Church Mutual Insurance: Weaving diversity and inclusion into the fabric of our culture

by Savoy Staff

(l to r) Bruce Carter Assistant Vice President – Diversity & Inclusion, Church Mutual Insurance Company, S.I. and Rich Poirier, President and CEO, Church Mutual Insurance Company, S.I.

By Bruce Carter

At Church Mutual Insurance Company, S.I., we specialize in protecting organizations that serve others and elevate the human condition, from houses of worship to nonprofits and senior living communities. Our customers inspire us and are at the center of everything we do.

More than 1,300 Church Mutual employees across the country are striving every day to serve our customers with empathy and understanding. Our goal is for our workforce to reflect the diversity of our customers and reach a point where diversity and inclusion is just an integral part of the way we do business.

Our five-year Diversity and Inclusion Strategy includes a Diversity and Inclusion Vision and Roadmap. We must not allow the boundaries of exclusion to restrict opportunity. We must become a magnet for openness, diversity and inclusion in our company and the communities in which we do business.

The five focus areas of our strategy include: building cultural competence within our workforce through education and development; attracting the best talent through diverse representation; fostering minority new business growth and renewals; promoting supplier diversity and cultivating key business relationships; and engaging in community outreach.

The Dialogue in Diversity speaker series is an example of how we are working to build our own cultural competence. Our employees have opportunities to hear from people with a variety of backgrounds about their personal experiences with diversity and inclusion.

We have also initiated open, courageous conversations among our employees on racial injustice impacting society and our commitment to better understand social issues and respect different points of view.

Our commitment to diversity and inclusion extends beyond our walls and into the communities where we live and work.

In 2019, we established the African American Pastors Advisory Group, drawing together some of the country’s most important and influential African American faith leaders to meet regularly with Church Mutual representatives. This group provides us with greater insight into the needs and challenges of houses of worship and the communities that serve African Americans.

Church Mutual is at the forefront of expanding educational opportunities for young men of color. We have long been a strong supporter of the MKE Fellows program, which helps African American men from Milwaukee complete their college education and enter the workforce. We are taking a lead role in efforts to scale this program nationally.

We are a founding sponsor of the Toward One Wisconsin Inclusivity Conference, a groundbreaking statewide learning event that supports building communities of equity and opportunity. Church Mutual President and CEO Rich Poirier proudly serves as a co-chair of the event.

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, CM CARES, the Church Mutual foundation, invested in nonprofit organizations serving those hardest hit by the pandemic, particularly in African American, Hispanic and Asian communities.

We are proud of the partnerships and relationships we have forged with a number of Historically Black Colleges and Universities, as well as organizations that serve Latino/Hispanic memberships. Church Mutual initiated the Protecting the Greater Good® scholarship program in 2019, offering scholarships to students at 12 Historically Black Colleges and Universities in the Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association.

Our efforts to promote diversity and inclusion have not gone unnoticed. Our Women’s Leadership Initiative group was recognized with the “Women and Diversity: Expanding Opportunity in Insurance Award” for 2020 by the American Property and Casualty Insurance Association. Church Mutual also was honored to receive the 2019 Driver in Diversity Corporation of the Year award by One MKE, recognizing our efforts to attract diverse talent and improve cultural competence.

Building a culture that embraces diversity and inclusivity is an ongoing journey, one that we will continue to travel with our employees, our customers and the communities we serve.

“Cultivating an environment where diversity,
inclusion and belonging thrive has been and
remains a top priority for Church Mutual. We’ve
come a long way on our journey as Bruce Carter
and his team further our commitment both
within and outside our organization.”
—Rich Poirier, President and CEO

Church Mutual is a stock insurer whose policyholders are members of the parent mutual holding company formed on 1/1/20. S.I. = a stock insurer.

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