Chairman and CEO, Prudential Financial, Inc.
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?
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?
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?
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.”