Guardian Life Commits $1M to NPower to Advance Diversity in Tech

The grant will support NPower’s programs that help bridge the digital skills gap through free training programs, mentoring, support services and other benefits.

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The Guardian Life Insurance Company of America (New York) has announced a $1 million grant to NPower, a national nonprofit focused on helping military veterans and young adults from underserved communities increase their opportunities for economic mobility through technology careers.

Anticipating 8.6 million new tech jobs to emerge over the next decade, Guardian Life says it seeks to propel NPower’s mission to increase the representation and success of diverse, non-traditional talent in three booming industries—IT, cybersecurity, and cloud computing—through instructor-led training classes, professional development and internship and job placement assistance, a Guardian Life statement says.

Dean Del Vecchio, Executive Vice President, CIO, and COO, Guardian Life

This financial investment from Guardian Life will expand its commitment to diversity in technology and support several NPower initiatives, including:

Advancing Women of Color in Technology: Guardian Life’s commitments to gender and racial equity in tech will intersect in their support of NPower, where they will continue to fund efforts to advance one of the most underrepresented populations in technology: women of color. The investment, as a Lead Partner, will sustain NPower’s proven program and develop new strategies to clear a path for women of color to enter and advance within the tech field.

Alumni Career Growth through Advanced Training: Guardian Life will serve as a Lead Sponsor for the new NPower collaborative dedicated to upskilling NPower graduates in the advanced fields of cybersecurity and cloud computing to enhance career growth opportunities.

Mentoring Opportunities: Guardian Life employees will also participate in NPower’s new mentoring program, NPowerMATCH, which pairs professionals with NPower students for weekly guided discussions and virtual coaching sessions around career readiness, professional leadership skills, financial education, ethical self-promotion, and critical-thinking skills.

The insurer reports that each initiative will benefit from the participation and stewardship of Guardian Life executives chosen to strengthen the advocacy and engagement of the efforts.

“Building a more diverse workforce must include expanding and advancing the professional experiences of underserved people of color, whose talents remain largely untapped. We see a new era of recruiting strategies where a greater focus is placed on skilled individuals from nontraditional pathways that might not include a four-year degree,” comments Bertina Ceccarelli, CEO, NPower. “Our partnership with Guardian Life, a company already committed to building a diverse and inclusive workforce and culture, takes us one step closer to achieving this goal.”

The grant also expands Guardian Life’s existing partnership with the NPower, as Dean Del Vecchio, Executive Vice President, CIO, and COO, Guardian Life, currently sits on NPower’s Board of Directors. Since Guardian Life began working with NPower in June 2019, 53 colleagues have volunteered more than 200 hours to the NPower’s programs, shared their technical expertise and provided job readiness support for diverse students to succeed in the digital economy. The insurer reports that another 30 colleagues are signed up to take part in the NPowerMATCH year-long mentorship program in this year.

Guardian characterizes this extended partnership and investment in NPower as reflective of the insurer’s overall commitment toward empowering the next generation of talent and boosting inclusion and diversity within talent pipelines. Previously, Guardian Life has collaborated with Black Girls Code to assist with capacity building to launch their Ambassador and Alumnae Program and provided skills-based mentors to volunteer in support of their vision to increase the number of girls ages 7-17 interested in STEM education. Guardian Life has also provided financial, programmatic, and volunteer support for workforce development in partnership with New Women New Yorkers (NWNY), an organization that offers professional skills development for immigrant women in the city.

“As part of Guardian Life’s overall commitment to Inclusion & Diversity, we collaborate with and fund nonprofit organizations that are fighting to provide better futures for the most vulnerable and underserved,” comments Guardian’s Del Vecchio. “We are proud to further invest in NPower with this grant to help elevate their mission to provide underserved young adults and veterans with the tools to excel in the digital economy.”

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Anthony R. O’Donnell // Anthony O'Donnell is Executive Editor of Insurance Innovation Reporter. For nearly two decades, he has been an observer and commentator on the use of information technology in the insurance industry, following industry trends and writing about the use of IT across all sectors of the insurance industry. He can be reached at [email protected] or (503) 936-2803.

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