Champions of Change in Minnesota: Cecilia Stanton Adams
Cecilia Stanton Adams – Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer of Allianz Life Insurance Company in North America
At Allianz Life, Cecilia Stanton Adams leads the strategy development for diversity and inclusion. This year, Allianz awarded $ 2 million to Twin Cities organizations to help tackle inequalities for people of skin color, seniors and youth, as well as expanding the grocery shelf in the Midway neighborhood of St. Paul. After the murder of George Floyd, Allianz also hosted listening sessions for employees.
Prior to joining Allianz Life, Stanton Adams was CEO of the Stanton Adams Diversity Institute, where she provided strategic workforce enhancement, recruitment and retention, training and development services. Stanton Adams holds a BA in Psychology from Bloomfield College, New Jersey, and an MA in Sociology / Psychology from Lehigh University, Pennsylvania, where she also received a PhD in cognitive psychology. She is a volunteer with the Black Women’s Wealth Alliance, Hispanic MBA, Sexual Violence Center, Junior Achievement, and African-American Family Services and a member of the Board of Team Women.
What are your main goals in your current role?
Diversity and Inclusion (D&I) is a top priority for Allianz Life and is an important component that not only strengthens our values of integrity, care, excellence and respect, but is also a deeply rooted business driver at all levels of the company. We have a comprehensive D&I strategy that covers many facets of our business with three main pillars: incorporating D&I into our business structure and processes by strengthening managerial engagement and accountability; Focus on recruiting and retaining diverse talent; and continue to cultivate our culture of inclusion.
Specifically for the recruiting of diversity employees, we are revising our recruiting process to ensure our talent pools are diverse and working closely with HR managers to keep diversity in mind when recruiting.
What recent achievements are you most proud of?
An important initiative we took was giving US $ 2 million to Twin Cities organizations that work to eradicate inequalities in the community and save the lives of vulnerable members of the Twin Cities community, especially those of color ( POC), seniors and young people, to change positively.
We have split these donations into two grants of $ 1 million. The first grant is intended to help remove barriers and improve access to tools and resources that will help POC achieve sustainable living standards and a secure future. The funds will also support minority entrepreneurs and businesses and the expansion of the grocery shelf in the Midway neighborhood of St. Paul. This was a really important step for our organization as we felt we really had to do something while the community we call at home was hurt after the murder of George Floyd.
The second grant was intended to address the long-term differences in care and support for seniors in the twin cities and to address the risks seniors face in our community. This is a group of people who are really affected by the COVID-19 pandemic and these issues are exacerbated – especially among various seniors. The organizations that have received this funding are focused on addressing three critical risks: tackling social isolation, tackling financial abuse of the elderly, and improving caregiver support.
Another thing I’m proud of that we achieved internally after George Floyd was killed was hosting a series of listening sessions for staff. Here, employees could express their feelings in a safe place. Not only was it valuable for our employees to exchange ideas and get in touch with each other, but it was also a learning opportunity for managers to understand what employees feel and what they really need to feel supported in such an intense time Unrest in the community.
Read more about all 22 Champions of Change in our January / February 2021 issue.