Learn how Wendy Harrington is collaborating with Correlation One to help TIAA address its growing data analytics and DEI needs.
As part of a new Correlation One series featuring virtual interviews with our Employer Partners, we’re pleased to share with you the following Q&A.
Wendy Harrington serves currently as TIAA’s Chief Data and AI Officer and head of their Nuveen Labs. And like so many people in similar corporate roles, she’s on the leading edge when it comes to developing data, analytics, and AI to accelerate business and economic growth.
At the same time, Wendy is also devoted to identifying and developing data talent from underrepresented groups.
To that end, she’s participated in presentations for our Data Science for All (DS4A) cohorts, and she’s vocal about the need for business leaders to address DEI and data needs strategically.
With that brief introduction, let’s hear from Wendy.
Q: What drives you and TIAA to develop data talent?
A: One of the most important goals we, as leaders, have is to ensure our associates gain the skills and experience they need to help ensure our clients and participants thrive.
Leveraging data and AI is an increasingly valuable capability to gain the insights and enable the outcomes for our company and our customers.
The data Correlation One [has shared with us] matches our own experience—women and minorities are vastly under-represented in the field of AI.
We want to change that.
Interview continues after the video
In this video from the fall 2021 DS4A / Women cohort, TIAA's Wendy Harrington moderated a leadership roundtable during the Grand Finale. As a Correlation One Employer Partner, TIAA leadership team members were visible and engaged throughout the entire program, a testament to the company's deep commitment to developing female data talent. (Also, two of the four projects highlighted during the finale were created by TIAA-sponsored Fellows.)
Q: Wendy, what other forces influence TIAA’s commitment to nurturing data talent?
A: The stats on the wave of Big Data hitting every industry are mind boggling. The challenge has been harvesting that data in a way that creates value for companies and their customers.
Increasingly, we want to be able to use the data in real-time to make better decisions and achieve better outcomes. We want to personalize not just the information but the entire experience a customer has to delight them—at the right time, at the right place, and with the right message.
Most of us have had a few customer experiences that wowed us; all of us have had more than our fair share of experiences that have frustrated us. Opportunities abound.
At TIAA, we can leverage data and analytics to help ensure our participants are financially ready for their retirement. We are pioneers in retirement income and experts in putting annuities to work for our clients. We have a tremendous opportunity to help our clients secure their retirement income through these offerings and deliver it in a way that’s personalized, seamless, and easy … powered by quality data and AI.
Q: There’s a sense, from hearing you talk to our DS4A Fellows, that there’s something special that attracts clients to TIAA. Is that correct?
A: You’re right. TIAA’s culture, values, and diversity have driven our success for decades and are the foundation that makes us a different kind of financial partner and employer.
Our commitment to our people and the institutions we serve is at our core.
The technical and leadership training we curate and provide to our associates is important to them and to us. But even more important is creating a work environment where our people can do their best work and thrive. That means mental health, rewards and recognition, and work-life balance play a critical role as well.
In turn, our associates can perform at their best and become true difference makers in the communities where they live.
Q: It’s clear that you and TIAA take employer branding seriously—throughout the employee life cycle. And that shows through in your commitment to our DS4A initiative. Can you talk about how you connected your own staff to Correlation One training earlier this autumn?
A: We are proud to have selected 15 bright and talented women to participate in the program this fall.
Their excitement, energy, and passion for data and AI—and the impact it can have in their spheres of influence—is contagious. I’m looking forward to seeing them share and apply their enhanced skills and new knowledge.
Q: Looking ahead, how do you see TIAA and Correlation One continuing to collaborate?
A: I’ve been an advisor to Correlation Once since the fall of 2019 and look forward to supporting their DS4A program, specifically DS4A/Women.
Plus, as we gain the learnings from this [fall 2021] cohort of TIAA participants and their leaders, we’ll work with our partners in HR who made all this possible to explore future opportunities to work together.
Moving forward, we want to ensure we’re identifying partners and programs that advance our individual and collective abilities. So, keep the ideas coming and let’s seize the opportunities as they come.
Curious to learn more about how Correlation One is helping TIAA place women at the wheel of data-driven outcomes?