Diverse working people

Three fourths of a circle.Circle opens on bottom right for text. Commitment to Diversity and Inclusion

Building an inspiring, inclusive culture

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We're building an inspiring, inclusive culture where everyone can bring their best self to the workplace and realize their individual potential. We are driving to a time when leaders embrace diversity as a business advantage and individuals feel highly valued and actively engaged. Our inclusive approach to delivering financial security helps place and keep us at the center of our clients' financial lives.

We've developed a comprehensive diversity and inclusion strategy that enables us to harness the talent of our employees to do the best for our clients and adhere to Northwestern Mutual core values.

Northwestern Mutual's ability to succeed as a financial industry leader hinges on a key element: bringing out the best in our people. And that takes a culture of inclusion and respect – a culture that applies the collective ideas, opinions and creativity of our diverse workforce to deliver the innovations and solutions our clients need to feel financially secure. It's good for our employees, our field force, our clients, and our communities. Our journey will take us to a time when a diverse culture of inclusion and respect is just our regular way of going about the day. It will move us into a workplace where each person's unique talents and skills are welcomed. Where fresh ideas and distinct perspectives are appreciated as a better way to meet goals. And where diversity helps place and keep us at the center of our clients' financial lives.

Some highlights include:

Developing Leaders

  • Over 700 leaders have completed Diversity and Inclusion immersion experiences that help develop their Diversity and Inclusion role model skills and become better leaders and allies.
  • We launched Diversity and Inclusion education to all home office employees through an engaging online education experience.

Enabling Employees and Representatives

  • We have a coaching program for diverse financial representatives and field leaders to better develop and retain talent.
  • We continue to mature our integrated corporate internship program, and maintain strong relationships with several HBCUs for a talent pipeline.
  • We developed function and department Diversity and Inclusion dashboards to assess progress and engage in action-focused talent conversations with senior leaders.


  • Association of Employee Resource Groups (ERGs) & Councils 2017 awards:
    • Honors Award for the Northwestern Mutual African American ERG (one of the Top 25 U.S. ERGs)
    • Spotlight Award for the Northwestern Mutual Military Veterans ERG
  • From 2015 to 2017, we've received a perfect score of 100 for "Best Place to Work for LGBT Equality" by Human Rights Campaign's Corporate Equality Index Survey
  • Black Enterprise Magazine's 2016 Best Companies for Diversity
  • USO Wisconsin 2016 Veteran Friendly Workplace Award
  • 2016 Patriot Award from the Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve (ESGR), an agency of the Department of Defense

Committing to Supplier Diversity

  • Our Supplier Diversity program was created to develop mutually beneficial relationships with historically underrepresented businesses in order to strengthen our overall supply base, provide the best value to our clients, represent Northwestern Mutual core values, and create lasting impacts in our communities.
  • We made a commitment to the city of Milwaukee to contract with small business enterprises (including minority-owned, women-owned, physically disabled-owned, military veteran-owned) for at least 25% of the work on our The Tower and Commons structure. The most recently released quarterly report (Dec. 31, 2016) shows that we are at 32.1%. For Milwaukee residents, our commitment was 40% of the hours worked, and we are at 45.1%.
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Our Commitment

These efforts will help us: reflect the communities and clients we serve; develop strong leaders who bring out the best in others; maximize the engagement of our field and home office workforces; expand our brand awareness to new markets; and attract, develop and retain top talent. We will continue to advance our diversity and inclusion efforts as we believe that every person deserves the strength that comes from Financial Security.

Employee Resource Groups (ERGs)

We promote voluntary, employee-led groups formed to connect traditionally underrepresented team members and supportive allies who share a common ethnicity, gender, nationality, lifestyle, disability, or sexual orientation. They are a valuable resource to help company leaders and employees develop and enhance a diverse and inclusive mindset and workplace, as well as develop and apply best practices regarding diversity and inclusion. ERGs also advance the company's business goals, enhance members' individual development by providing opportunities for personal and professional enrichment, and increase D&I awareness throughout the community.

Some Groups Include:

  • African-American
  • Asian
  • disABILITY Alliance
  • Hispanic
  • Military Veterans
  • Women