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Securian Financial

Securian Multicultural Network advocates for people of color

The employee resource group helps build cross-company and cross-cultural relationships

Securian Financial’s diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) program centers on applying our company’s shared values — trust, strength, integrity, quality, respect and community — to help engrain DEI into our DNA.

This requires us to continually build a culture that embraces all dimensions of DEI. It’s a multi-faceted effort that engages employees from many corners of our business, and our employee resource groups (ERGs) play a critical role. We’ll feature each of our six ERGs here throughout the year, and we’re kicking off the series with the Securian Multicultural Network.

Spotlight on the Securian Multicultural Network

The Securian Multicultural Network (SMN) advocates and provides a safe space for people of color at Securian Financial. 

  • As an advocate for Securian Financial’s multicultural community, the group drives DEI efforts with programs designed to create a more inclusive workplace, provide business value and support the enterprise’s strategic goals.
  • As a safe space for Securian Financial’s multicultural community, SMN seeks to understand and actively support its members’ needs and facilitate relationship-building across the enterprise by supporting networking and mentorship opportunities. 

Goals

The Securian Multicultural Network works to build a strong, diverse and inclusive community at our company. It aspires to foster a sense of belonging for all our employees. Securian Multicultural Network’s 2022 goals include:

  1. Increasing managers' participation in SMN events
  2. Adding networking opportunities for members
  3. Continuing its strong community outreach programs 

Carlos Gee, SMN education committee co-chair, says, “I joined the Securian Multicultural Network to get more fully engrained in the company and to help impact culture and diversity. Over the past few years, I have been able to work with and get to know many individuals and cross-functional teams that I may have otherwise never come across in my day-to-day role.”

Key accomplishments

As we all know, 2020 was a rough year. After the George Floyd murder and during civil unrest, SMN and Securian Financial's DEI Council created listening sessions to support Securian employees and provide a safe space to share their feelings and concerns. This had a significant influence on our culture-building with a total of 10 sessions and 613 participants.

Since 2019, SMN has worked with SafeZone/Face to Face, a drop-in center for homeless youth located a block away from Securian’s downtown St. Paul headquarters. From decorating the center in celebration of Black History Month, to a “Spread the Love” sandwich making day organized alongside another ERG, the Securian Young Professionals Network, SMN diligently works to build its relationship with SafeZone.

The group also leads the annual Securian-wide SafeZone Hygiene Drive, which has resulted in thousands of dollars and hygiene products being donated by Securian employees to make life a little easier for youth in our community.

In 2021, SMN began working with the YWCA of St Paul, whose mission to strengthen communities and enrich lives by tearing down systemic barriers to success aligns with the purpose of SMN. Members' hard work and generosity made a meaningful impact on the YWCA community. 

  • SMN teamed up with another Securian Financial ERG, the Securian Women and Allies Network (SWAN), to donate more than 100 new winter coats which the groups packed with mittens, hats and notes of encouragement. They also made holiday food baskets and blankets. These efforts resulted in 200 volunteer hours by Securian employees.
  • Another volunteer event involved supporting the families in the YWCA Transitional Housing Program by re-mulching and refreshing the housing unit’s playground on one of the hottest days of the year, as well as creating 25 birthday bag kits, 55 holiday meal baskets, 47 care packages and nine blankets to welcome them to their new homes.

Through SMN’s volunteer programs, members uplift the youth of color in our local community, engage with future leaders, and work alongside Securian colleagues to build a sense of belonging, a place where we can be our authentic selves and support one another’s career journeys and aspirations.

“I wholeheartedly appreciate the fellowship within SMN and the sense of community that is ever present. People are genuinely here to help ensure that we are all seen and heard. The most positive impact that I have seen throughout my time in SMN is the fact that our employees are able to realize that we are far more alike than our differences. We celebrate diversity and inclusion!”

Carlos Gee

Senior Financial Planning and Analysis analyst, SMN education committee co-chair, Securian Financial

Black History Month programs

The Securian Multicultural Network teamed up with our DEI Office and Mental Wellness and Disability employee resource group to host guest speakers and special discussions in honor of Black History Month.

  • Celebrating our own history, Securian Financial retiree Loyall Wilson returned to share his career journey and experience as the company’s first Black officer.
  • Small group discussions about this year’s Black History Month theme, Black Health and Wellness, focused on strategies to support well-being particularly throughout the pandemic and beyond.

Defining DEI at Securian Financial

Long-term priorities around diversity, equity and inclusion help us be a better company while delivering on our purpose: helping our customers build secure tomorrows. Key components of Securian Financial’s DEI program include:

  • Top-level support through the DEI Council, which is led by our CEO Chris Hilger and Chief Diversity Officer Dexter Davis.
  • Educational programming to help our employees understand and engage in DEI topics through awareness, equity, inclusion, allyship and cultural competence.
  • Diversifying our talent pipelines through recruiting, hiring, employee development and retention efforts.
  • Actively seeking diverse businesses as part of our supplier diversity program to help our supply chain reflect the communities and customers we serve.
  • Community giving programs that directly support underrepresented members of our communities.
  • Employee resource groups that support underrepresented populations and help create a more aware, respectful and inclusive workplace.

Building a culture of DEI

Employee resource groups are integral to our DEI program and company’s culture.

Read how ERGs work

Carlos Gee is a Securian Financial employee and thus has a financial connection to Securian Financial. His statements were given freely.

DOFU 2-2022
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