Nebraska’s Mutual of Omaha is launching several new initiatives to address racial equity and social justice, including the removal of Native American imagery from its logo and additional funding for initiatives and charities addressing these issues.
Mutual will stop using the Native American imagery associated with its corporate logo. The transition away from the current symbol will begin immediately.
The move comes after several large companies and sports franchises have changed their names or branding or begun seriously considering doing so.
“We have spent time listening to diverse perspectives among our associates, community leaders and diversity and inclusion experts, and are taking further action to advance racial equity and social justice to create meaningful change,” said Mutual of Omaha Chair and CEO James Blackledge. “We believe the decision to retire our corporate symbol is the right thing to do and is consistent with our values and our desire to help overcome racial bias and stereotypes.”
The company has earmarked $1 million in additional funding for community-based initiatives and non-profit organizations committed to racial equity, inclusivity, economic equality and social justice. In 2019, the company and its foundation contributed more than $2 million to nearly 60 charitable organizations working in this critical space. In addition, the company will also offer the time and talent of its associates to be directly involved in these initiatives as appropriate.
Mutual also announced it will provide its management team additional training on diversity and inclusion, including unconscious bias training. The company will enhance its efforts to recruit, hire, promote, develop and retain a diverse workforce and heighten its focus on inclusive culture-shaping. Performance expectations will be expanded to evaluate management on progress in these areas.
“We have a longstanding commitment to diversity and inclusion, and a comprehensive diversity and inclusion strategy, so we have not been standing still in this area. However, in terms of outcomes, we have room for improvement and recognize that we must do more,” Blackledge said.
Mutual said it is also developing a more robust supplier diversity strategy, proactively seeking out vendors from underrepresented communities and purchasing from suppliers who are demonstrably committed to social justice and racial equity.