New York Life announced today the appointment of VP Joanne Rodgers as Chief Diversity Officer, responsible for overseeing all aspects of New York Life’s diversity program.

“New York Life takes our commitment to diversity very seriously, both because it is the right thing to do and because it makes us better at our business,” said Barry Schub, senior vice president and chief human resources officer at New York Life. “Diversity is at the core of the company’s strategy and helps define the kind of company we are and aspire to be.”

The carrier points to its increasing diversity of the company’s agents has helping it achieve continued sales growth and the number-one market share position in new life insurance premium. Women and cultural market agents made up 57 percent of the company’s new hires in the field in 2011.

Rodgers has worked with New York Life’s cultural and women’s markets in various capacities during her 18-year New York Life career, and headed the carrier’s Women’s Leadership Program (WLP), an employee resource group that develops programs to strengthen leadership skills and maximize career opportunities for women at the company. Most recently, she was involved with strategic planning to increase the company’s presence in the women’s and Hispanic markets, both top priorities for New York Life.

In addition to overseeing the WLP and six additional employee resource groups, Rodgers’ responsibilities will include the development and execution of the company's corporate diversity strategy. To that end, she will manage the coordination of diversity activities and events with a particular emphasis on talent recruitment, development and retention; and internal and external communications on diversity. Rodgers will also work closely with New York Life’s department managers and employee resource groups to make sure that the company’s diversity initiatives are aligned with its business strategies and goals.

She reports to First VP and Chief Talent Officer Hy Pomerance.

“Joanne’s understanding of the company, its people and its culture will be invaluable as we continue to define and foster a corporate culture that values diversity of talent, ideas, values and backgrounds across all parts of the company.”


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