At the heart of this initiative are the themes of thinking differently, expressing diversity, offering new ideas, reporting bad news, raising concerns and voicing disagreement.
The initiative uses video, a traveling art exhibition and a series of speakers to convey the value of courage both within the workplace and beyond. The speaker series offers a variety of perspectives on the theme of courage.
"Courage at Our Core” seeks to remind people that giving expression to our Core Values and honoring our Code of Conduct sometimes require a measure of courage,” says Corporate Compliance and Ethics Officer Mike Uth.
In 2016, employees across the country heard a variety of perspectives from speakers who shared how they've embodied moral courage in their personal and professional lives. Cynthia Cooper, an internal auditor who revealed the massive fraud at WorldCom, spoke out against corporate dishonesty and the courage it takes to make a tough decision. Irshad Manji, founder and director of the Moral Courage Project at University of Southern California encouraged employees to foster an ethical workplace, challenge the status quo, and to always strive for integrity. Tim and Natalie Rose of Disability Positive Consulting advocated embracing disabilities as a catalyst for creativity and innovation. Additional speakers are being scheduled in 2017.
Progressive's Corporate Art Department contributed to the campaign with an art exhibition designed to encourage attendees to know what they believe, understand the alternative beliefs of others, and have the courage and the tools to speak up when situations warrant vocal awareness. The exhibition, "Courage at Our Core: Art and Action," which opened in Cleveland, will travel to other Progressive campuses nationwide through 2017 and will be accompanied by a series of seminars to get people talking about the art, the meaning of courage, and what it takes to welcome disagreement and maintain moral courage.
“We wanted to make sure the courageousness of the artists was represented. It was a deliberate effort to include artists that use themes of social or political activism in their work to speak up and make an impact in the world," says Kristin Rogers, manager of Art Education.
In the words of Sir Winston Churchill, “Courage is what it takes to stand up and speak. Courage is also what it takes to sit down and listen.” The essence of the campaign encourages employees to be comfortable and willing to let their opinions be heard and speak up when the need arises.less
One way Progressive did this was through partnering with the Cleveland Indians and one of the top Northeast Ohio-based coding “boot camps,” Tech Elevator, to host the first-ever Tribe Hackathon at Progressive Field just before Memorial Day.
“In our challenge to the hackers, we asked them to think about one aspect of being a fan that could be better, such as researching player stats, buying tickets, concessions at the ballpark, you name it,” explains IT Manager Jane Gundlach.
To start-off the experience, a preliminary meet-up was held at Progressive’s headquarters in early May. Attendees were exposed to our innovative workplace culture to get their creative juices flowing.
Then, over 40 competitors traveled from all over Northeast Ohio to Progressive Field a couple weeks later. Baseball, technology and innovation collided as tech students and seasoned professionals worked side-by-side for hours to dream up and then develop a technology to enhance fans’ in-game experience.
The competitors hit it out of the ball park with their immersive and out-of-the box projects. The judges saw everything from a Twitter® app that alerts you when a critical moment is about to happen in the game, to a virtual reality experience putting you directly on the field. The winning idea was an augmented-reality app that pops up player stats, ball trajectories from prior at-bats, and useful stadium information on users’ smartphones as they use their camera to visually scan across the ballpark.
“We’re thrilled with what everyone came up with during the competition,” adds Jane. “It goes to show how partnering with local organizations and hosting new and unique activities like this can help demonstrate Progressive’s innovative culture and have a significant impact on ultimately attracting more of the best tech talent to our region.”less
It came about through a partnership with GOOD. It’s a socially-conscious magazine and integrated media community where people share ideas for living well and doing good.
We first joined forces in 2014 to create the Progress is GOOD Challenge. It encouraged people across the country to share the unique ways they're making things a little better.
This led to a yearlong partnership in 2015, called Data for GOOD. Its goal was to create interesting and helpful content using data, and show how the information could be used as a positive force in the world.
“This partnership was a natural fit for us,” explains Gargi Patel, marketing director. “GOOD focuses on making progress in the world and loves exploring the countless ways it’s possible to do that. That felt like a strong tie with our brand and the things that we strive to accomplish every day.”
Through this collaboration, we used our data and third-party data to develop a series of stories that shed light on a problem and its solution. All were told through video or graphics, making them easily sharable.
For example, From Model T to Tesla was an animated video tracking the history of driver safety technology. It included data from Progressive’s Research and Development team estimating that electronic stability control could save 300,000 lives.
Obnoxious Emissions was an infographic using data from Progressive Snapshot® devices. It looked at the correlation between driving behaviors and their impact on the environment.
Says Gargi: “Every day, we use data to bring our customers better insurance solutions and experiences. And, through Data for GOOD, it was great to be able to showcase some of our data to help consumers not only be more informed drivers but also more informed citizens.”less
Founded in 1995, TechCorps connects IT professionals with K-12 classrooms. The goal is to engage young people interested in technology, and inspire them to consider it as a career path.
For the third year in a row, we were involved in TechCorps’ afterschool “Techie Clubs” with students in Cleveland-area elementary schools. During the 2015 fall semester, we staffed two clubs (also sponsoring one) that met weekly for 60-90 minutes. Students and Progressive volunteers discussed computing topics, including basic programming and web development, robotics, hardware identification, software applications, the Internet and social networks.
In 2015, we also sponsored TechCorps’ weeklong coding camp at Cleveland State University. The camp engaged high school students in hands-on, interactive coding activities, helping them learn programming concepts while thinking logically about complex ideas.
Our 20 sponsored students were mostly ninth and tenth graders who were new to coding. Nearly half were girls. Their final projects—which they presented to fellow students, teachers, TechCorps representatives, Progressive volunteers and others—included games, an ordering system for a restaurant, a fortune-telling program and a dating program.
“What struck me was not only the technical competence the students showed when presenting their projects, but the confidence they had,” says Emily Yen, HR program specialist for Progressive’s IT department. “They were enthusiastic and proud of what they accomplished. I wouldn’t be at all surprised if many of them continue on the path toward a great technology career.”
We were a main sponsor of the Expo at the 2015 Kent Hack Enough, from October 9-11.
It’s an annual, weekend-long event, held at Kent State University, that brought 250 college students together to create through coding.
As a sponsor, we helped provide project ideas while sharing information on how Progressive supports innovation and creativity in our workplace. Eight Progressive Kent State alumni participated, providing feedback and technical suggestions on team ideas.
For the second year, we held a “Take your daughter to IT” day. It was in October in our Cleveland and Colorado Springs offices. The day was organized by Progressive’s Network of Empowered Women.
It was an opportunity for 80 middle-school-age girls, all daughters of Progressive employees, to do some hands-on IT work. They created an Android game app, and took apart and rebuilt a laptop. They got to experience STEM career opportunities in a fun setting, and showcase their projects for their parents and Progressive IT leaders.
Look for Progressive to continue to support coding education—and help inspire future generations of IT professionals—in 2016 and beyond.less
“With Life Lanes, we aim to provide unique information to under-served audiences, and find ways to offer really relevant content at the moment people need it,” says Mark Nedved, digital marketing specialist.
The website is for a broad audience of younger adults who are venturing into the real world. Much of the content relates to car insurance and car ownership. It also dabbles into topics like buying a home, starting a family, career and personal technology.
And, we’re finding ways to reach out to people experiencing significant life events that are often overlooked in other media. A simple example: Life Lanes’ “Live it Up” feature. It offers insurance and financial advice to roommates. Did you know that roommates can share insurance and enjoy some of the same benefits and discounts as a married couple?
In addition to the work of our in-house editorial team, Life Lanes also features content from outside experts. Contributors have included well-known career advisor Kathryn Minshew; financial coach Mary Beth Storjohann; the writers at Fatherly.com, a parenting resource for men; and the socially-conscious GOOD Magazine. In many cases, articles from these contributors are available exclusively at Life Lanes.
Content is distributed by email to customers, through Progressive’s social media properties, and through the expert contributors’ social media.
Looking to 2016 and beyond, expect us to continue to expand and refine Life Lanes’ expert content and focus on audience niches.
At its heart, Life Lanes is a marketing effort. Its goals include building the Progressive brand and increasing sales numbers. But, it’s an effort that falls in line nicely with Progressive’s tradition of giving consumers information they can use to live better and more confident lives.less
Nationally, STEM employment is projected to increase by more than 1 million jobs by 2022, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Yet, only 16 percent of high school seniors show an interest in STEM careers, according to the U.S. Department of Education. Our STEM project team has worked to create classroom experiences that might help move the needle a bit higher.
“Students are starting to explore their interests and make career path decisions earlier than ever,” says Hannah Kam, STEM education coordinator. “We’ve provided support by showing students how their passions and classroom coursework can align to exciting careers in STEM.”
STEM Progress has been built around lessons called “Crash Courses.” In 2015, we developed two new Crash Courses: Physics by Accident and Pizza Pronto. We launched these in March 2016.
Physics by Accident challenges students to examine a unique, real-life accident scenario from both a physics and insurance perspective. This interactive experience reinforces how the laws of physics play into an accident. And, it teaches how insurance can lessen an accident’s financial ramifications.
Pizza Pronto puts students in a virtual driver’s seat. They compete in a retro, Web-based, driving game, delivering pizzas while demonstrating safe driving behaviors. They also learn about usage-based insurance. Students collaborate in teams to solve increasingly difficult algebra problems to earn tips for their team.
“Many jobs at Progressive employ STEM skills in unique and interesting ways,” says Hannah. “All of our Crash Courses were designed to connect academics to specific careers at Progressive. And, each time our employees present, they provide students with practical, real-world applications of their academic interests. It strengthens the crucial link between the classroom and the workplace. This is one way our employees are fostering the next generation of forward thinkers.”less
Stepping out of the classroom and into the big leagues, these students got a chance to explore the intersection between baseball and science, technology, engineering and math (STEM).
“Since 2013, as part of our STEM Progress® program, our employees have visited schools to educate students on STEM using insurance concepts,” says Wanda Shippy, social responsibility and community engagement manager. “Hosting this event at Progressive Field was a great way to reach a large group at once and show how these disciplines apply to baseball.”
Participants warmed up with some fun and interesting baseball and STEM-themed trivia. The two-hour program then featured topics from a four-unit curriculum. Designed by CSU and Progressive, participating teachers received the curriculum earlier in the school year to use in their classrooms.
First in the lineup, a local science teacher brought to life Bernoulli’s principle and the flight of a baseball through a series of air pressure demonstrations. The activity featured a leaf blower, a beach ball, and rolls of toilet paper.
Students then learned how to predict where a slingshot-launched t-shirt would land. They put this knowledge into practice as a Flo look-alike and mascots from CSU and the Indians launched t-shirts into the stands.
As game time approached, players began to take the field for warm-ups. So, the program concluded with a lesson on how baseball scouts and analysts use statistics. Students learned how to calculate the batting average and on-base percentage of their favorite players.
“The students enjoyed the hands-on activities and workbook we provided,” says Hannah Kam, STEM education coordinator. “And, of course, they were thrilled to have the ballpark to themselves before other fans arrived. We want to inspire students to pursue STEM careers in an area they’re passionate about. Offering these kinds of creative learning opportunities helps us to do just that.”
In addition to attendees at this event, we also reached more than 6,015 students in 12 states with our STEM program offerings in 2015.less
Progressive employees participate in an annual survey designed and administered by The Compliance & Ethics Leadership Council. In 2015, we had a participation rate of 74.69%. Results are provided on a scale from 1 to 7 with 7 being the highest possible assessment. Any score above 5.5 is considered an acceptable ethical measurement. The graph summarizes employees’ overall perceptions about our ethical culture and how they vary across management levels.
We had 6,250 employee members of ERGs as of year-end 2015. In 2015, 22.4% of Progressive people participated in ERGs.
In 2015, 7,087 employees had flexible work arrangements.*
Here are the type of arrangements and how they break down.
Through our STEM Progress® program, we develop and teach interactive lessons called Crash Courses to encourage students to develop skills in science, technology, engineering and math.
Here's information on our efforts in 2015:
In Ohio and Colorado, 100 middle-school aged daughters of Progressive employees learned about computer programming, network routing, building a desktop machine and high-tech jobs of today and tomorrow at a special day of hands-on activities presented by Progressive’s Network of Empowered Women (NEW) employee resource group.
Progressive representatives were featured presenters at Cleveland State University’s STEM Teacher Workshop, held in June.
For a third year, we collaborated with Tech Corps, a non-profit organization, to run two after-school Techie Clubs. Over 20 Information Technology volunteers served on volunteer teams who met weekly to teach approximately 40 students about computer programming, Web development, hardware, software, Internet, social media, and robotics and technology careers.
Progressive IT also sponsored a week-long summer High School Coding Camp with Tech Corps, facilitated at Cleveland State University, where 20 students from around Cleveland learned how to create and program apps.
In early 2016, Progressive’s Compliance and Ethics department introduced a new site for employees called ‘Courage at Our Core’, which provides thought-provoking content that encourages an ethical culture.
Progressive employees in 35 cities across the country participated in a school supply drive to benefit the Kids in Need Foundation (KINF). It was sponsored by two Progressive employee organizations—the Young Professionals Network and the Analyst Professional Group. More than 18,000 supplies were donated to KINF.
Progressive employees in Austin, Texas, collected over 2,100 school supplies for Del Valle Independent School District.
On Sept. 3rd, Progressive sponsored a Drive Safe Today Day campaign for the second year in a row to promote safer driving. The campaign elements educated consumers on new guidelines that instruct people to put their hands on the wheel at the 9 and 3 positions when driving rather than the traditional 10 and 2 positions.
Now in its 14th year, our Information Technology organization’s Progressive Educational Partnership Program invites high school students in our northeast Ohio and Colorado Springs, Colo. locations to attend resume and mock interviewing sessions and experience and practice the technology they learn in the classroom. In 2015, we helped Ohio-based students in Cleveland Heights-University Heights High School, Euclid High School, Mayfield Consortium, Mentor High School, and the Auburn Career Center. We also engaged with these Colorado high schools: Discovery Canyon High School, Falcon High School and Pine Creek High School.
Progressive employees in Phoenix, Arizona, collected 656 school supplies and other items for a local school for homeless children.
Our newest employee resource group, Parent Connection, was formed to create awareness of the constant changes that impact our customers’ and employees’ families.