ADVANCING OUR CULTURE THROUGH COMMUNITY SERVICE + A MORE EQUITABLE WORKFORCE
MJ Insurance exists to inspire the success, fulfillment and wellbeing of each person we serve: our associates and their families, business partners, clients and our community. This is the purpose that drives our organization, the work we do and the way we do it. To fulfill that purpose, action is required. Otherwise, it really is just words.
As MJ was exploring ways to make a stronger impact in our local communities, the coronavirus pandemic of 2020 presented a prime opportunity to support those who needed it the most. While the pandemic presented difficult challenges for many, it also led to something good: the creation of the MJ Foundation.
In the development of the MJ Foundation, four paths to making a difference were determined to guide our efforts: overcoming poverty, advancing education, embracing humanity and fostering diversity. In 2020, the Foundation partnered with Gregory & Appel to launch Together4Impact—an initiative to raise $100k to help local communities in the Greater Central Indiana area negatively impacted by the coronavirus pandemic.
Donations from this campaign went to several local organizations dedicated to serving communities in need in areas of economic, food and family security. And that was only the beginning, as the Foundation continues to be an active force for good by supporting and caring for the wellbeing of our communities.
While the MJ Foundation is a vehicle for external impact, MJ is also dedicated to living our purpose internally. Recognizing room for improvement for diversity in the insurance industry and within our organization, we have recently adapted our approach to foster diversity and become a more inclusive workplace.
It’s no secret that the events of 2020 catalyzed a range of reactions in the professional world. While MJ’s leadership was already engagedg in the diversity conversation, in 2020 it became abundantly clear that the time to act was now. Through a series of intentional conversations and multiple employee feedback surveys, we realized that we had a lot to learn. Our next step was to deepen our understanding of diversity, equity and inclusion through an educational process of listening and learning.
This discovery, coupled with the passion of MJ associates, led to the creation of our very own Diversity, Equity + Inclusion Council. This Council, led by a team of 16 members is tasked to lead the charge for MJ’s internal DE+I efforts through providing education opportunities and encouraging courageous conversations.
One of those conversations took place on a podcast called Closing the Gap and featured MJ’s President and Chief Operating Officer, Jon Loftin, and Shaq Thomas—an Employee Benefits Consultant and leader of the DE+I Council. The podcast is produced by and for insurance professionals and this particular episode includes a thoughtful and engaging dialogue about some of the obstacles to diversity in the insurance industry.
The Council has broadened MJ’s experience of DE+I by providing multiple avenues of learning and engagement for our associates. Below are a few examples:
- Associate Resource Groups (ARGs): one group that’s already taken off is EMPOWER: Women’s ARG—a group for any associate who identifies as female where they can meet regularly to learn, engage with and champion one another. More ARGs are in the works for those who identify as LGBTQ+ and Latina/Latino.
- Through the Lens: an internal blog series with each post written by a member of the DE+I Council designed to inform and educate fellow associates on key historical events and figures while also shining a light on current diversity issues in our society.
- Voices Exposed: an internal series where Council members interview fellow associates. This is designed for associates to learn from and engage with others whose background and life experiences are different than their own
- Educational resources + training: resources are shared on a regular basis through MJ’s internal channels to further our education. The Council also hopes to launch a company-wide Unconscious Bias training course later this year.
We understand that our purpose is meaningless unless action is a part of the equation. And our hope is that these actions will have a positive impact both internally and externally, as we support each other within the walls of MJ as well as our neighbors and communities. As long as we stay the course, move forward one step at a time, listening and learning along the way—that will undoubtedly lead to greater impact—both inside and out.
If this resonates with you and you are interested in working for a purpose-driven, action-oriented organization, check out our current Career Opportunities today.