New York Life and LGBT inclusion


As America changes, so do the corporations that define it. One company, New York Life, has always been ahead of its time: It was the first to issue life insurance policies to women at the same rates as men and to insure people previously considered uninsurable as far back as 1896.

This innovation, praised by experts at the time as the single greatest advancement in life insurance, enabled millions of people to qualify for life insurance and protect their families’ financial futures. New York Life is committed to diversity and progressive thinking in the financial and insurance industry.  It is an employer of choice and a company of the community. 

As an employer of choice, New York Life recognizes the LGBT community as an underserved market. “Marketing our products and services to the LGBT community is important not only because it is good for business, but because it’s the right thing to do,” says Angela G. Daniels, corporate vice president, Cultural Markets. One need only look at New York Life’s progressive past to see the natural connection to its inclusive policies today. 

With LGBT rights in the United States heading towards full equality (possibly as soon as 2020, according to The New York Times), New York Life sees the importance of engaging this community, which has an average median income near six digits. 

“Our company takes a grassroots approach to developing relationships in various communities, particularly the LGBT community,” continued Ms. Daniels.  “We began in 2008, engaging some of the oldest and largest LGBT Chambers of Commerce in the country, including, Boston, New York, San Francisco, and Seattle.  We developed partnerships, not just sponsorships.” 

But work in the LGBT community doesn’t stop at protecting families and businesses. New York Life extends its commitment to diversity and inclusion to its LGBT employees, who enjoy the same benefits as their heterosexual counterparts.

“Our employees come from a variety of backgrounds, locations, and experiences, and their diversity of thought leads to greater work satisfaction and a more productive organization,” said Joanne Rodgers, vice president and chief diversity officer, New York Life.

New York Life employees agree the company has become an ideal place to work and do business.

Brian Pasalich, a 37-year-old out employee at New York Life’s home office in New York City, loves the company’s inclusive, judgment-free work atmosphere.

“A lot of professionals in my position have struggled with coming out over the years, especially when in a position of management or of some responsibility,” Pasalich said. 

“One of the things that really impressed me at New York Life is that we truly live by one of the company’s core values, humanity. Everybody is so accepting here and accepts me for who I am as a person.” 

New York Life plans to keep encouraging individual differences and unique talents in its workforce; attracting and retaining the best employees; fostering a diverse corporate culture, and developing an environment where employees will thrive. 


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