The Talent Economy Podcast


New York Life: A Creative Approach to DE&I

As the largest mutual life insurance company in the US, New York Life has been advising policyholders on investment decisions for more than 178 years.

Toptal’s Chief People Officer Michelle Labbe spoke with Kathleen Navarro, New York Life Insurance’s Senior Vice President and Head of Human Resources Business Enablement on The Talent Economy Podcast.

Kathleen Navarro leads New York Life Insurance’s integrated diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts, and manages the HR business partners, strategy and analytics teams. During Navarro's tenure, the company has received broad recognition for its inclusion efforts, including being named one of the Best-of-the-Best Corporations by the National Business Inclusion Consortium in 2022.

Navarro has held a range of roles in finance, strategy, and operations since joining New York Life Insurance in 1994. She has been recognized as a Top 10 Champion of Global Diversity by DiversityGlobal and was included on the Top 50 Chief Diversity Officers list issued by the National Diversity Council.

Some Questions Asked:

  • New York Life Insurance is a mutual company owned by policyholders without outside investors. How does this ownership model affect your talent strategy and company culture? 11:30
  • Employees are increasingly looking for flexibility and balance in their jobs. With three days in the office and two at home, what sort of impact has your hybrid model had on hiring and employee happiness? 19:29
  • New York Life Insurance was one of Seramount’s (formerly Working Mother Media) “100 Best Companies” for 2022 and listed as one of its “Best Companies for Dads.” How has New York Life Insurance created such a supportive culture for working parents? 29:50

In This Episode, You Will Learn:

  • What has made Kathleen Navarro want to stay at New York Life Insurance for nearly 30 years. 
  • Why The Dave Thomas Foundation recently listed New York Life Insurance as a 2022 Adoption Advocate.
  • How New York Life Insurance maintains consistency across a distributed and independent workforce.


More Episodes

Monday, March 27, 2023

Web Summit: Branch Co-Founder, Mada Seghete

Branch is a deep-linking and mobile-attribution platform that helps companies build and measure user journeys. In 2014, Mada Seghete co-founded Branch on the fundamental principle that breaking down silos on the internet is critical to a brand’s ability to build engaging and relevant end-user experiences. Branch initially focused on delivering a deep-linking solution to navigate the complex mobile ecosystem and get users to the right destination. Its platform now also powers mobile attribution for 50,000+ of the world’s most advanced apps, helping companies like Airbnb, Pinterest, Slack, Ticketmaster, Tinder, Starbucks, and Yelp measure their users’ journeys. While attending Web Summit in Lisbon, Seghete, Branch’s current Managing Director and VP of Marketing, joined Toptal’s Chief People Officer Michelle Labbe to discuss creating Branch, women in tech, the future of work, and her Web Summit experience. Some Questions Asked:How does Branch differentiate itself from its competitors?Why do you think so many people who left their jobs during the Great Resignation are deciding to return? How do you see the future of work evolving in the next few years? In This Episode, You Will Learn:What inspired the founding of Branch. What the culture is like at Branch and how the company upholds its mantra of “Build, Grow, Win.”Advice for women who want  to launch their own tech startup.Links:Mada Seghete - LinkedInMichelle Labbe - LinkedInToptal - LinkedInThe Talent Economy podcast