Many corporations have talent development programs. But at MetLife, the Legal Affairs department has gone above and beyond to impact diverse talent.
Each year, the 900 legal professionals at MetLife – from the most junior lawyers to the vice presidents – participate in a series of surveys and evaluations to identify those with leadership potential. Those 90 “high potential” lawyers are then matched with a senior leader, from outside their chain of command, who acts as mentor and sponsor over the next three to five years.
In order to be fully inclusive, Ricardo Anzaldua, Executive Vice President and General Counsel, has tailored the program to increase its impact on diverse lawyers:
- The most senior leaders within Legal Affairs – Anzaldua’s direct reports – work exclusively with diverse talent. “Sponsors make sure they receive the full panoply of development activities,” Anzaldua said.
- Sponsors are evaluated and compensated based on their performance as sponsors. “We’re making the senior leadership of the organization accountable and responsible for the development and promotion of diverse talent,” he said.
- Outside counsel aren’t exempt. “By December 2017, we need to see [our outside counsel's] plan for making their senior teams accountable for promoting diverse talent – or they’re off the preferred counsel list,” Anzaldua said.
MetLife has offered its toolkit to outside counsel, and will also make it available to members of the Minority Corporate Counsel Association.