We can’t be bystanders and hope that inclusion happens. Through our Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DE&I) Strategy 2025, we are working harder to be a more inclusive business and drive meaningful change. We believe in the importance of an inclusive and caring culture where everybody belongs. That’s what attracts great talent and makes our teams stronger. These values also help serve the diverse needs of our Clients and communities around the world.
Sun Life welcomes diversity of all kinds – gender, race, religion, age, country of origin, sexual orientation, neurodiversity and physical ability. We encourage and support diverse perspectives and beliefs. We continue to innovate and evolve when it comes to DE&I. While we have already taken important steps and earned external recognition for having diverse and inclusive practices, we’re advancing in our journey to becoming a more diverse and inclusive workplace.
Our Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Strategy 2025 sets three pillars to enhance and evolve our efforts:
1. Learning: The foundation of our strategy is research. We’re using data-driven insights and employee feedback to learn where barriers exist and where to focus our efforts. And we’re using advanced metrics to measure our progress along the way.
2. Building: We’re continuing to foster a respectful culture with inclusive policies, programs and education. Sun Life is developing new practices and finding opportunities to improve existing ones so they work for everyone.
3. Leading: We’re creating tools and practices that empower leaders to lead by example and raise awareness of DE&I opportunities and challenges. We’re focused on ownership and accountability.
We set 2025 as a milestone year, with specific targets and outcomes we need to achieve. But improving on DE&I isn’t work that ever gets finished. It’s an ongoing process that we will continue to adapt and grow as needed.
Our DE&I activities are interconnected. They focus on our Clients, colleagues and the communities we serve. From our policies, programs and training to our marketing and philanthropic activities, we embed DE&I across our operations. Refer to our recent summary of our practices.
Sun Life is a signatory to the BlackNorth Initiative, led by the Canadian Council of Business Leaders Against Anti-Black Systemic Racism. BlackNorth aims to help remove systemic barriers that negatively affect the lives of Black Canadians. We are a member of the Canadian Council for Aboriginal Business and are working towards its Progressive Aboriginal Relations certification. Refer to Sun Life’s Commitment to Indigenous Relations.
In the U.S., we are a sponsor of the National African-American Insurance Association (NAAIA). NAAIA provides insights on industry trends and opportunities for professional development, recruiting and networking. We continue to support the Legal Defense Fund to promote racial justice and equality through their economic justice platform. Sun Life has also engaged with the Human Rights Campaign and GLBTQ Legal Advocates & Defenders (GLAD) in their efforts to expand protections and opportunities based on sexual orientation and gender identity.
As a company that operates around the globe, upholding human rights is fundamental to being a trusted and responsible business. It’s vital to our ability to make all employees feel safe. It helps us mitigate risks in our supply chain. And it’s essential to advancing a more inclusive society.
We integrate human rights protections throughout our business. It starts with our global Code of Conduct. Our commitment is supported by policies on employment equity, health and safety, harassment and discrimination, and procurement in various regions. These policies help guide our people, as well as suppliers, in respecting human rights and applicable laws. We enforce zero tolerance for any forms of violence, harassment, discrimination and human trafficking, in both our workplace and supply chain.
Sun Life also has programs such as:
We continue to assess our practices in this area. Learn more in Governance and Ethics.
We hold ourselves accountable for delivering real change. We track our progress over time. And we identify areas for improvement by benchmarking against external best practices and monitoring various indicators of DE&I.
One indicator we monitor relating to gender diversity is pay. One of Sun Life’s five guiding principles for compensation is to support fairness for all employees and reward top performance. We’re committed to pay equity for all employees and ensuring managers make unbiased, performance-driven pay decisions. Supporting that commitment, we regularly review pay by gender and other diverse groups. We disclose the results annually in our Sustainability Report.
We also provide workforce diversity data to leaders across Sun Life to help them analyze performance and keep us on track for commitments. This data includes how we are progressing on representation and engagement survey results related to inclusive behaviours that contribute most to company culture. Refer to our ESG Performance Tables.
1 Underrepresented ethnicity data is based on employee voluntary self-identification. 91% of employees surveyed have provided self-identification data. Board representation data based on self-identification.
2 Canada: those who voluntarily self-identify as Visible Minorities per the Employment Equity Act; U.S.: those who voluntarily self-identify as People of Color per the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.
3 U.S. refers to the U.S. Group Benefits, Dental (excluding DentaQuest) and In-Force management businesses of Sun Life U.S. as reported by Sun Life Financial Group Inc. Data based on voluntary self-identification.
4 Based on global employee engagement survey. 68% of employees surveyed participated. Refer to Sustainability Data Scope - Note 2
Refer to Sustainability Data Scope.