New York Life has announced the appointment of Vice President Joanne Rodgers as Chief Diversity Officer, responsible for overseeing all aspects of New York Life’s diversity program. Rodgers is a member of the National Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors.
“New York Life takes our commitment to diversity very seriously, both because it is the right thing to do and because it makes us better at our business. Diversity is at the core of the company’s strategy and helps define the kind of company we are and aspire to be,” says Barry Schub, senior vice president and chief human resources officer at New York Life. “Joanne’s understanding of the company, its people and its culture will be invaluable as we continue to define and foster a corporate culture that values diversity of talent, ideas, values and backgrounds across all parts of the company.”
The increasing diversity of the company’s agents has helped New York Life achieve continued sales growth and the number one market share position in new life insurance premium. Women and cultural market agents made up 57 percent of the company’s new hires in the field in 2011. Rodgers has worked with New York Life’s cultural and women’s markets in various capacities during her 18-year New York Life career. Most recently, she was involved with strategic planning to increase the company’s presence in the women’s and Hispanic markets, both top priorities for New York Life.
As chief diversity officer, Rodgers’ responsibilities include the development and execution of the company's diversity strategy; coordination of diversity activities and events with a particular emphasis on talent recruitment, development and retention; and internal and external communications on diversity.
In addition, Rodgers will work closely with New York Life’s department managers and employee resource groups to ensure that diversity initiatives are aligned with business strategies and goals. She formerly headed the Women’s Leadership Program at New York Life, an employee resource group that develops programs to strengthen leadership skills and maximize career opportunities for women at the company. As part of her role as Chief Diversity Officer, she will now oversee the WLP and six additional employee resource groups.
Rodgers joined New York Life in 1994 and has held positions of increasing responsibility working in the corporate compliance, agency and strategy departments. Most recently, as vice president of strategy, she was responsible for identifying and advancing key themes of strategic importance, managing the corporate business planning cycle, and leading a variety of strategic initiatives.