Should insurers have mandatory diversity targets?

Published in: Risk management, Conduct risk, US - Canada - Bermuda, People

Mandatory targets may not be the best way to boost diversity, equity and inclusion (DE&I) in the insurance industry, and instead can be perceived as tokenism.

That is the view of one insurance risk expert ahead of InsuranceERM’s Insurance Risk & Capital Americas 2022 in-person conference, which will take place in New York on 27 September.

The panellist told InsuranceERM: “If you over-regulate [on DE&I] this can lead to a different outcome.”

Making DE&I real and relevant – and deciding what a truly inclusive environment looks like – is one of the areas where best practice will be shared at next Tuesday’s Insurance Risk & Capital Americas conference.

Risk practitioners from across the US will describe how their organisations have implemented DE&I programmes, what has worked and what has not.

One panellist stressed the importance of insurers creating an inclusive environment so people can being the best version of themselves to work. This includes reaching out to lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people, as well as disabled people, for example. The expert said: “Just because you are part of the puzzle does not mean you are included.”

Another panellist noted many insurers have been doing some work on DE&I, but stressed the need to keep up the momentum. On gender diversity at insurers, the panellist said insufficient progress is being made.

To address unconscious bias, one panellist suggested that resumes should not include social background, for example. Another emphasised the importance of engaging with schools from across society to attract students into the insurance sector.

The panel stressed the value that having a diverse workforce means for insurers in having a plurality of views, as well as helping to address the insurance industry’s talent gap.

To register for the Insurance Risk & Capital Americas event and view the agenda, please click here.

Ronan McCaughey