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Employees of The Principal say "It Gets Better"

A message of hope for GLBT youth

April 16, 2014 (Des Moines, Iowa) — Employees of The Principal Financial Group® have a message for gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender (GLBT) youth: "It gets better." The employees share their personal stories in a new video posted on the It Gets Better ProjectTM website and at www.principal.com/GLBTA. The "It Gets Better Project" focuses on assuring GLBT youth that as they get older, life gets easier.

"This is a message of hope for GLBT youth that it will indeed get much better and that it is critically important they hang in there and know they have allies. They are not alone," said Nora Everett, senior vice president at The Principal® and co-chair of The Principal Diversity Council. "The Principal salutes the employees who are stepping forward to share their inspiring stories. We are proud to present them to the youth of America because our commitment to diversity and inclusion extends beyond our corporate walls."

The GLBTA (A is for allies) Employee Resource Group at The Principal debuted the video at an employee event which featured several speakers including Betsy Bernard, past president of AT&T and member of the Principal Financial Group Board of Directors since 2001. Bernard shared her personal observations and experiences as an openly gay woman in corporate America.

"My journey was made easier by allies—both gay and straight—who accepted me for who I was and were willing to stand up to anyone who didn't. Videos like this bring allies forward," said Bernard." Gay rights are an issue of civil rights. History has shown we need many people to rally together in order to make real progress on civil rights. That includes not only those whose rights are being violated but also those who won't stand by and watch, like our wonderful allies."

A recognized commitment to diversity and inclusion

The GLBTA employee resource group is one of several at The Principal which play a key role in helping diverse groups of employees feel welcomed and respected. The groups provide a formal setting for employees with similar interests who have been culturally underrepresented in the workforce or perhaps even faced societal adversity.

"The Principal is committed to fostering a diverse and inclusive culture where everyone, regardless of sexual identity, race, gender or life experience, feels comfortable bringing their best selves to work," said Everett. "Visible allies—straight employees and members of the GLBT community—are everywhere at The Principal. They make things better for all non-majority groups by speaking up and showing their support."

The Human Right's Campaign has consistently given The Principal a 90 percent rating in its Corporate Equality Index for the company's practices and policies on GLBT employees and customers. The Principal offers employee resource groups for a wide range of populations including African American/Black, Asian, Disabled, Hispanic/Latino, New Employees and Veterans. Visit the diversity section of The Principal Corporate Responsibility website to learn more.

About the It Gets Better Project

The mission of the It Gets Better ProjectTM is to communicate to lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) youth around the world that it gets better, and to create and inspire the changes needed to make it better for them. The Project was founded in September, 2010, when the original It Gets Better video was created and posted to YouTube, igniting a worldwide phenomenon. The message was simple: that no matter how difficult things may be, it gets better. Today, the It Gets Better Project has a library of over 50,000 videos.

About the Principal Financial Group

The Principal Financial Group® (The Principal ®)[1] is a global investment management leader offering retirement services, insurance solutions and asset management. The Principal offers businesses, individuals and institutional clients a wide range of financial products and services, including retirement, asset management and insurance through its diverse family of financial services companies. Founded in 1879 and a member of the FORTUNE 500®, the Principal Financial Group has $483.2 billion in assets under management[2] and serves some 19.4 million customers worldwide from offices in Asia, Australia, Europe, Latin America and the United States. Principal Financial Group, Inc. is traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol PFG. For more information, visit www.principal.com.

[1]
“The Principal Financial Group” and “The Principal” are registered service marks of Principal Financial Services, Inc., a member of the Principal Financial Group.
[2]
As of December 31, 2013.

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