See it, Be it Role Model
Former Head of Diversity Markets AXA New York
Being Malaysian-American, Maz Kamaruddin serves as a role model for immigrants and also facilitates role-model partnerships across her organization.
One of her major accomplishments has been the launch and execution of annual organization-wide diversity summits serving African American, Asian, Hispanic, LGBTQ and women advisers. In a further show of diversity, attendance over time has become an even split between the developing sales force and the experienced sales force, while attendance at the women’s summit is now about one-third men.
“In our Hispanic summit, for example, every year I tell everyone, ‘This is a gold mine,’” Ms. Kamaruddin said, explaining that there is no other internal conference where the developing sales force can have access to experienced colleagues because there are no production requirements.
The summits help with retention, she said, because if newer employees attend for one or two years, they will have made helpful contacts for their careers.
What’s the main lesson role models teach?
“In my opinion, it’s: ‘What is your attitude?’ Whether it’s toward a situation or an organization, you want to show a positive attitude because you are being evaluated every day, whether you know it or not,” Ms. Kamaruddin said.
Ms. Kamaruddin left AXA in July and is set to join The Guardian Life Insurance Co. on Aug. 5 as assistant vice president of diversity markets and inclusion.
— Deborah Nason