new markets—and they must have built-in measures of accountability that hold managers to the same level of standards that they have for any other business imperative for which they are responsible.
That’s why my first piece of advice to any new diversity officer or manager is to make sure you are well acquainted with how your organization makes money, and what it requires of its people to be successful. Diversity professionals are infinitely more credible when they are able to demonstrate that the work they’re doing supports and enhances the overall business of the company. One of the best ways to gain that knowledge is by developing good relationships with the individuals who manage those businesses, because ultimately you will rely on those relationships to affect meaningful and sustainable progress in moving a diversity and inclusion paradigm forward within your organization.


Who We Are
New York Life Insurance Company, a Fortune 100 company founded in 1845, is the largest mutual life insurance company in the United States* and one of the largest life insurers in the world. New York Life has the highest possible financial strength ratings from all four of the major credit rating agencies. Headquartered in New York City, New York Life’s family of companies offers life insurance, retirement income, investments and long-term care insurance. Please visit New York Life’s Web site at for more information.