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The term “equity” refers to fairness and justice and is distinguished from equality: Whereas equality means providing the same to all, equity means recognizing that we do not all start from the same place and must acknowledge and make adjustments to imbalances. The process is ongoing, requiring us to identify and overcome intentional and unintentional barriers arising from bias or systemic structures.

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Liberty Mutual’s Centralized DEI Team Provides Alignment, Clarity, and Operating Rhythm

January 23, 2023 | By Kevin Gray

A group of coworkers in a meeting.

TAGS: best practices, candidate selection, diversity and inclusion, nace insights, operations, recruiting methods, talent acquisition,

Although Liberty Mutual has been focused on diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) since its global DEI officer joined the company in 2013, in 2020, it developed a multi-year action plan to further advance DEI within the company. As part of that plan, Liberty Mutual has goals to increase representation of women and people of color at all levels in the United States by 2025.

“The data we’ve gathered since that time has helped us expand and continuously improve our strategy and outcomes,” says Maura Quinn, VP, early career, DEI, and talent acquisition programs.

“Increasing representation means improving retention, advancing employees, and strengthening our pipeline. While these goals are focused on increasing representation of people of color and women, we also recognize that gender and race are not the only dimensions of diversity people identify with.Our overarching vision is to have even greater equity and opportunities for all people to thrive here at Liberty Mutual.”

Liberty Mutual now has a fully centralized DEI Program Team to provide alignment, clarity, and a consistent operating rhythm across talent acquisition.

“This means we can strategically source and build pipelines of talent that are ready now or in the future, from programs and partnerships,” Quinn points out.

“Along with our global brand and communications team and our Office of DEI, we have a centralized decision-making team that prioritizes which sponsorships to support, driven by measures and outcomes.”

Having a centralized team allows the DEI Program to prioritize, track, and produce metrics across its portfolio of work.

“This provides us with data sets that allow us to understand where our gaps are in the organization and what sources of talent we need to target to help close those gaps,” Quinn says.

“Our goal is to maximize impact to create lasting, sustainable returns across our portfolio of programs and partnerships.”

Quinn reports that there was a lot of work to support hiring people of color, military, women, and people with disabilities that was included in the business case to increase funding and staffing for this initiative.

“We highlighted the need to go from a reactive state to fully proactive model and we used data from our early talent population and what we learned over the last three years to make similar changes and improvements that would support similar outcomes for experienced talent,” she notes.

Specific roles within early talent expanded to include program specialists and managers focused on executing Liberty Mutual Discovery Programs, aligned relationship managers for HBCUs and HSIs, and program managers leading M.B.A. partnerships with Consortium and Forte.

“These individuals work to build relationships and create authentic experiences for early career professionals to get exposure to Liberty Mutual, our culture, our opportunities, and professional support,” Quinn explains.

The DEI Program Team educated employees on the expanded programs and partnerships by leveraging internal communication channels, and the team communicated directly to its talent advisers, hiring managers, and seven employee resource groups (ERGs). The broad support of the program throughout Liberty Mutual has revved up momentum.

“We have a lot of support across the organization—from senior leadership to thousands of ERG members to hiring managers who want to be involved in our work,” Quinn says.

“It’s the combination of our goals, seeing success, and growing the team that has kept us moving forward. There are a lot of passionate employees who are committed to our goals, and when we can measure progress toward those goals, it allows us to continue to grow our team and these sources of talent.”

For other organizations looking to hire more underrepresented talent, Quinn suggests taking a very targeted approach to the sources of talent they try to attract, engage, and hire.

“This extends far beyond a traditional target school list and includes pre-college engagement, early talent identification, national partnerships, coding schools and bootcamps, apprenticeship programs, and our own Liberty Mutual Discovery Programs,” she explains.

“At Liberty Mutual, we’re focused on meeting new and existing talent where they are—whether that is through a remote or hybrid role, a flexible schedule, benefits that provide greater work-life balance, or professional opportunities to keep them engaged and fulfilled. Our organizational culture is centered around putting our people first, building a variety of programs to help employees to feel a sense of purpose, and belonging in everything they do.”