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On my mind: Embedding DEI in all that we do

Diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) is a significant focus for most companies today.

When I joined Thrivent last year, I was inspired by our purpose and our promise. Thrivent is a force for good in the world, and I believe that light should be shared with everyone in every community.

That desire is at the core of our DEI strategy. In order to remain relevant and to grow and serve future generations, it’s essential to have a diverse, equitable and inclusive culture.

But what does that mean? Let’s start with some simple definitions.

  • Diversity means that we embrace our differences.
  • Equity means that we ensure fairness.
  • Inclusion means that we respect everyone

These are the foundational principles. We want to hire and retain undeniably great talent to serve our clients—and we want a workforce that is diverse to reflect the communities that we serve. Our long-term goal is to be the financial services leader in DEI, making it a competitive advantage for Thrivent.

Thrivent’s DEI strategy is based on four key pillars, all of which are critical to serving our clients and communities.

  1. Talent: Attract, develop and retain a high-performing, diverse workforce that’s focused every day on making a meaningful impact on the lives of those we serve.
  2. Culture: Build an environment of trust where everyone feels respected, valued and a sense of belonging that inspires them to achieve their fullest potential.
  3. Serve & grow clients: Inspire trust and enable our organization to serve more diverse clients and communities.
  4. Build & serve community: Bring positive change to our communities through philanthropy, advocacy, investment and client engagement.

And this focus isn’t just a “nice to have,” it’s a “need to have.” When we focus on DEI, Thrivent wins—including our clients and our workforce—in the following ways:

  • Inclusive hiring and a reputation as an employer of choice allows Thrivent to build diverse teams to grow and serve future generations.
  • Welcoming diverse perspectives and cultivating a culture of inclusion drives innovation. No two people are the same. Since new ideas fuel our digital ambitions, diversity of thought and experience is at the core of transformation.
  • Inviting diverse voices allows us to connect with clients and communities in mutually beneficial ways. By listening with empathy, we can advise new and existing clients and gain unique insights to serve clients the way they want to be served.
  • Furthering positive change in our communities increases impact and visibility, further cementing Thrivent as a trusted community partner.

As we continue to build a solid DEI foundation at Thrivent, I acknowledge that we have a ways to go. The journey to become a diverse, equitable and inclusive organization is one that’s ongoing. But I am optimistic about our future.

For more on this topic, I invite you to review Thrivent’s inaugural Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Report, published in June.

Ken Charles is senior vice president, chief diversity, equity and inclusion officer, and corporate responsibility officer at Thrivent.