Black History Month – TIAA’s legacy and ongoing commitment

Originally posted on LinkedIn by Corie Pauling, TIAA’s Champion of Inclusion, Diversity, Analytics & Corporate Social Responsibility

We are proud to celebrate Black History Month and all of the achievements of African Americans and their central role in U.S. history. At TIAA, we also have a rich history of African American leaders and we were truly at the forefront of inclusion and diversity with the appointment of the first female board member in the 1940’s, the first African American board member in the 1950’s, and then, in 1987, the appointment of Cliff Wharton, Jr. as CEO of TIAA; making him one of the first African Americans to lead a Fortune 500 company. We’re continuing this legacy today with one of the most diverse leadership teams in financial services.

This heritage is carried forward through an ongoing commitment to attract, retain and develop a diverse workforce. Internally for associates, we celebrate Black History Month in partnership with Empower, our Black Professionals Business Resource Group, through a national event for all associates to create awareness and drive authentic dialogue about how we can all support inclusion and diversity at TIAA. But, it’s about creating a commitment that goes well beyond a specific heritage month and is embedded into the day to day of a company culture and within our interactions with the communities where we work and live. For our own associates, we’re continually challenging the status quo, creating new venues to have important and timely conversations and empowering our leaders to demonstrate meaningfully our values of inclusion every day.

Our work with HBCUs is a great example of how we’re working to impact the broader community. Our leaders frequently visit colleges and universities and speak with students and administrators while on campus. TIAA has also created what we call the TIAA HBCU Early Career Insights program with the goal of sharing best practices and innovative strategies to help position HBCUs and their students for future success. HBCUs play a key role in American higher education – we believe that it’s essential that they continue to thrive for the benefit of generations to come, and we are both committed and proud to collaborate with HBCUs toward that goal.

To hear directly from our President & CEO Roger Ferguson, Jr. on a recent episode of The Breakfast Club, click here.

To learn more about Cliff Wharton, Jr., TIAA’s CEO in 1987, legacy as one of the first African American CEO’s in the Fortune 500, click here.

To learn more about TIAA’s HBCU Early Career Insights program, click here.

We understand that a culture of inclusion and diversity drives innovation and enables us to better understand and serve the unique needs of our clients worldwide.


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