Manulife moves with Pride for continuing diversity, equity, and inclusion journey

(Press Release)

Global financial services provider Manulife reaffirms its commitment to prioritizing and reinforcing diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) in its products, services, and employee programs to help create an inclusive work environment and safe spaces for all.

Since 2020, Manulife’s global investments of over US$3.5 million promote DEI across markets where it operates. In the Philippines, employee resource groups like Professionals Reaching Out for Unity and Diversity (PROUD) promote an inclusive workplace for LGBTQ+ employees to encourage their full and unencumbered contributions at work. Recently, Manulife PROUD held a flag-raising event at the company’s head office branch in NEX Tower, Makati to mark the start of Pride Month (June). Manulife employees in the Philippines also joined the Metro Manila Pride March and Festival at the Quezon City Memorial Circle to celebrate LGBTQ+ acceptance, achievements, and rights. This participation is in line with Manulife’s Impact Agenda to drive inclusive economic opportunities for all and empower sustained health and well-being through the launch of its Manulife MOVE for Staff mobile app.

To uphold its commitment to inclusivity among its customers, all of Manulife’s insurance products allow LGBTQ+ customers to name their domestic partners as beneficiaries.

“In Manulife, we recognize the diversity of relationships that exist in our society, so we remain committed to create inclusive spaces for our employees, customers, and the communities we serve. By offering relevant, affordable, and customizable products that protect Filipinos and their loved ones, regardless of their background, sexual orientation, or gender, we not only recognize that DEI is a key driver of our business success, but we also propel ourselves forward to foster a culture of belonging where everyone feels included and respected,” said Melissa Henson, Chief Marketing Officer, Manulife Philippines. Henson is also the Philippine lead of Manulife’s DEI thrust.

Manulife advocates for an inclusive work environment where everyone has the opportunity to thrive in their careers. Continuous learning courses include supporting LGBTQ+ talent in the workplace through upskilling initiatives and expert learning sessions that stir greater awareness of gender equality and active allyship. Through Pursuit, Manulife’s online platform for continuous learning, all employees can also take expert-led courses that enhance their business, communication, technology, and other field-focused skills, which help in their career progression. DEI-specific learning resources are also available to promote inclusive leadership, anti-racism, and anti-discrimination practices, gender equality and allyship, and the impact of heteronormativity on mental wellness, among others.

Across the global organization, in celebration of Pride Month, Manulife has also hosted special virtual sessions as part of its Global Afternoon of Reflection and Learning, where Manulife employees around the world can learn more about topics like The Business of Inclusion, Trans-inclusive Healthcare Coverage, and The Role of Games in Learning & Inclusion.

“Diversity in the workplace drives innovation. By embracing DEI, our employees feel seen and heard to share their creative ideas, which helps us strategize better so we can develop more meaningful products and services that best serve our customers,” added Henson.

In 2020, the United Nations (UN) Women 2020 Asia-Pacific Women’s Empowerment Principles (WEPs) Awards honored Manulife as one of the Philippines’ most gender-inclusive workplaces and was the only insurance brand to have been recognized in the awards.