Lavender Community Pride Award for Corporation: Ameriprise Financial
Organizational Involvement: HRC Sponsor, Proud to Work MN Career Fair, LGBT Great, PRIDE Business Resource Network
Consistently scoring at the top of the Human Rights Campaign’s list of best places to work, Ameriprise has had a holistic diversity, equity, and inclusion strategy for many years. The strategy focuses on key areas like commitment to training for employees, development for underrepresented talent, a focus on recruiting diverse talent, and a commitment to being engaged in the community.
To support recruiting initiatives, the organization participates in career fairs supporting the LGBTQ+ community: Proud to Work MN Career Fair (put on by the city of Minneapolis) and LGBT Great, a global effort to develop LGBT diversity and inclusion within the investment and savings industry.
In addition to sponsoring Human Rights Campaign events and other organizations at a national level, Ameriprise also has the PRIDE network, which serves as an internal business resource network for Ameriprise’s LGBTQ employees.
“I would say that our PRIDE network has been one of our strongest networks with chapters in Minneapolis, Houston, and Las Vegas,” says Rudy Rodriguez, the Vice President, Diversity & Inclusion for Ameriprise. “With the pandemic and the social unrest in the past year, they’ve really come together to support and work together as one bigger PRIDE network versus individual chapters.”
As a unified PRIDE network, events open to all employees slated for this year include a historical education-focused session on the Stonewall riots and how to be an ally.
“There continues to be strong engagement from our leaders and employees about what they can do to be involved, and we have seen an increase in the number of people getting engaged in our networks or volunteering to mentor someone,” Rodriguez says. “All of our networks have executive sponsors. Karen Wilson Thissen, who’s our general counsel, is the executive sponsor of PRIDE. She meets with the PRIDE network regularly, provides them with coaching, and is just very accessible. An important part of being a part of a business resource network is access to leaders, and Karen’s been a great role model for the firm and she’s been a huge advocate for PRIDE and a great ally.”
Rodriguez says that even though Ameriprise has always had a diversity, equity, and inclusion strategy, the events of the past year have forced society and organizations to have more honest conversations around diversity.
“One interesting thing to come out of the last year is a greater support amongst different dimensions of diversity and a focus on intersectionality,” he says. “More robust and richer and more candid conversations, but then more discussions on intersectionality as well, and just greater support of different dimensions of diversity.”