Our vision at CNA is anchored on building an inclusive workplace culture that welcomes and celebrates difference, enabling everyone to do their best work. Our belief is that every member of an organization should feel they have an equal opportunity to develop themselves personally and professionally.
With that in mind, CNA Insurance is very much a values-driven organization. We focus on finding, developing and engaging the best talent and fostering a purpose-driven, inclusive culture. CNA has made targeted investments to diversify leadership ranks and strengthen inclusive leadership skills. We have a structure in place that truly unites and mobilizes senior leaders in the form of a DE&I council, a team of resident DE&I subject matter experts, and a highly diverse spectrum of colleagues across the entire enterprise.
Being an ally in the workplace means making a concerted effort to ask questions, listen without judgment, and advocate for people not in the room. When we talk about advocating for women in our industry, I’m reminded of the words of my daughters, who argue that women don’t need handouts, they just need a pathway free of unfair and unnecessary obstacles. Put simply, our job is to clear the path. To be effective allies, we need to build and then sustain an environment where employees will not only succeed, but also thrive. Here are four ways to help accomplish this:
- Empathy: I believe that at its core, empathy is listening. Empathy is tied to effective communication and showing people that they are being heard and taken seriously. At CNA, our employee surveys are acted upon – they shape the agendas for our town hall discussions and they influence our business decisions.
- Personal development: It’s human nature to want to learn and excel, fulfill aspirations, and see a path for continuous improvement. That’s why it’s vital to invest in training, mentoring, and development. If each of us can be at our best, the business will thrive.
- Get the fundamentals right: While we emphasize the importance of achieving the right culture, it is also important to create a solid foundation in the tangible aspects of the organization: benefit plans, compensation, workspace, tools, and technology.
- Gratitude and Giving Back: It is essential to recognize the importance of healthy and vibrant communities, and to contribute to fostering exactly that by giving back within our means. I am proud of CNA’s generosity and flexibility in supporting numerous charitable organizations and causes through financial support and broad-based volunteering initiatives. I am particularly proud of our sponsorship of the upcoming Insurance Business Canada Women in Insurance event. Initiatives such as this help sustain the conversation around giving back, DE&I, providing a voice and opportunity for all.
If colleagues feel welcomed, supported and empowered to contribute meaningfully to a worthwhile undertaking, engagement and achievement will naturally follow. Where it all starts for CNA is with purpose - what we do matters and makes a difference in the lives of our clients and business partners. This is what drives us to embrace a diversity of talents and perspectives, all of which are necessary to fulfill our mission.