Journey To Inclusion


TIAA has a strong history with diversity and inclusion and as a market leader on the topic. But in recent years, with new and revealing ways of looking at our culture survey, it became clear there was even more that could be done. The business challenge was about going from good to great. How can we get even more out of all of the individuals within TIAA, including those from diverse backgrounds? How can inclusion help us achieve our strategy and vision for 2020 and beyond?

Without taking action at a cultural level, TIAA believed the organization would lag behind when it comes to getting the most out of our workforce and serving our customers.


Journey to Inclusion was a culture change initiative that involved all of TIAA. The team reviewed the detailed culture survey qualitative and quantitative results to determine the four most common biases at TIAA and developed behaviors plus bias interrupting tools aimed at addressing the unique internal opportunities. Then the team created five different audience learning paths designed specifically to support each critical role in creating a more inclusive culture: executive leaders, senior leaders, HR Business Partners, middle managers and individual contributors. Each group experienced some form of engagement (to get them interested and excited about the change), learning event (to develop attitudes and behaviors on this topic) and activation (to help them put their new learning into practice).

The overall program focused on four behaviors demonstrated by research and our internal analysis to drive inclusion.

  • Initiate: being curious about those who are different from me.
  • Influence: looking for common ground and making others feel welcome.
  • Invest: stepping in and speaking up when I see exclusion occurring.
  • Inspire: challenging stereotypes and focusing on fairness in decision-making.

We are looking at a combination of lead and lag indicators for this program. Attendees completed a level 3 self-assessment nine months post training where the following impacts were noted: 91% of respondents stated they were able to successfully apply the knowledge and skills to their work and 78% were able to apply the learning within one week of training. In addition, we have also incorporated additional shared metrics on the human capital dashboard that will measure inclusion to ensuring we are reinforcing the four inclusion behaviors are being adopted. 

TIAA remains on a journey. We’ve engaged our entire organization on the topic of inclusion, promoted key inclusive behaviors and begun to embed these into the way we work. Leaders, managers and individuals will receive support on an ongoing basis by integrating it into the very heart of the company.


Natasha Radden


For nearly a century, the employees of TIAA have been making a difference for teachers, doctors, nurses and others who make a difference in the world.  To ensure that we continue to achieve our special mission for another century, we are taking concrete actions to unleash the full potential of our diverse workforce – providing a workplace where employees always feel valued, included and empowered to speak up and bring their full selves and their best work for the millions of people who are counting on us.

Roger W. Ferguson
President and Chief Executive Officer TIAA
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