Building an inspiring, inclusive culture

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.

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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

  • More than 1,000 leaders have completed immersion experiences that help develop their diversity & inclusion role model skills and become better leaders and allies.
  • Hundreds of employees and financial representatives take part in a variety of diversity & inclusion educational experiences.

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.


  • Forbes' Best Employers for Diversity (Ranked #33 of 500 companies in 2019; Ranked #71 of 250 companies in 2018)
  • Best Place to Work for Disability Inclusion (90% Score, Disability Equality Index, 2018)
  • 50 Best Companies for Diversity (Black Enterprise Magazine, 2018)
  • Top Companies for Women Technologists (, 2017)
  • Best Place to Work for LGBT Equality (Perfect Score, Human Rights Campaign Corporate Equality Index, 2015 – 2019)
  • Patriot Award (Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve, 2017 and 2019)
  • Veteran Friendly Workplace Award (USO Wisconsin, 2018)
  • Association of ERGs & Council, Top 25 ERGs (African American ERG 2017, Military Vets ERG-Spotlight Impact Award 2017, Women’s ERG 2019, Asian ERG 2019)

Committing to supplier diversity

  • Our Supplier Diversity initiative develops 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 (SBEs, including minority-owned, women-owned, physically disabled-owned, military veteran-owned) for at least 25% of the work on The Northwestern Mutual Tower and Commons. We exceeded our commitments and set the pace for other local organizations to engage SBEs. At the end of the project in 2017, SBEs were awarded 31.4% of applicable contracts. For Milwaukee residents, our commitment was 40% of the hours worked, and our final number was 43.5%.
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