Omari Jahi Aarons, Liberty Mutual Insurance
Employee enablement strategy leader
LIBERTY MUTUAL INSURANCE
Years in the industry: 4
“We have to be honest with ourselves: We have a race problem in this industry when it comes to Black talent,” says Omari Jahi Aarons. “We use the word ‘diverse’ when we mean people of color, or Black, Asian, Indigenous or Latinx. The problem with that is we are all diverse, so when we say we are focused on ‘diversity,’ that means everyone – it doesn’t lend itself to changing our practices to have different, more inclusive outcomes in our hiring practices. Let’s give ourselves permission to name what we are talking about: racial diversity.”
In addition to serving as Liberty Mutual’s employee enablement strategy leader, Aarons is the inaugural president of NAAIA’s Boston chapter, city chair of Dive In Boston and spent three years as the national co-chair of Liberty Mutual’s Employees of African Descent + Allies employee resources group, which has 10 chapters and more than 2,500 members. He continues to serve as a key advisor to Liberty Mutual’s senior leaders on activating D&I plans.
“Just like organizational culture has been recognized as a critical driver of a company’s success and viability for future growth, diversity and inclusion is critical to the health and success of our organizations,” Aarons says. “We all must do better. I am deeply frustrated every time I see ‘qualified’ in front of people of color. It’s a silly notion to call it out – no company has a strategy to hire unqualified candidates for any of their roles. More than that, it’s a dangerous and unfair term because it is rooted in racism and reinforces the belief that people of color are inherently unqualified.”