Provide a safe forum for New York Life employees to engage in meaningful, productive dialogue around race relations following the tragic shootings that occurred in 2016 and the increased incidents of hate crimes in 2017.
New York Life’s Office of Diversity & Inclusion partnered with our African-American Employee Resource Group to develop Coming Together, a comprehensive race relations program.
The program educates employees on the science behind implicit bias with a focus on racial anxiety. On a regular basis, employees are brought together in moderated sessions that include training, storytelling and facilitated table discussions. “Perspective taking” and scenario exercises help employees better understand and communicate with each other regarding their differences. In addition, a toolkit provides tips on items such as navigating difficult conversations, or how to be an ally.
To keep the dialogue going in between the conversation sessions, suggested articles and videos are shared with participants, external speakers present on related topics (e.g., covering, current events), and our seven Employee Resource Groups sponsor informal lunch-and-learns on the effects of racial bias on underrepresented communities.
The program has a wide reach across levels, departments and locations with sessions booked to overcapacity. Participants have expressed appreciation of the program and how meaningful they’ve found it. We will continue to build on this foundation to provide our employees with the tools and forums they need to connect on this topic across the organization.
Fostering a work environment that supports diversity and inclusion is a responsibility every business leader shares. But embracing different perspectives and opening ourselves to new ways of seeing the world is a responsibility we all share. The CEO Action for Diversity & Inclusion provides an opportunity to learn from each other, engage more people, and strengthen our society as a whole.