As part of its action plan to advance racial equity, Lincoln Financial Group (NYSE: LNC) today announced partnerships with The HistoryMakers and UNCF to further support Black communities through the preservation of African American historical records and creation of a future talent pipeline of high-achieving African American students.
The HistoryMakers, a one-of-a-kind collection housed permanently at the Library of Congress, provides unprecedented and irreplaceable physical and online records that educate on the struggles, determination, contributions and achievements of African American lives through unique first-person testimonies. As part of its $1-million contribution, Lincoln sponsored The HistoryMakers 20@2020: 20 Days and 20 Nights, a virtual convening of some of the nation’s top African American thought leadership, and will also provide its employees access to the digital archives to continue crucial conversations about race throughout the organization and further advance cultural understanding.
With an aspiration to increase minority workforce opportunities, Lincoln and UNCF will create a postsecondary program for UNCF scholars that provides internships, scholarship assistance and early-career readiness support to help prepare students for rewarding careers in the insurance and asset management industries. The program will serve as a strong talent pipeline for the industry, and Lincoln will successfully recruit students from this program into the company’s Internship Development Program and other potential early-career opportunities.
“We believe that working to advance racial equity is our responsibility as an organization,” said Dennis R. Glass, president and chief executive officer at Lincoln Financial. “Last year, we put our plans in place and immediately began taking action – thoughtful, strategic action that will set the foundation for long-term results. We are committed to driving change, we know we have more work to do, and we are accountable for it.”
Lincoln has organized its plans to support racial justice and equity around eight key action areas, and the following shares progress made in each focus area:
Implement sustainable and integrated practices to increase Black populations at Lincoln. In the last five months, Lincoln has added dedicated, diversity-focused recruiters and began broadening its reach and talent pipeline by elevating established partnerships with Historically Black Colleges and Universities and identifying new diverse channels and community partners.
Focus on retaining, developing and increasing minority leadership, growing minority representation at the officer level by 50% over the course of three years. This year, Lincoln is launching several new development practices, programs and events aimed at increasing and supporting minority leadership, starting with the inaugural Tidwell Leadership Summit in March. Named for late Lincoln National Corporation Board Member Isaiah Tidwell, an exceptional business leader and champion of diversity and inclusion, this internal event is modeled on Lincoln’s successful Women’s Leadership Summit, a two-day internal event where leaders convene to gain insights from each other as well as internal and external speakers.
Explore formally tying leadership compensation to company diversity and inclusion objectives, embedding and expanding an expectation to meet diversity objectives in all aspects of leaders’ behaviors. Lincoln has engaged with an outside consultant to help define this framework, which the company plans to implement this year.
Expand the Diversity & Inclusion function across Lincoln. This January, Lincoln welcomed Brandy Smith to the Diversity & Inclusion team as VP, Workplace Diversity and Counsel. Smith is working with Lincoln’s Chief Diversity Officer Allison Green Johnson to drive the implementation of enterprise-wide workplace diversity efforts. In addition to Smith’s role, the Diversity & Inclusion team will expand by 100% in the coming months.
Continue to grow Lincoln’s professional network of Black financial advisors and planners. The company launched an African American Financial Professionals Network and will host their kickoff meeting this spring, modeled on Lincoln’s successful WISE (Women Inspiring, Supporting and Educating) Network of financial advisors, an initiative designed to better support the needs of Lincoln’s female financial advisors and their clients. Building on the WISE Network’s model, the African American Financial Professionals Network will support advisor recruiting and development efforts and help define new strategies for supporting multicultural clients.
Continue conversations about race across the organization. In May 2020, Lincoln launched a crucial conversations series focused on discussing race in the workplace. These sessions have continued to thrive in forums large and small, with the support of a variety of tools and conversation resource guides the company has created for managers. Feedback from these conversations resulted in several direct actions including the company’s African American Business Resource Group establishing a mentor program among senior leaders and members.
Contribute $1-million to The HistoryMakers, the nation’s largest African American oral history video archive, over a period of time. With this important partnership, Lincoln is committed to helping combat racism and bias in today’s society by preserving the history of the Black experience and its relationship to American culture and progress. Lincoln sponsored The HistoryMakers 20@2020: 20 Days and 20 Nights virtual event and will also provide its employees access to digital archives to continue crucial conversations about race throughout the organization and further advance cultural understanding.
Leverage the Lincoln Financial Foundation and community partnerships to further support Black communities, by giving to nonprofits with demonstrated success in advancing Black communities, and by engaging with leading philanthropic membership organizations that focus on equity-based grantmaking, such as the Association of Black Foundation Executives (ABFE). Lincoln will partake in ABFE’s Responsive Philanthropy in Black Communities (RPBC) program, which is designed to promote effective and responsive philanthropy in Black communities and increase the capacity of all philanthropy to do their work more effectively. Additionally, Lincoln formed a partnership with UNCF to cultivate a talent pipeline of high-achieving Black students in its communities who can be successfully recruited into the company’s Internship Development Program and other potential early-career opportunities.
“Diversity, inclusion, belonging and equity are intrinsic to the special culture we have here at Lincoln. We’re proud of the work we have done, but we know we’re just getting started,” said Lisa M. Buckingham, chief people, place and brand officer. “We will continue to learn and grow on this journey together with all of our employees, our clients, partners and communities.”
Throughout 2021, Lincoln will share more information about each of its eight diversity action areas and progress made on its newsroom.
About Lincoln Financial Group
Lincoln Financial Group provides advice and solutions that help people take charge of their financial lives with confidence and optimism. Today, more than 17 million customers trust our retirement, insurance and wealth protection expertise to help address their lifestyle, savings and income goals, and guard against long-term care expenses. Headquartered in Radnor, Pennsylvania, Lincoln Financial Group is the marketing name for Lincoln National Corporation (NYSE:LNC) and its affiliates. The company had $303 billion in end-of-period account values as of December 31, 2020. Lincoln Financial Group is a committed corporate citizen included on major sustainability indices including the Dow Jones Sustainability Index North America and FTSE4Good. Dedicated to diversity and inclusion, we earned perfect 100 percent scores on the Corporate Equality Index and the Disability Equality Index, and rank among Forbes’ World’s Best Employers, Best Large Employers, Best Employers for Diversity, and Best Employers for Women, and Newsweek’s Most Responsible Companies. Learn more at: www.LincolnFinancial.com. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram. Sign up for email alerts at http://newsroom.lfg.com.
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