Nationwide earns 2022 Best Company for Multicultural Women designation
From the first day that Amelia Gandara and Sophie Shen started working at Nationwide, it was clear that inclusivity and a commitment to success for multicultural women was a priority for their employer.
“As soon as I joined Nationwide four years ago, I felt supported by leaders and co-workers across the enterprise, all making sure I had a place to grow, contribute and thrive,” said Gandara, a Nationwide venture capital executive.
“Everyone has a place, and you have people cheering you on and allies supporting you at every level,” agreed Shen, an associate vice president of staff administration – marketing at Nationwide. “Diversity, equity and inclusion is ingrained. It’s who we are.”
Nationwide’s commitment to supporting the careers of women of all ethnicities has earned the recognition of Seramount (formerly Working Mother) as one of the 2022 Best Companies for Multicultural Women. The honor recognizes U.S. companies that create and use best practices in hiring, retaining and promoting multicultural women.
Since 2003, Seramount’s Best Companies for Multicultural Women has tracked corporations’ progress in creating cultures that encourage multicultural women to join and rise through the ranks and mentoring and sponsorship participation, among other factors influencing the progress of multicultural women.
For Shen and Gandara, mentorship and sponsorship opportunities at Nationwide have contributed significantly to their career development. Both are involved in Nationwide employee resource groups, which are communities of Nationwide employees that provide networking, personal and professional development, community involvement and mentoring opportunities to group members.
“It’s wonderful to see the way new members are welcomed and become active,” said Gandara, who serves on the board of the National Latino Alliance employee resource group. “I’ve found great new business opportunities through this social network and have close connections throughout the enterprise that I might not have without this group.”
When reports of acts of aggression and hate increased against Asians during the COVID-19 pandemic, Shen said her involvement in the InspirASIAN employee resource group, where she serves as president, was a source of comfort.
“Just providing that safe space for hard conversations about racial bias and its impact is so helpful. I really appreciate that Nationwide creates opportunities to hear from national and international experts on topics of concern,” said Shen, noting that Nationwide provided tools and resources for associates to learn about the history of xenophobia, how to respond to street harassment and ways to talk to each other, and particularly children, about race.
“When our associates feel valued, our company thrives,” said Chief Diversity and Talent Acquisition Officer Angela Bretz. “Ensuring that we support women’s success is essential to the success of our organization.
Bretz and her team expand Nationwide’s access to talent through partnerships with organizations representing diverse demographics and areas of expertise. “Last year, Nationwide made a strategic decision to align talent acquisition with our diversity, equity and inclusion efforts,” shared Bretz. “We know a culture of inclusion helps drive engagement, innovation and business results, which reinforces our reputation as a career destination employer.
In addition to earning the Best Companies for Multicultural Women designation, Nationwide was also honored by Seramount as a Top Company for Executive for Women earlier this year.
“I couldn’t be prouder of all of the leaders and associates whose dedication to strengthening our culture of inclusion earned these awards.” said Nationwide Chief Human Resources Officer Vinita Clements. “Nationwide is a company that cares, and we’re extremely proud of our commitment to and appreciation for diversity, equity and inclusion.”