Staffing & Culture | 05.24.23
BISA's Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Committee Rising Star Program: A Conversation With Piera Valle
The Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Rising Star Program is a BISA-sponsored recognition and leadership development program for professionals who have demonstrated commitment to creating an impact in and advancing DE&I in our industry or within our communities. The program is designed to foster professional growth, leadership growth and career advancement for diverse individuals through mentoring, networking events and volunteer opportunities. Piera Valle (Pacific Life), as a member of the BISA DE&I Committee, heads up this program. We spoke with her about the goals and ambitions that come with being a Rising Star and the impact that this program makes on the industry as a whole.
How would you describe your program's role in BISA’s mission?
I feel the BISA DE&I Rising Star and Mentorship Program’s role is an integral part of BISA’s overall mission to inspire and support member firms.
The program serves as a voice for Rising Stars who have demonstrated commitment to creating an impact in and advancing DE&I in our industry or within their communities. Our mission is to foster professional growth, leadership growth and career advancement through networking, mentoring and volunteer opportunities. Focusing on the importance of an inclusive working environment will improve business results and strengthen our industry.
What 2022/2023 Rising Stars success or achievement are you most proud of?
There are so many successes to be proud of within this program, but for me, a highlight was observing the 2022 and 2023 classes gathered as a unified group during this year’s Annual Convention at many of the events. What I personally love most about our industry is the sense of community and the friendships I have built over the past 20+ years and to see the Rising Stars creating their own community was certainly a proud moment.
Can you describe what it's like to be part of the Rising Stars cohort? Any highlights of this cohort so far?
This year’s cohort recently participated in a virtual meeting led by the BISA Future Leaders, which is comprised of past Rising Stars. The focus was on Career Progression: How to Navigate Careers within the Financial Services Industry. The Future Leaders had an opportunity to share their stories and many of them spoke of the opportunities that came from being a part of the BISA DE&I Rising Star Program, so that was certainly a highlight this year.
Each of this year’s cohort is also part of a mentorship program and paired with a leader within our industry. The mentorship program continues to be one of the most successful and rewarding parts of the DE&I Rising Star Program.
Where do you see BISA Rising Stars making an impact in our industry?
In general, focusing on DE&I and providing opportunities for diverse individuals is critical to the future of our industry. It allows for different viewpoints and better connects us to a more diverse customer base.
I also believe the mentorship program has had a large impact on our industry. I have had many past and present mentors tell me the impact working with DE&I Rising Stars had on them. These leaders of our industry gained new perspectives and knowledge, all of which can help us prioritize DE&I in succession planning to ensure organizations can create a more inclusive and effective leadership pipeline that benefits everyone.
What made you interested in leading the Rising Star Program?
It was important for me to give back to an industry that has provided me with a great career and financial stability. Collectively, we are all on a DE&I journey. It is about ongoing learning and growth. The passion I have to lend my voice and perspective and be a part of BISA’s continued efforts to support the next generation of leaders and DE&I initiatives is what motivates me.
BISA recently worked with Cerulli Associates on a research study covering recruitment and retention in the industry. What role does this program play in recruitment/retention, and why is this so important to address?
The DE&I Rising Star Program plays a big role in recruitment and retention in the industry. First, a diverse and inclusive workforce contributes to a happy and healthy work environment. Secondly, research has found that diversity begets diversity, meaning that diverse talent attracts more diverse clients and that attracts more diverse talent.
Access the research study
About Piera Valle
As a Senior Director in Strategic Accounts, Piera is responsible for developing and growing strategic partnerships for Pacific Life’s Consumer Markets Division. She also serves as a board member for Pacific Life’s Women at PL connections group, focusing on their community efforts and has been on the BISA DEI Committee for the last five years.