Have you read a book that became the foundational piece for your career? My book is “The Strategy of Preventive Medicine," by Geoffrey Rose.
This passage by Rose has framed my career:
“Medicine has indeed delivered effective answers to some health problems and it has found the means to lessen the symptoms of many others. But, by and large, we remain with the necessity to do something about the incidence of disease, and that means a new partnership between the health-services and all those whose decisions influence the determinants of incidence. The primary determinants of disease are mainly economic and social and, therefore, its remedies must also be economic and social.”
My career mission is to help create healthy communities by learning about and developing solutions related to the social determinants of health. So, why am I working at an insurance company?
My career story is one that illustrates you can make an impact and be true to your personal calling no matter where you work.
Growing up, I remember telling my parents I would never join the corporate sector. I wanted to create social and economic solutions to improve our communities, particularly for people of color.
Working for a corporation didn’t seem to fit. Yet in May 2015, I joined corporate America by accepting a role with CUNA Mutual Group.
Our company was born from the credit union movement. Credit unions operate democratically, are committed to social responsibility, and help members build financial stability.
They embody the motto, “not for profit, not for charity, but for service.” I wasn’t aware companies like CUNA Mutual Group existed in financial services.
We are committed to serving credit unions. We help people achieve financial success, and we do it with integrity.
In my role, I help our company become more diverse, equitable, and inclusive. I also work with our multicultural market strategy team to improve product and service access to people of color.
Many organizations seek to become more diverse, equitable, and inclusive. It’s a long and complex journey.
Here are some ways to accomplish this:
• Don’t limit your candidate pool by always targeting someone with the “right” major or experience. Be open-minded about hiring people with diverse backgrounds, and avoid the cycle of “this is how we’ve always done it.”
CUNA Mutual Group embraces this mindset. Many of our employees have actuarial or finance degrees, but many have backgrounds in areas like population health, theater, civil rights history, communications, and theology.
• Tap your greatest resource—your people. Employees want to make a difference and want your credit union to be a great place to work.
Employee resource groups are a great way to get started.
• Tap into the power of difference like I did when I joined the corporate sector.
My hope has always been to decrease the key economic and social determinants that negatively affect the long-term health of our communities.
By working for an organization that provides tools to help people build financial security, I’ve learned you can be true to your personal passion no matter what you are doing.
Lesson learned: Never say never.