Skip to content

How Maddie is creating a more gender inclusive culture at Northwestern Mutual


At Northwestern Mutual, we’re committed to creating a workplace where our employees feel safe, celebrated and free to be their authentic selves at work. We take pride in our people by recognizing their sexual orientation and gender identities not only during Pride Month but throughout the year.

We connected with Maddie Tausch (she/her), senior data analyst and member of the PRIDE Employee Resource Group (ERG), who shared the variety of ways she is making Northwestern Mutual a more inclusive place for all employees.

How do you support LGBTQ+ pride and awareness at Northwestern Mutual?

I always try to come in with an open heart and mind. From my experience, engaging in vulnerable conversations is one of the hardest steps in building allyship. As a member of the trans community, I like being someone who people can go to with their difficult questions. Through my role on the ERG Governance Board, I strive to bring critical conversations to people outside of the community. For example, we’ve had sessions talking about identity and found family and what that means to different members of the LGBTQ+ community. This has allowed people outside of the community, including myself, to better understand themselves and their peers.

Why is it important to you to initiate change?

People don’t know what they don’t know. When it comes to hiring and working with transgender employees, people aren’t always aware of the barriers we may face. My goal is to remove those barriers, so others won’t have to encounter them. This can mean connecting with HR and ensuring our voice and feedback is heard about healthcare and benefit offerings or working with tech to ensure we are advocating for tools that are not deadnaming transgender employees.

As someone who works in the tech space, it’s easier for me to understand the different components and factors.  I can then bring that knowledge and use it to generate improvements and make things better for everyone. Lessening barriers for transgender employees improves overall employee morale and that improves Northwestern Mutual’s culture as an inclusive employer – everyone wins.

How has participating in the PRIDE ERG positively contributed to your career fulfillment at Northwestern Mutual? 

At Northwestern Mutual I feel like my voice is heard, and as someone who is part of a marginalized community, that makes me feel connected to the culture. Being part of the PRIDE ERG has linked me with other members of the LGBTQ+ community and business leaders. This has helped me in building professional and personal relationships.

Has it been valuable for you to find people with whom you share similar experiences? 

Yeah, absolutely. We have cultivated a supportive community of transgender people and parents of transgender children where we can talk about topics that impact our community, such as ‘hey, I had this healthcare situation, and I went to this person’ or ‘here's the experience I had changing my name. Do you need help with that X, Y or Z?’

It’s important because the best people to understand the challenges of a community are the people in the community. But really in any community, having more people talk about their experience is a good thing.

In what ways do you think Northwestern Mutual creates a culture of belonging?

Everybody is just so welcoming. Our culture is unique in that you can connect with anyone and everyone throughout the organization. You can even have a conversation with someone at the C-suite level if you need to. For example, I was able to sit down with one of our senior executives and learn how the business makes decisions. If I want to network with someone or seek their expertise, I feel empowered to do that. I appreciate the supportive and friendly culture that you find here.

Northwestern Mutual is building a culture that encourages LGBTQ+ allies and questioning employees to take pride in who they are and the work they do. And we act on our promises by offering inclusive healthcare options that consider the needs of the LGBTQ+ community.