An inclusive workplace is different from having a diverse workforce. Inclusion allows employees to bring their authentic selves to the workplace and reduces the prevalence of ‘code-switching’, writes Sylvia Oliveira, chair of BILTIR, in her foreword to Intelligent Insurer's Diversity and Inclusion Report 2021.
This decade has witnessed positive momentum toward increased diversity in the workforce. Top US universities have made great strides in expanding the diversity of their student bodies, providing companies with a broad, well-educated, hiring pool.
Companies in most industries, including insurance, have recognised the benefits of increasing diversity and inclusion (D&I) within their organisations and have started to actively diversify their workforce. Conferences like the Dive In Festivals and publications such as Intelligent Insurer’s D&I supplement continue to emphasise the importance of a diverse workforce.
However, the positive momentum seen among new hires and promotions to middle management grinds to a halt as one climbs up the corporate ladder into the C-suite and the boardroom. One very apparent example of groups for whom this is true is women of colour, who represent a growing portion of the workforce.
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