Photo of a diverse group of employees at a conference table.

Inclusion In The Workplace

Among the many gains of an inclusive environment, diversity of thought is perhaps the richest. It drives better outcomes. Our employees do their best work when surrounded by a broad set of perspectives, skills, and beliefs. They share and learn from one another. Contribute their best thinking. Embrace equal opportunity to thrive and advance.

We’re committed to nurturing an inclusive culture and diverse workforce based on the highest ethical standards and a dedication to fairness, respect, integrity, and trust.

It’s not enough to only say these things. We set goals for our continued improvement and we measure against them.

Here are the four major lenses we use to stay focused, and a little about how we use them:

Growth in diversity

To serve a broad set of customer needs around the world, our employees must reflect that same diversity of individuals, families, businesses, and communities. Through our diversity index, we track representation within our employee populations to ensure our organization continues to make progress in this area.

We recognize there’s more to be done. To keep making progress, we’re:

  • fostering diversity in our internship, mentorship, and early leader development programs; and
  • continuously refreshing our people processes (i.e. recruitment and retention; growth path to promotion and development; compensation and benefits) to ensure we’re nurturing an inclusive environment.

Global employees
as of 12/31/2020

Graph showing that 54.7% of our global. employees are women as of 12/31/2020.

At the end of 2014, 60.9% of our global workforce were women. As of December 31, 2020, that percentage held steady at 54.7%. In 2014, 72% of our workforce was in the U.S.; today that number is 60.7%.

U.S. employees
as of 12/31/2020

Graph showing that 58.4% of our U.S. employees are women as of 12/31/2019.
Chart showing that of our U.S. employees, 11.9% identify as a person of color as of 12/31/202.

In the U.S., at the end of 2014, 802 of our employees identified as persons of color (POC) —only 8.3% of our total U.S. workforce. By the end of 2020, 1,255 employees identified as POC, or 11.9% of the U.S. workforce. That’s an average annual growth rate of 9.0% since 2014 and an 8.1% growth from 2019 to 2020.

These changes were needed to enrich the diversity of thoughts and ideas infusing the work that we do. We will continue to make them.

Leadership and advancement

We continue to hire and advance leaders of diverse backgrounds as we endeavor to expand our thinking, foster innovation and new ideas, and stay connected and engaged with the people and communities we serve. Our Diversity Index monitors our representation and progress across multiple leader teams, including tracking advancement within Principal for our female and racially diverse employees in the U.S.

To expand racial and gender representation within our leadership teams, we:

  • prioritized identifying inclusive candidate slates and interview teams for leadership positions;
  • continuously track, oversee, and discuss this commitment within our Executive Inclusion Council and Executive Management Group; and
  • transparently report our progress and plans.

Current percentage
as of 12/31/2020

Average annual growth rate
since 12/31/2014

Independent board directors


45% (5 of 11)

5% (4 to 5)

People of color

18% (3 of 11)

20% (1 to 3)


64% (7 of 11)


Executive Management Group/C-suite


42% (5 of 12)

-17% (6 to 5)

People of color

8% (1 of 12)

0% (1 to 1)

Senior management group (SVP and above)


39% (11 of 28)

2% (10 to 11)

People of color

12% (3 of 26)*

10% (2 to 3)

U.S. senior leaders


40% (655 of 1,631)

5% (519 to 655)

People of color

7% (122 of 1,631)

12% (77 to 122)

* Two members are based outside the U.S., where reporting on racial diversity is more nuanced, and don't disclose their race.

The Human Resources Committee of the Principal Board of Directors reviews the diversity of the Company’s workforce as well as other progress against its global inclusion strategy.

Compensation and benefits

We provide competitive compensation for our employees around the world—relying on objective, third-party market data to ensure base salary and incentives are appropriately aligned in the markets where we compete for talent.

We have a process in the U.S. to review our pay practices each year for potential unexplained differences in pay—either by gender or by race. This helps us identify and address gaps. We engage an independent third party to perform pay equity analysis and we take prompt action when unexplained differences occur. Learn more about our global pay philosophy.

Our benefits approach is built on the principles of fairness and equity. We offer:

Image saying robust prenatal care programs.
Image saying domestic partner benefits.
Image saying adoption benefits.
Image saying wellness programs.

The well-being of our employees calls for more than a one-size-fits-all approach. We provide this broad array of supports to employees as we strive to meet the needs of their personal and family situations.

Global mentoring program

  • Our global mentoring program provides a rich environment in which both mentees and mentors can learn and grow together. Nearly 2,000 employees are participating in this 10-month program.

Third-party recognition

Many of our honors are included in the company profile (PDF). These are just a few that stand out:

  • Included on Forbes 2020 list of America’s Best Employers for Women.
  • Earned the 2019 Military Friendly Employer designation by Victory Media.
  • Named one of the 2020 National Association for Female Executives Top Companies for Executive Women, the 19th time that Principal has been so honored.
  • Named one of the 2020 Working Mother 100 Best Companies for Women, the 18th consecutive year in which Principal has received this award.
  • Named among America's top companies for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) equality, by earning a perfect 100 percent score on the Human Rights Campaign Foundation's Equality Index (CEI) every year since 2016.
  • Named one of the World's Most Ethical Companies for the tenth time by Ethisphere Institute (2020).
  • Named among the best places to work by Pensions & Investments annual survey of "Best Places to Work in Money Management" (2019).
  • Perfect score on 2020 Disability Equality Index