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Inclusion is every employee’s job says MetLifes Elizabeth Nieto

Inclusion is every employee’s job says MetLife's Elizabeth Nieto

Global Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer at MetLife, Elizabeth Nieto believes that inclusion is most certainly every employee’s job.

“When I walk into a place, people may just think of me as a woman, as a Latina, as someone of ‘X’ age, (notice I said ‘X’ age!),” laughs Elizabeth Nieto, “But for me, what really defines me and my purpose is being a working mother, and being a role model to other women.”

In the workplace, the way we define ourselves may be different than what other people perceive. Elizabeth Nieto believes in the importance of being able to bring one's whole self to work each day, and how MetLife is working to sustain their Diversity and Inclusion impact through a time of transformation for their global company - and in an ever-changing world.

MetLife defines diversity and inclusion in a progressive way

"Diversity is about the differences and similarities that affect you as an individual, as a consumer, as a shareholder and as an employee. Inclusion is an action - it is the commitment to ensure that everyone, as they walk into our offices, is valued, respected and truly recognized for their individuality," explains Elizabeth Nieto, who was named a Notable Woman in Finance by Crain’s New York Business Custom Studio. 

"As I mentioned before, there are many aspects of me, so it’s important to talk about each of us having an intersectionality of differences - you’re not just a woman, you’re not just a mother, you’re not just one ethnicity, or age, or ability - you are a confluence of each of them. And if you create an environment where each of those is being respected, that’s what really makes a [company] culture that is inclusive."

Diversity and inclusion is important to MetLife, and many global companies

For MetLife, there are two reasons why diversity and inclusion are so important. Talent is one, and the other is commercial opportunities. MetLife knows that to better understand their customers, it’s easier to have people that represent those voices internally. Talent comes in all different sizes and shapes, and if you only select from one pool, you’re really diminishing the possibility of finding the best talent.

Research shows that organizations or teams that are diverse are more productive and innovative - they are better at solving problems than a more homogeneous team. MetLife asks themselves: “Are different people being included in the decision making process? Are we listening to those that are different from the majority as we come up with new ideas?” Those teams that are diverse are really working in a culture of inclusion and they can speak up, and everyone has a say.

MetLife has a clear strategy and mission to accomplish via diversity and inclusion 

MetLife has lots of initiatives year round that are dedicated to Cultural Fluency, development of women, people with disabilities, veterans, LGTBQ and families. MetLife wants to create an environment where people want to navigate their careers with them. They're providing the conditions to help make that happen - and they are actively addressing the idea of, “what makes this a place where great talent wants to come, work and thrive?”

In partnership with business leaders and the HR community, the Diversity and Inclusion team ensures that MetLife has policies, processes and practices in place so the best talent, no matter their gender identification, their ethnic background or sexual orientation, want to join the company and contribute to their success. And it’s not just leaders who are responsible for being inclusive - every employee’s role is to behave inclusively.

Undoubtedly, inclusion is everybody’s job

If you feel included, if you feel you belong to the company, or you have that alignment to the company’s values, you’ll want to work harder. If you work in a place that doesn’t really care about you, well, you do the 9-5 and walk out saying, “I don’t really care.”

Diversity and inclusion goals can also make a significant impact outside MetLife

Even if you never leave your country, when you come to one of MetLife's offices, diversity is there. As a global company that attracts talent with very different backgrounds and experiences, MetLife needs to create environments where people can bring all their differences to work. Now more than ever, corporations have the opportunity and the responsibility to support their employees, and help them thrive at work.

Find out how you can bring your whole self to MetLife

Looking for an exciting and challenging career with a prime employer for women? Search and apply for a wide range of career options with MetLife today.

  

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