Success Stories

Activating Leadership Priorities: Diversity as a Strategic Priority

How an insurance company activated their leadership priorities and workforce strategies to scale on an ongoing basis.

The Challenge

Employees don’t have a broad network of colleagues outside of their day-to-day team and aren’t benefiting from the diverse perspectives known to drive inclusion, innovation, and collaboration.

The Outcome

Deliver on core leadership goal to foster an innovative, collaborative and forward-thinking work environment where employees are able to consider challenges from different perspectives. 

Innovation, growth and profitability is propelled forward by diverse and inclusive culture. Their commitment to D&I has been recognized through various industry awards. In 2019, DiversityInc named them as one of the top 50 companies for diversity and one of the top 15 companies for women. In the same year, they were recognized as “one of the best places to work” for LGBTQ+ Equality and young people across Canada.

“The brand is enhanced through our building of key diverse relationships, and by tapping diverse perspectives and ideas to enhance global business opportunities”

Despite this progress, many colleagues identified a need to develop deeper relationships with people outside of their day-to-day team and benefit from the diverse perspectives and experiences of their colleagues. Together with 10KC, the company identified three core obstacles to scaling and optimizing collaboration:

  • No clear path to finding opportunities to meet colleagues from diverse teams and backgrounds to work together more effectively. 
  • A common misperception that conversations and relationships with colleagues in other teams are considered unproductive and less important than those with your direct team. 
  • The idea that training and development would require an extended time commitment that takes employees away from day to day work.

We identified an opportunity to bring diverse colleagues together in an informal way to further innovation and creativity. Partnering with Ten Thousand Coffees, we provided structure around informal connections by connecting employees via monthly introductions directly through their work email. Using smart matching technology, employees received an informal, data-driven introduction to a new colleague every month. Quarterly executive communications and ongoing small group “Offfice Hours” hosted by senior executives provided both the permission asset and access to leadership that employees identified as an essential ask. By encouraging members to meet during working hours, the company created the time and environment for employees to engage in vital personal and professional growth. The software allows the team to measure the outcomes of each of these conversations to track the progress of the program and ensure it is tracking towards the desired outcomes.

“As critical as having lots of diverse people, is having lots of diverse people work together”

Executive Sponsor of Women & Allies, ERG

The Ten Thousand Coffees program helped members to incorporate leadership priorities into their day-to-day work. By matching people across the organization on a consistent basis, we helped members to take an active role in embracing workplace diversity. The informal coffee chats provided an opportunity to share diverse knowledge, experiences and perspectives across teams, geographies and levels of seniority, providing innovative approaches to problem solving, creativity and client interactions.


  • 100% feel that their introduction will be a valuable addition to their professional network
  • 86% valued the opportunity to share their perspective and insight with a colleague
  • 73% learned something that can directly help them or their team with a current or future project
  • 71% gained confidence in their networking abilities
  • 57% made a connection that can help them professionally 
  • 48% deepened their understanding of the company's clients and/or business products

“Learned about another perspective on my organization and work being done across it. Great conversation!”

“It was great meeting my colleague Sofia. It happened that she is working on a few projects for a brand new line of business. It was great to learn her team's approach and see the nuanced differences in how we tackled problems. We still had a lot in common, such a small world!”

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