|CEO Message |
The financial industry stands in a unique position to advance solutions that lift up communities, families and individuals by providing access to financial security to the communities we serve. To accomplish this, OneAmerica embraces a strategy of intentional relationship building, one that encourages us to meet people where they are with empathy, understanding and compassion.
Through an integrated approach that touches our industry, community and associates, we commit ourselves to being changemakers within our shared world. When we do the right things — professionally, personally, and in the ways we position our industry — we can become a positive and powerful force through the relationships that we are nurturing.
As an example, consider our collaboration with the American Council of Life Insurers (ACLI), which has reinforced our mutual objective of advancing economic empowerment and racial equity.
Through the ACLI’s Economic Empowerment and Racial Equity Initiative, the council is enacting a plan to bridge racial and socioeconomic divides across the country to achieve greater economic empowerment in financially underserved communities.
OneAmerica is proud to be part of this work, which is being accomplished through company action, meaningful relationships and legislative and regulatory initiatives. Our close relationship with the ACLI was further cemented last year when CEO Scott Davison was elected ACLI Chair for 2022. As he steps into this important role, we look forward to finding even more ways to help all Americans access the tools that they need for financial security for a brighter future.
One of those tools is a sound financial education. That’s why we also actively participate in The American College’s Four Steps Forward program to promote upward mobility and wealth building for Black America. We also acted on opportunities to take those commitments even further.
In collaboration with The American College, we worked to create a framework for accessible, inclusive financial education for all who want to improve their understanding of money and personal finance.
As George Nichols III, president of The American College of Financial Services, said in a webcast, “We want to find the right organizations that help communities cultivate trust, feel good about the information they’re getting and act on it, and then to have the kind of commitment they’re getting from OneAmerica that says, ‘Not only are we delivering that for you, we’re working with you to help you move along in your journey.’”
Ultimately, our shared work is designed to help narrow the wealth gap in segments of our communities that have traditionally been overlooked by the industry. We believe that when people have access to these foundational insights from institutions they trust, they can establish the building blocks for intergenerational wealth.
This year, we also looked inward to create a model of intentionality and listening that elevates the diverse voices of our customers, business partners and associates. This includes unconscious bias experiential learning that helps associates understand biases and convert their learnings to advocacy and embodiment of our beliefs of building deeper, more lasting relationships with each other and those we serve.
We also hosted expert-led educational talks throughout 2021 to help associates gain new insights on topics pertaining to people with disabilities, the LGBTQIA+ community, women’s history, Black history, the Asian American and Pacific Islander communities and Hispanic heritage. Each discussion both enlightened and enlivened our commitment to expand our understanding of the differences that make us stronger as an organization for the benefit of each other and the people who place their trust in us.
“In order to truly understand our customers, we believe it is our honor and responsibility to meet them where they are,” said Tony Marichal, vice president of Call Centers. “Our responsibility is to understand the unique needs of the people we serve and show up in the way that matters to them.”
As we elevate the voices of associates, customers and business partners, and forge meaningful relationships with organizations committed to equity and inclusion, we continue our never-ending journey to walk alongside the people we serve and offer solutions that reflect everyone’s unique needs.