DEI continues to expand in relevance and importance in the minds and priorities of industry leaders as a critical element for innovation and transformation. Those of us charged with its implementation are tasked with advancing the DEI agenda through global complexity, evolutions in industry, and a redefinition of the workplace by an ever-more-changing diverse workforce. As MetLife’s Global Chief Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Officer, I have come to know that a systems-driven and data-informed strategy can ignite transformation. And DEI leaders must be persistent in garnering and sustaining momentum to progress.
In my role, I continue to reflect on MetLife’s DEI strategy, Our Path Forward, through the lens of our three strategic priorities: Strengthen Our Diversity, Champion Inclusion, and Grow Our Impact. These priorities require us to foster greater leadership and commitment and address cultural and structural inclusion barriers that can stand in the way of our goals. I constantly look for opportunities that will ensure we are elevating and pacesetting for today, tomorrow and the future, particularly the progress we are making toward building a diverse, purpose-driven, and inclusive culture. In tangible, measurable ways, our DEI strategy at MetLife is making the impact we seek, and our decision to focus on leadership commitment and accountability has proven to be the right course of action. We know that we must stay the course to make even greater progress.
DEI is a domain that will spearhead corporate cultural evolution in the coming decades, becoming not only the strategic business imperative of the century but an integral leadership imperative as well. Our third DEI strategic priority, Growing Our Impact, provides a unique opportunity to expand DEI leadership capacity within the community of global leaders. Today’s Chief Diversity Officers (CDOs) find themselves in an unprecedented role with unparalleled demands: we are at the executive table and our leaders look to us for sustainable solutions and accelerated pathways of change. As global culture shapers, we operate at the crossroads where human and business imperatives meet. This role places tremendous responsibility on our shoulders, requiring CDOs to galvanize support for the DEI strategy and advance it through the cultural, social, and geopolitical complexities of a global enterprise while ensuring its connection to business objectives. This requires not only keen intersectional knowledge, leadership, courage, and influence, but also the confidence and support of senior leaders, managers, and people. I am especially proud to lead the Corporate CDO Peer Exchange, a monthly forum that creates a safe space for DEI leaders to share ideas, content, lessons learned, and mutual support. From my experience, today’s CDO community is one of the most informed, collegial, empathetic, and collaborative groups of colleagues. Never have our collective efforts to accelerate DEI been in more capable hands.
Looking forward, DEI is an ongoing change initiative that will continue to evolve with society and the workplace. It never stops changing. We feel it is incumbent upon us at MetLife, as a DEI innovator and leader, to always create an environment where everyone feels comfortable bringing their whole selves to work and engaging in meaningful conversations. We are up to this challenge. These conversations need to happen within and outside of our organization. This is why, we host different experts, from authors to DEI practitioners, on our “Inclusion Begins with Me: Conversations That Matter” podcast. We focus on moving beyond conventional wisdom to share and analyze evidence-based solutions to advancing DEI.
While absolutely critical to the long-term viability of our businesses, workplaces, workforces, and communities, DEI is a powerful catalyst for sustainable living. I am committed, personally, and professionally, to continue being of service to our larger CDO community. It’s through actions like driving collaboration with the Corporate CDO Peer Exchange or sharing trusted DEI resources on our “Inclusion Begins with Me: Conversations That Matter” podcast that I hope to continue to expand the body of knowledge on DEI. We are hard at work at MetLife to build a more confident future for our people, our colleagues, and our community.