The insurance industry has long made strides in attracting, retaining and developing the best talent and business partnerships, especially in supplier diversity and diversity and inclusion. At State Farm, their mission is clear in identifying and encouraging equal opportunities for minority- and women-owned businesses. Employees and shareholders bolster the fact that “it’s simply the right thing to do.” After all, they all contribute to the company’s overall goal of providing quality products and services.
From top leaders to community agents, they agree that supplier diversity and diversity and inclusion are central to everything they do. It helps to increase their employee productivity, boost customer loyalty and community engagement, while improving the company’s brand image. This type of thought leadership, spirit of collaboration and diversity spend is what pushes State Farm towards expanded business achievements.
Aside from auto, health or life insurance, State Farm offers a variety of financial services, ranging from student loans for college and custodial accounts for minors, to credit cards, annuities, retirement and investment accounts. With more than 19,000 agents across the U.S., there are more than enough products and services to fit the needs of every individual, business and community alike.
The company works closely with certified diverse Tier 1 and Tier 2 suppliers to increase new opportunities with minority and women’s business enterprises. In the last year, State Farm has made meaningful and measurable contributions to the economic growth of the businesses they’ve partnered with, totaling over $300 million. By steadily increasing their partnerships within the community and with diverse businesses, State Farm will soon be recognized by the Billion Dollar Roundtable, which essentially promotes and shares the best practices in supply chain diversity around the board.
As a supplier diversity specialist, Lynnette Smyer can attest to the company’s growth and procurement development gained in the last 10 years.
“We’ve come up with a full strategy on how we’ll be moving forward…and what’s important for us is internal education,” says Smyer. “We have to push the message forward to over 55,000 employees. Once we get that across…we can spread the impact, identify and use more diverse suppliers.”
Diversity is the key factor that makes them strong and competitive. Earlier this year, the Business Equality Network recognized State Farm (among others) as a diversity leader in 28 states across the country and all U.S. regions for its visibility, vocalism and financial commitment within the LGBTQ community.
The company prides itself on sharing its platform to bring in other businesses that can meet the needs of different departments to help them “level up.” Smyer emphasizes the power and purpose of leadership and how the company works from the inside out.
“I think about how important leadership is to strengthen diversity and inclusion. Our CEO signed on to the diversity commitment and it’s going to have a trickle-down effect to the company. It’s reflected in how we value relationships, how we conduct business and how we lead,” she says.
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