Friday, August 7, 2015

Corporate Spotlight: Joy Wong of New York Life

Joy Wong, Corporate VP, 
Supplier Diversity Programs
New York Life Insurance Company

An advocate of the LGBT business community and a corporate champion who fosters supplier and stakeholder connections, today’s Corporate Spotlight is Joy Wong, of New York Life.

Joy is a Corporate Vice President at New York Life Insurance Company responsible for the management of New York Life’s Supplier Diversity Program’s growth and strategies. She began her career with the company more than 20 years ago and promoted to various positions with increasing responsibilities. She assumed her role as supplier diversity director in June of 2011. Joy currently serves on two boards, the New York & New Jersey Minority Supplier Development Council and the Financial Services Roundtable for Supplier Diversity. She is also a member of the National Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce (NGLCC) Procurement and Corporate Advisory Councils.

Tell me about the New York Life Supplier Diversity Program. How has it changed over the recent years?

New York Life’s Supplier Diversity Program was formed in 2002. I am the current program manager and I took over the program in June of 2011 when my predecessor retired. The supplier diversity program leverages the internal and external relationships in its outreach. Externally, New York Life is an active corporate member to the leading national organizations and its local New York area affiliates that certify, develop, and advocate for diverse owned businesses. These organizations include the National Minority Supplier Development Council (NMSDC), Women’s Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC), and National Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce (NGLCC). Internally, the team collaborates with procurement and the business areas to help identify opportunities to promote and advance the goals of the supplier diversity program. 

In the last two years, two key enhancements have contributed to the increase in the Supplier Diversity Program outreach. First is the addition of a second full-time team member dedicated to help manage the program. Second is the change in reporting structure. The team is now reporting to the Procurement Department, giving the team insight on upcoming Request For Proposal opportunities and garnering stronger supporters of the program. 

Tell me about some of New York Life’s LGBT related accomplishments and contributions.
  • Recognized by the Affinity Inc. magazine as a one of the Top Corporations for LGBT Economic Empowerment in 2015
  • Participate in the National Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce Mentor-Protégé Program
  • Annual hosting and participation in various NGLCCNY programs, including the Certified Superstar Program, Certified Roundtable, M3, and ERG Roundtable
What are you currently doing in your role? What are your goals right now?

  • Most recently, I have been focusing on two main goals. First is increasing awareness and program outreach through collaboration inside and outside the company. Second is increasing advocacy through introductions of suppliers to stakeholders and by participating in third-party supplier development activities, such us the NGLCCNY Certified Superstar Program and NGLCC Mentor-Protégé program.
  • I continuously evaluate the program to identify opportunities for program enhancements
  • I speak on topics that are focused on developing diverse suppliers at various national and local conferences and forums 
I know you are very involved in education initiatives and mentoring. Can you tell me a little bit about that? 

As previously mentioned, I am involved with the NGLCCNY’s Certified Superstar Program. This is my fourth year participating in this impactful program, which is one of my favorite NGLCCNY initiatives. I serve as a panelist at events that help certified suppliers learn to navigate through and do business with large corporations like New York Life. I find satisfaction in introducing suppliers to my peers from other corporations; it helps diverse suppliers expand their network. 

I also volunteer as a mentor in NGLCC’s Mentor-Protégé program. It is a one-on-one program that helps the protégé work on his or her business goals. Mentors' criteria for selecting a protégé vary and are typically based on their corporate supplier diversity objectives. A mentee can be selected based on factors such as products and services, location, or business goals. It is a win-win scenario when a vendor offers services that the mentor’s company would normally source and when the mentor has the capabilities, resources, and capacity to help with the goals of the mentee.

How are you getting the New York Life Employee Resource Groups (ERG) more involved?

Currently, the Supplier Diversity team is engaged with NYLPride, the company’s LGBT ERG. We connect with the NYLPride leaders and representatives when hosting NGLCCNY events at New York Life, which helps them to become more familiar with NGLCCNY and supplier diversity initiatives. In addition, NYLPride helps the Supplier Diversity team spread awareness of the program to their network.

What are the benefits of suppliers being certified?
Becoming certified as a LGBT owned business benefits the suppliers and corporations alike, by expanding both parties’ networks. Through the different events and development programs offered by the certifying organizations, such as NGLCC, corporations like New York Life are able to easily identify qualified certified suppliers for future opportunities. 

Joy will be attending the NGLCC International Conference in Fort Lauderdale on August 11th, 2015. Should you be attending and happen to come across Joy, please introduce yourselves.

You can also reach Joy Wong via the following:

Like and Follow New York Life: Facebook & Twitter

Article by Gonzalo Araya,
Executive Chair, Media Communications Committee, NGLCCNY
Partner, Socio

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