Nationwide: Expanding the Impact of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI)

by Savoy Staff

Nationwide is an inclusive culture where differences are embraced, celebrated and where all associates can thrive. This is a driver for its award-winning culture, and the company’s associates see that in action every day.

“What I see at Nationwide is that if there’s not a seat for you at the table, then we will put in a leaf. We will make the table bigger, so there is plenty of space for everyone here,” –Associate, 13 years of service.

Nationwide has ensured there is space for everyone through its long-held commitment to DEI, which continues to play a vital role in the organization’s success. In 2021, recognizing the increasingly strategic importance that the Chief Diversity Officer role plays internally and externally, the company elevated the role to a dual reporting relationship to the CEO and the Chief Human Resources Officer. The “decision speaks to the enhanced strategic importance this role plays for our future success,” says CEO Kirt Walker.

In the expanded role, the Chief Diversity and Talent Acquisition Officer, Angela Bretz, focuses on advancing Nationwide’s inclusive culture while also driving the company’s talent acquisition efforts, including associate and executive recruiting strategies, university relations, internship programs, relocation services, immigration services and talent acquisition process operations. Externally, the new role advances Nationwide’s brand and reputation through diverse strategic partnerships, philanthropy, and community engagements.

The Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Talent Acquisition team is uniquely positioned to provide invaluable insight about the ever[1]evolving diverse talent market while also considering emerging trends for future diverse talent sources and long-term needs. By aligning DEI and Talent Acquisition under one leader, the company has created an environment that further ensures its mission, vision, values, and inclusive culture are advanced from the moment new talent joins the Nationwide family.

Additionally, this integrated approach provides a wider view of the company’s strengths (using metrics like hiring, representation, advancement, and retention,) and any opportunities to further enhance its strategy through the timely identification and understanding of emerging themes or trends. Nationwide attributes its strong retention rate to a well-established inclusive culture.

While still early in the integration journey, the newly formed DEI and Talent Acquisition team delivers:

  • A strong talent pipeline through strategic partnerships, rotational programs, early career focus (internships, apprenticeships, university recruiting, etc.) and community outreach
  • Innovative recruitment that engages talent in strategic ways, while serving as advocates for the various lines of business to engage and attract talent
  • Expert consultation for its business partners to provide the data, insights, analytics and thought leadership to drive business results now and in the future
  • Learning and programming that builds on the company’s diverse, equitable, and inclusive culture, making Nationwide a great place to work for all and building cultural fluency and dexterity within the enterprise.
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