Diversity and Inclusion

Introduction to Diversity and Inclusion

We believe in putting people first. Doing the right thing. Creating a culture of respect. These are the principles our company was founded on, and what we've been committed to since day one.

We know that the best client service and financial industry leadership starts with our people-building a diverse team and an inspiring, inclusive workplace where everyone can be, and do, their best every day. The people we need should represent the great diversity of our communities, including people of all abilities and anything else that makes us unique as individuals. The collective ideas, opinions, and creativity of a diverse workforce is necessary to deliver the innovative financial solutions our clients need.

But we can't stop there. We're dedicated to supporting and promoting diversity not just within our company, but within our communities and the businesses and suppliers we partner with.

Download our report

Creating a culture of respect

We want people to feel valued and respected for who they are and what they bring to the table. We can't be successful unless our people are, which is why we cannot, and will not, tolerate racism, prejudice, or discrimination in any form.

We're committed to taking meaningful action that makes a lasting impact. Here are some of the ways we're building our culture:

Learning sessions and coaching programs

Our employees and advisors participate in sessions on active allyship, inclusive culture, development and retention of diverse leaders. We also have a team dedicated to one-on-one and group diversity coaching for employees in leadership roles.

Diversity and Inclusion (D&I) councils

Over 15 groups representing employees and advisors across our company give input and insight into recruitment and retention, education, and community engagement to help us make an even bigger impact.

Employee-led involvement

Our award-winning Employee Resource Groups (ERGs) help us create a more diverse and inclusive mindset and workplace from the ground up. They also offer opportunities for professional and personal growth. These voluntary groups have formed among commonalities of ethnicity/race, ability, gender, nationality, generation, military/veteran status, gender identity, and sexual orientation and include:

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

Supporting our communities

We're committed to supporting and advancing inclusivity in the communities we serve. Not only because it's the right thing to do, but because it's the promise we made to our people and our clients.

Sustained Action for Racial Equity Task Force

At Northwestern Mutual, our mission is to free Americans from financial anxiety. We know that wealth is not distributed evenly, and while gains in education and earnings have been made within the Black community, a significant racial wealth gap remains. We have been actively working with our local communities for decades, and in 2020 we doubled down on our efforts and formed the Sustained Action for Racial Equity Task Force (SARE), chaired by our Chairman, President and CEO John Schlifske.

As part of SARE, we are proud to support Black business, a key driver in advancing economic empowerment. Two of our programs are:

Northwestern Mutual Black Founder Accelerator®

Working with Black entrepreneurs, we provide a $100,000 investment, 12 weeks of coaching, and a one-on-one Northwestern Mutual mentor.

Find out more

Northwestern Mutual MKE Black Business Expansion Fund

We're helping established, Black-owned small businesses in Milwaukee or who serve Milwaukee, expand their operations by providing access to capital through loans.

Find out more

Download loan application

$26M invested in under-served neighborhoods

For nearly 30 years, the mission of the Northwestern Mutual Foundation has been to improve the lives of children and families in need through financial support and volunteerism to build stronger communities. We've invested $26M to help under-served neighborhoods with housing support, access to youth and family resources, food programs and more.

$20M invested in startup companies founded by women

Female-founded startups receive less than 3% of the approximately $80 billion in venture capital every year. Northwestern Mutual Future Ventures is dedicated to changing that, investing $20 million of its funding in tech startups founded by women.

$6M in grants for nonprofits nationwide

Every year, we recognize advisors who are making a difference in communities across the country through our Community Service Awards, awarding grants to nonprofits on their behalf.

$1.6M to strengthen education and career opportunities

Our Foundation, in partnership with our Diversity and Inclusion team, has partnered with All-In Milwaukee, a college completion and career placement program strengthening education and career opportunities among talented yet underrepresented youth. The Northwestern Mutual gift of $1.6 million over four years provides scholarships and internship, mentorship, and career opportunities to high-performing students.

Committing to supplier diversity

Our Supplier Diversity program helps us build relationships with underrepresented businesses while benefitting the company and the community—strengthening our supply base, providing the best value to our clients, and creating lasting impact in the places we live and work.

When building the Northwestern Mutual Tower and Commons, we made a commitment to our hometown of Milwaukee to contract with small business enterprises (SBEs), including minority-owned, women-owned, physically disabled-owned, and military veteran-owned, awarding 31.4% of contracts to diverse suppliers.

We're also dedicated to helping unemployed and underemployed Milwaukeeans learn sustainable construction skills. Partnering with the Wisconsin Regional Training Program, 43.5% of construction hours (795,882) were contributed by these skilled workers.

How we've been recognized

Best Place to Work for LGBTQ+ Equality

Perfect Score, Human Rights Campaign Corporate Equality Index

Patriot Award

Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve

Best Place to Work for Disability Inclusion

Perfect Score of 100, Disability Equality Index

Association of ERGs & Councils, Top 25 ERGs

Forbes' Best Employers for Diversity50 Best Companies for Diversity

  • Black Enterprise Magazine
  • Best Companies for Dads, Seramount
  • Gold Designation Military Friendly Employer, Viqtory
  • Top 50 Companies for Multicultural Women, Seramount
  • CEO of the Year, John Schlifske, National Diversity Council

Equal Opportunity Employment

Northwestern Mutual is an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer who welcomes and encourages diversity in the workforce. We are committed to creating and maintaining an environment in which each employee can contribute creative ideas, seek challenges, assume leadership, and continue to focus on meeting and exceeding business and personal objectives.

The company prohibits discrimination based upon an individual's race, color, religion, creed, age, sex, disability, national origin, ancestry, ethnicity, sexual orientation, gender identity/expression, marital status, citizenship status or veteran status or any other characteristics protected by law.

Explore careers