Outstanding Practice Finalist

Seitzinger financial group/northwestern mutual

Financial planning and insurance firm Year founded:2007 Employees:219

In early 2016, the Seitzinger Financial Group became the first Northwestern Mutual office to address immersion experiences, office-wide cultural assessment, bias training and the formation of a diversity and inclusion council. Today, 40% of the office representatives come from diverse backgrounds, including 30% of the management team and 57% of executive team leadership.

Managing partner Brad Seitzinger said his office used to be predominantly Christian and male. Of the new associates he’s brought in, 35% are women and people of color from a population comprising Jews; Muslims; Hindus; Christians, including Chaldeans (Iraqi Christians); and atheists. Women of color have accepted the cultural diversity most readily, with white males adapting more slowly.

“Faith is important to our local population [of Troy, Mich.], so we had to be sensitive in making changes,” Mr. Seitzinger said. He holds a moment of silence for everyone to express personal gratitude, and posts signs for every religious holiday in all denominations. Mr. Seitzinger said there have been few conflicts amid the firm’s culture of respect: “First generation immigrants are especially loyal to the American dream and work ethic.”

Contact Mark E Smith, chief marketing officer, at mark.e.smith@nm.com to learn more about the firm's diversity and inclusion initiatives.

— Vanessa Drucker

Lifetime Achievement

Rising Stars

See it, Be it Role Models

Outstanding Practices

Diversity Champions

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