/ Published 1:30 AM EST / Aileen Coyle

Celebrating a PROUD year for diversity

Manulife PROUD banner.Everyone should feel comfortable enough to bring their whole selves to work, regardless of their gender, race or sexuality.

This is the driving force behind the PROUD (Professionals Reaching Out for Unity and Diversity) employee community and employees across the Company are embracing this philosophy.

What started as an informal, grass-roots community for LGBT employees and their allies one year ago is now a growing global presence. When PROUD first went global last year, there were just 20 members. Today there are more than 300.

But the group is about more than the LGBT community at Manulife.

“PROUD, and other employee network groups, are about ensuring all employees everywhere in the organization are able to contribute fully in their jobs,” says, Scott Hartz, EVP, General Account Investments and Executive Sponsor of PROUD. “It’s only when we embrace and celebrate the diversity of all our colleagues that we’re able to leverage all of their skills and experiences, which is one of the themes of our global strategy.”

As such, PROUD is part of a larger effort to enhance inclusiveness and promote all forms of inclusion and diversity at Manulife, which this year contributed to John Hancock receiving a 100% rating on the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) Foundation’s Corporate Equality Index 2015.

PROUD’s highlights

Our employees in Boston participated in a number of events to celebrate Pride this year. You can follow the conversation on social media with @JohnHancockUSA on Twitter (https://twitter.com/JohnHancockUSA) and Instagram (https://instagram.com/johnhancockusa/) and using the #WickedProud hashtag. John Hancock offices hosted the first ever rainbow flag raising & reception at 601 Congress Street. Lastly our employees marched in two Pride parades – the Boston Pride Parade and the North Shore Pride Parade.

 raising the Pride Flag

Toronto and Kitchener-Waterloo
Heading north into our Canadian based operations, our PROUD employee members also participated in a number of events over the course of Pride week. A fundraiser for the 519 Community Centre, who provide support for LGBT people in Toronto took place as well as the 2nd annual flag raising at our corporate head office on Bloor Street. Donald Guloien, President and CEO, raised the Pride Flag with the help of other PROUD members in front of more than 400 Manulife/John Hancock employees. A social celebration took place afterwards where employees could mingle and network with others from across the organization. To follow the conversation online, search #PrideTO and take a look at @Manulife on Twitter and Instagram.

It was an exciting year for PROUD, as membership grows and our employees continue to promote inclusion and diversity throughout the organization and its operations. Our next chapter is underway in Montreal and will be launching soon!