Progressive has traditionally invested heavily in leadership development, to ensure its managers can lead with confidence, competence, and in ways that engage and empower their teams. At the same time, one of our overarching D&I strategic goals is to foster diversity in leadership by developing our internal talent pipeline. As we began to look at the diversity of our organization at various levels we found an opportunity to place more emphasis on programs that provided opportunities for a diverse group of potential future leaders to develop core and critical skills, as well as organizational exposure to help advance their careers into higher levels of leadership.
One of our larger business groups – Customer Relationship Management - and Progressive’s African American Network (PAAN) partnered to develop our first leadership development program designed to meet the needs of African American leaders. A pilot group of participants took part in an 18-month series of in-person and virtual sessions focused on cultural awareness, business acumen, and analytical skills. The curriculum included outside speakers, internal business case problems to solve, development of analytical skills and a capstone project. The program culminated with a presentation to executives and senior leaders. In 2016, we built on the success of the pilot program, and expanded its reach by bringing in two additional business areas as well as involving our Latinx ERG. In 2018, we expanded the program to include our Asian-American ERG, made the program available to all business groups within Progressive, and more than doubled the number of participants.
We are tracking the individuals who graduated from each cohort of the program. Two-thirds of graduates have been promoted or made a career-enhancing move within two years after the end of the program. 12% of the current cohort have already been promoted, even though they have not yet graduated from the program.
Diversity and Inclusion are essential to all that we do every day for each other, and our customers. A big part of our success has, and will continue to come from having a diverse and inclusive workplace that accepts and respects everyone’s unique background and experiences. Having an environment where you can bring your whole self to work allows people to fully leverage their strengths and is reflected in how we treat our customers. They reward us with their business.
At Progressive, we want to ensure everybody is valued for who they are, the ideas they bring, and the energy they invest. We are deeply committed to diversity and inclusion as a strong part of what makes our culture so special.