As vice president of the long-term care department at Northwestern Mutual, and president and CEO of its wholly-owned subsidiary, Northwestern Long Term Care Insurance Company, Kamilah Williams-Kemp is the only executive leading multiple profit and loss areas, and the only female executive with P&L responsibility. She also serves as a mentor for young people and people of color at the company, and developed and chaired the African-American Employee Resource Group (ERG).
Recognized by Savoy Magazine as one of the Top 100 Most Influential Blacks in Corporate America, she was also named one of Black Enterprise’s 2017 Most Powerful Women in Business.
Outside work, Williams-Kemp serves her alma maters by helping to recruit future influencers – particularly women and people of color. She also sits on the local board of Rocketship Education, a national network of charter schools seeking to eliminate the achievement gap for low-income kindergarten-to- 5th-grade students through educator empowerment, parent engagement and community inspiration.
“Diversity and inclusion is deeply personal for me,” Williams-Kemp explains. “Certainly, I have broken through many barriers, but D&I is a larger vision for me. What keeps me in the financial services industry is knowing how valuable financial planning is to the families we serve, especially families of color. I have seen the impact of people living life without an adequate financial plan in place. Helping families and businesses preserve their wealth or build a new legacy is tremendously important to me as an African-American woman in a community where many are able to build wealth for the first time.”
“I am a founding member of Northwestern Mutual’s African- American Employee Resource Group, which paved the way for our other ERGs and expanded our dialogue about diversity and inclusion,” says Williams-Kemp. “To unleash the potential of employees, tap into new markets, inspire innovation and cut through the noise in the marketplace, you must include diverse perspectives.”
Williams-Kemp offers this advice to other women: “Immerse yourself in learning the business, developing your skills and taking on new challenges. If you want to be the boss, be clear on why. It isn’t always as glamorous as it looks! You need a deep sense of purpose driving you when things get tough.”