AIG is the company it is today because of its people, who bring forth their unique talents to help the organization flourish worldwide.
Indeed, longtime executive Henry Beidas once said that Cornelius Vander Starr, who founded the company to which AIG traces its roots, believed his company’s greatest strength was “in the variety of nationalities which made up the group throughout the world.”
A similar attitude drives AIG’s culture in the 21st century, which led to the establishment of AIG’s first Employee Resource Groups (ERGs) in 2012. The mission of these groups? To bring together employees of similar interests and experiences to provide a forum to share information that may be helpful to career growth and retention, harness the talents of a dedicated and diverse group of employees to deliver business benefit to the company, support and advise company recruiting, supplier diversity, workplace inclusion, and human capital processes, and to serve as ambassadors who draw the company closer to diverse external communities, initially by focusing on our shared values
While ERGs provide a platform for employees with common backgrounds, interests and/or goals, all groups are open to all AIG employees—regardless of race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, disability, military service, marital status or sexual orientation.
Since 2012, ERGs have grown significantly to include a wide range of activities and initiatives. Some recent events include the Hong Kong Young Talent ERG creating a Two Way Mentoring Program that matched 20 pairs of employees from different generations, the Singapore disAbilities & Allies ERG launching a Student Innovation Program in which students with disabilities from a local university helped to innovate an AIG process, product or service through understanding the insurance needs of people with disabilities, several of our global LGBT & Allies ERGs marching in Pride Parades, and our Houston, Los Angeles, and New York Latino Network ERGs raising funds for colleagues in Puerto Rico, Mexico, and the Caribbean who were impacted by natural disasters.
As of September 2018, AIG has over 115 ERGs with more than 9,000 global members in 30+ countries. Groups include Interfaith, disAbilities & Allies, Generations, Women & Allies, Asian Leadership Network, Multicultural, Working Families and Young Professionals.
Inclusion and diversity are part of AIG’s “original DNA” as an international organization that has to understand and respect each culture in order to be truly successful, said a former leader of AIG’s human resources.
AIG CEO Brian Duperreault kicked off the company’s first-ever Global ERG Summit in March 2018, in which leaders from more than 100 ERGs across the world traveled to Nashville, Tennessee, to share best practices, create a closer network amongst ERGs, recognize ERG leaders for their voluntary work and pack 25,000 meals for families for Rise Against Hunger.
“I get a lot of questions about culture: What’s the culture at AIG?” Duperreault said in a Q&A session with attendees. “All I need to do is point to our ERGs. Think about it: 8,000 people—volunteering to take time out of their day to do something above yourself, something for others. A culture that can produce this kind of ERG effort, I’m all in.”