John strangfeld

Chair­man and CEO, Pru­den­tial Fi­nan­cial, Inc.

Forbes - - PROMOTION -

Skip Spriggs: Pru­den­tial is known for its pro­gres­sive cul­ture. How would you de­scribe your per­sonal path to ap­pre­ci­at­ing the full value of in­clu­sion and di­ver­sity? and how would you de­scribe where Pru­den­tial is now?

John Strangfeld:

I’ve dis­cov­ered that suc­cess ra­di­ates from the qual­ity and di­ver­sity of the peo­ple on your team. Highly suc­cess­ful com­pa­nies, such as Pru­den­tial, un­der­stand the im­por­tance of di­verse in­clu­sive teams. It’s re­flected in their cul­ture and lead­er­ship ac­count­abil­i­ties.

SS: What are some of the things you credit with cre­at­ing Pru­den­tial’s in­clu­sive en­vi­ron­ment?

JS:

Two-thirds of our Board of Di­rec­tors are di­verse, which is very in­ten­tional. It sets a tone and ex­pec­ta­tion that re­flects our be­liefs about in­clu­sion.

We also made our com­mit­ment to di­ver­sity and in­clu­sion very clear in our 2018 proxy. The com­pen­sa­tion of our most se­nior ex­ec­u­tives is sub­ject to a per­for­mance tar­get in­tended to im­prove our di­ver­sity in se­nior man­age­ment over the next two years. We hope to lead by ex­am­ple whereby suc­cess­ful Pru­den­tial pro­grams can be tai­lored and repli­cated by other com­pa­nies.

Ad­di­tion­ally, “Cul­ture Jam,” an on­line in­ter­ac­tive con­ver­sa­tion, was held this sum­mer. Em­ploy­ees par­tic­i­pated in a series of chats, polls and dis­cus­sion groups span­ning three con­sec­u­tive days. I en­joyed par­tic­i­pat­ing along with thou­sands of other em­ploy­ees from around the coun­try. While their in­sights showed Pru­den­tial is work­ing from a po­si­tion of strength, op­por­tu­ni­ties were iden­ti­fied for en­rich­ing our cul­ture and mak­ing it even more in­clu­sive.

SS: Fi­nan­cial ser­vices has been un­der­rep­re­sented in both hir­ing and cus­tomer base for many pop­u­la­tion cat­e­gories. What is your think­ing about that?

JS:

That must change. Our suc­cess in do­ing so will en­hance our abil­ity to at­tract and re­tain promis­ing tal­ent and a broader base of cus­tomers. Fi­nan­cial ser­vices is not a num­bers busi­ness but a peo­ple busi­ness. Peo­ple have choices con­cern­ing who they work for and who they do busi­ness with. We can’t take our eye off that ball. Sus­tain­ing the qual­ity and di­ver­sity of our teams over time is re­ward­ing — fi­nan­cially for the com­pany, and per­son­ally for em­ploy­ees.

“the fi­nan­cial ser­vices in­dus­try needs tal­ented peo­ple from all walks of life. Chang­ing mar­kets, de­mo­graph­ics and tech­nolo­gies all of­fer phe­nom­e­nal op­por­tu­ni­ties for peo­ple who see those changes as ex­cit­ing, not threat­en­ing.”

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