August 25, 2020 | Paul Yanosy, General Counsel, Hi Marley

What Companies and Individuals Can Do to Be More Inclusive

Hi Marley has been hosting virtual “Fireside Chats” with customers, partners and other industry-related colleagues to teach and inspire our employees and to bring our team together during the pandemic.

We recently had the pleasure of spending time with Darla Finchum, President of MetLife Auto & Home® companies. In Darla’s conversation with Mike Greene she shared her leadership experiences and tenets, as well as her thoughts on diversity and inclusion.

Darla has an undeniable passion for inclusion and has made it part of her role as a leader at MetLife. Given everything taking place in our world today and the positive attention on diversity and inclusion, we couldn’t keep Darla’s inspiring takeaways all to ourselves. Here’s some of her guidance on what companies and individuals can do today (especially during a pandemic) to be more inclusive.

  1. Stay curious as a company as well as individually. Ask questions often, reach out to colleagues to learn about their experiences and build new relationships. Don’t be afraid to look at how things are done to see if there might be new ways and solutions to explore.

  2. Pull input. Part of that curiosity is seeking thoughts from others who may not always speak up. Ask them what they think. Pull them in. It doesn’t matter if they’re new, green, not an expert on the topic – listening to diverse voices is how we all learn. Also, inviting them into the conversation will help build their confidence.

  3. Be interested in the ambitions of others. If you know someone dreams of becoming an astronaut, you can help them along their way to accomplish that dream. And – you can also help them if the astronaut job doesn’t pan out.

  4. Hone in on your own aspirations. If we can’t articulate what we want, it’s hard for others to help us. Think about your own dreams and goals and feel confident sharing them with others.

  5. Gather trusted advisors. There’s wisdom in those who have gone before. Find two or three people you really trust, respect and admire. Go to them with your thoughts, questions, ideas and aspirations. We all need people we trust and look up to throughout our careers.

  6. Pay it forward. You may not see yourself as a mentor – but you are. Look for opportunities to support and guide others– and be the person you wish you had known when you were at their career stage.

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