Embracing diversity and inclusion is critical to fulfilling our purpose of Protecting the Greater Good® and elevating the human condition. We act with honor to ensure all employees, customers and partners feel welcomed, valued and respected.
Each individual’s differences, life experiences, knowledge, inventiveness, innovation, self-expression, unique capabilities and talent contribute significantly to our culture, reputation, success and ability to serve our diverse and unique policyholders.
Church Mutual’s® Protecting the Greater Good scholarship program offers scholarships to students at 12 Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) in the Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association (CIAA). Our chief marketing officer and chief diversity officer personally attended the 2022 CIAA Men’s & Women Basketball Tournament to award the 24 scholarships. The number of HBCUs insured by Church Mutual increased by 63.4% from 11 in 2021 to 18 in 2022.
For the 2022 scholarship cycle, we expanded the Church Mutual IT Scholars program to include Milwaukee-area Lakeland University, which opens the program to more diverse candidates. The program provides college tuition to students pursuing a career in information technology and guarantees employment with Church Mutual after graduation.
Throughout 2022, Church Mutual partnered with the Duke Divinity School Office of Black Church Studies in hosting a series of webinars to help faith leaders on a variety of topics, from mental health to financial well-being.
We initiated the CM Gallery Scholarship program in Milwaukee. Through this program, we lease or purchase artwork for our Milwaukee office from a diverse pool of college and high school artists.
Church Mutual hit a major milestone on our disability inclusion journey with the results of our 2022 Disability Equity Index (DEI) assessment. The results give us a solid benchmark of where we are and what steps we can take to move forward. Church Mutual is committed to being designated as a Best Place to Work for People with Disabilities. CEO Rich Poirier signed the CEO Letter on Disability Inclusion in May 2022, carrying the commitment to complete the DEI through Disability:IN. Church Mutual also participated in the Disability:IN Corporate Internship Showcase. Diversity and Inclusion Director Alexandra Oles represented Church Mutual at the Disability:IN Inclusion Works Winter 2022 bi-annual meeting, serving as a panelist.
Furthering our commitment to disability inclusion, Church Mutual is a proud sponsor of Paralympic alpine skier Andrew Kurka, whose indomitable spirit and dedication to helping others align with our own values. In 2022, we also sponsored Paralympic track athlete Breanna Clark, who won gold at the Tokyo Summer Paralympics and was named Paralympian of the Year by the Los Angeles Sports Council.
We are members or actively engaged with key industry organizations focused on diverse insurance talent such as National African American Insurance Association, Organization of Latino Actuaries, Chinese American Insurance Association and Korean American Insurance & Finance Association. We also strive to work with groups aimed at increasing diverse talent and enhancing inclusion in the insurance industry. Some key examples of this include our participation on the Big I’s Diversity Council and the American Property Casualty Insurance Association (APCIA) DEI Leaders Group as well as the APCIA's Board Working Group on Social Equity and Inclusion.
We partner with a premier leader in supplier diversity data to help us identify certified diverse vendors. We measure tier one spending and report that data to our board. We also have aspirational corporate goals and a goal to increase spend year over year. Our 2022 overall spend with diverse vendors was 6%, which aligns with industry best practices.
We have developed internal initiatives to help build cultural competency among our employees. Our Dialogue in Diversity series provides opportunities for employees to learn from the country’s leading experts on various dimensions of diversity. Sessions have explored elements of diversity including Muslim culture, Hinduism, Hispanic culture, Hmong culture, the contributions of African Americans and women to our country, the American Civil Rights movement, generational diversity and neurodiversity.
A continuing series of Courageous Conversations with employees are intended to increase awareness and cultivate trust and understanding. Courageous Conversations have covered such topics as race, privilege and disability inclusion. All people leaders are equipped with a full toolkit to lead these important discussions with their teams.
We successfully launched and executed a self-ID campaign to learn more about our disability and veteran workforce. The data gathered is helping Church Mutual better understand our employee makeup and ensure we are continuously enhancing our workplace policies, practices and resources.
We strive to be a strong advocate for diversity and inclusion beyond our own walls. We are always looking for opportunities to partner, sponsor or otherwise help advance diversity and inclusion in the communities where we live and work.
Church Mutual is the founding sponsor of Toward One Wisconsin, a groundbreaking statewide learning event that supports building communities of equity, diversity and inclusion. In 2022, we continued our support of the annual conference that features discussions with many of the nation’s foremost experts on social issues. Church Mutual CEO Rich Poirier proudly serves as a co-chair of the event.
When Church Mutual opened an office in Milwaukee in 2022, we launched the multi-year Inspire Milwaukee initiative to demonstrate our commitment to the greater Milwaukee community, its residents and stakeholder organizations. Inspire Milwaukee is designed to make a meaningful impact through employee volunteerism coupled with corporate contributions and sponsorships.
Church Mutual funded research by the Wisconsin Institute for Public Policy and Service (WIPPS) to gather baseline data on diversity, equity and inclusion in the company’s home area of Central Wisconsin. The data will inform area-wide DEI initiatives.
CM CARES®, the Church Mutual Insurance Company Foundation, partnered with Marquette University’s Civic Dialogue program, an ongoing initiative that combines classroom instruction with events that encourage respectful discourse. 2022 events included a thought-provoking webinar, “Finding Common Ground through Civil Conversation and Honest Dialogue.”
Our efforts to promote diversity and inclusion among our customers, business partners and communities have been recognized in a number of ways. Bruce Carter, Church Mutual assistant vice president – Diversity and Inclusion, was recognized with the Premier Diversity Officer Award from the National Diversity Council. The US Pan Asian American Chamber of Commerce (USPAACC) Southwest chapter also awarded Carter the Distinguished Diversity & Inclusion Champion Award.
The APCIA selected Church Mutual for the 2022 Social Equity and Community Empowerment Property and Casualty award. The award honors companies and individuals who are leading efforts to advance diversity and inclusion in the insurance industry.