Best Places to Work in IT 2009 Employer Profile

No. 50

Northwestern Mutual Financial Network

Milwaukee, Wis. [North Central]

Why you want to work there

This Milwaukee-based life insurance company places a high value on its people. In one retention program, IT professionals can earn promotions not by applying for jobs but by expanding their technology knowledge. All new employees are paired with a peer mentor, or "buddy," to answer everyday questions and help them get acclimated to the culture. Also, when an employee takes on a new role, a mentor is appointed to help with the transition. Employees are asked to routinely engage in informal mentoring activities and are encouraged to seek out mentors for help developing technical and interpersonal skills on a "just in time" basis, as well as for assistance with longer-term career planning. Other benefits include an on-site health clinic staffed by a physician, nurse practitioners and registered nurses to treat basic and urgent care conditions. There are 29 employee clubs offering company-subsidized activities across a broad range of interests from sports to hobbies to professional growth. The company also offers employees a fully-funded defined benefit pension plan and a 401(k) defined contribution plan with a 50% match on the first 6% an employee contributes. Other benefits include an on-site fitness center, adoption assistance, transportation assistance, educational assistance, discount and rebate programs, and laundry, photo-processing, shipping and automotive services.

Rank by company size:
Medium, No. 14

Employee Statistics

Total U.S.-based employees: 5,247

Total U.S.-based IT employees: 1,189

IT employee turnover in 2008: 6%

IT promotions in 2008: 15%


Training days offered per IT employee in 2008: 5

Training budget per IT employee in 2008: $1,400

Women in IT

Total percentage of women within IT: 35%

Percentage of IT managers who are women: 32%

Percentage of IT staffers (non-managers) who are women: 35%

Minorities in IT

Total percentage of minorities within IT: 12%

Percentage of IT managers who are minorities: 2%

Percentage of IT staffers (non-managers) who are minorities: 14%