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Assistant Director - Communications, Diversity & Inclusion Initiatives

At Northwestern Mutual, we are strong, innovative and growing. We invest in our people. We care and make a positive difference.

What's the role?

We, at Northwestern Mutual are continuing to build and nurture a healthy and robust, diverse, equitable, and inclusive culture! The Assistant Director, Communications will lead and deliver on a portfolio of critical communications work for two large initiatives within this focus; the company’s Women’s Platform and Sustained Action for Racial Equity.

These initiatives are making an impact across the company – and this role is an opportunity to be a key part of meaningful change to fight racism and to ensure Northwestern Mutual is a company where a diversity of women want to join, stay, and grow. These enterprise-wide programs require a highly collaborative and proactive approach to drive communications strategy and execution on these critical topics, including the ability to; shape and synthesize broad efforts into an aligned and cohesive communications approach, build a strong internal network of partners, and drive rapid communications execution.


This role counsels and supports senior management related to these initiatives to engage, educate and influence key audiences through effective communications strategies, messaging and tactics. Key responsibilities include:

Proactively develops communication strategies that encompass internal (field and employee communications); external (public and media relations); and print and electronic media solutions. Internal clients and partners include senior management, department heads, division leaders and project leaders.

Develop and expand client/business partner relationships on behalf of the communications department. Maintain positive, productive relationships focused on using communications strategies to deliver business value.

Collaborate with and advise clients/business partners regarding their business and communication objectives. Based on these consultations, develop annual communication plan and/or communication strategies to inform and influence target audiences and support or drive desired business outcomes.

Proactively make relevant strategic connections on behalf of clients/business partners. Anticipate and recommend strategies to address communications opportunities and challenges.

Ensure planning and delivery of effective integrated communication solutions by identifying partners and collaborating effectively with each functional area of communications department and company-wide partners, as appropriate.

Actively coordinate and guide the work to achieve client satisfaction with the quality and effectiveness of communications counsel, services and execution of programs. Participate in client initiatives, as appropriate.

Role will manage and develop a direct report in a manner that encourages professional and technical skill development, teamwork, and alignment to department and company goals. Conduct performance planning, goal-setting, assessment, and coaching to accountabilities of each team member.

Contribute to the development of the strategy and operating plan for the communications organization.

Plan and/or manage the measurement of the effectiveness of communications support and/or return on communications investment in assigned areas. Periodically assess client/business partner relationships, and identify and implement improvements, as appropriate.

May manage resources to ensure that financial objectives are met within own area and that project work for clients is delivered within established budget and timeline.

Bring Your Best! What this role needs:

  • Bachelor's degree in communications, journalism, public relations, marketing or related field.
  • At least ten (10) years of progressively responsible experience in professional corporate communications, organizational communications, integrated communications and/or public relations in corporate or agency setting.
  • Proven experience with key accountability for managing client relationships, providing high-level communications counsel in support of business objectives and guiding teams in successful implementation of communications programs.
  • Ability to listen to, engage, and influence clients; synthesize and relate sophisticated information; analyze communication problems and opportunities; and develop and implement integrated communication strategies.
  • Exceptional professional communications skills including business and communications writing; public speaking in small- and large-group settings; and one-to-one personal relationships.
  • Ability to lead, develop and empower professional-level staff to achieve desired objectives.
  • Proficient with a range of external and internal communications solutions: face-to-face; print and electronic channels; media relations; creative media solutions.
  • Superior planning, problem-solving and decision-making capabilities.
  • Experience with driving communications for diversity, equity and inclusion initiatives is preferred.
  • Knowledge of social media applications is preferred.



This job is not covered by the existing Collective Bargaining Agreement.

Required Certifications:

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We are an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer and all qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, national origin, disability, age or status as a protected veteran, or any other characteristic protected by law.


We’re excited about the potential people bring to Northwestern Mutual. You can grow your career here while enjoying first-class perks, benefits, and commitment to diversity and inclusion.