Tough choices: taking diversity and inclusion from theory to practice


Tough choices: taking diversity and inclusion from theory to practice

Re/insurers can start small but should think big to see real change in their organisations. A focus on specific areas to achieve real change needs to be combined with a willingness to question fundamental assumptions.

Diversity and inclusion (D&I) has long been an issue in insurance, but it has come to the fore in the last couple of years. Galvanised by the murder of George Floyd and the Black Lives Matter movement, re/insurers are increasingly turning from aspirational statements or targets to concrete strategies. For many, however, it is still early days. There remains, many in the industry admit, a long way to go.

To explore how re/insurers, brokers and others will get there, Intelligent Insurer brought together a panel of experts to discuss their strategies and what else they’ve seen in the industry: Bill Wharton, head of Argo Insurance Bermuda and a member of the insurer’s D&I committee; Helen Cooke, who joined Aspen in May 2020 as its lead for culture change engagement and D&I at Aspen Insurance; Chelsey Sprong, appointed inclusion partner at Beazley in the same year; Barbara Schönhofer, founder and chair of ISC Group, a community interest company that provides personal, professional and business development for women in insurance; and Vic Mazonas, general manager of the Group for Autism, Insurance and Neurodiversity (Gain), launched in 2021 with founder members including Marsh McLennan, Swiss Re, and Zurich. The group aims to unlock the potential of neurodiverse individuals and give them opportunities in the insurance industry.

As Schönhofer said, many of the efforts to increase diversity have a long history. The ISC Group started as the Insurance Supper Club and was founded in the UK in 2008. The big insurers in the UK were also affected by the Davies Review in 2010 examining the under-representation of women on boards.

diversity, inclusion, strategy, Cooke, Wharton, insurance, re/insurance, Sprong, Mazonas, Schonhofer, Argo, Aspen, GAIN, Beazley, skills

Intelligent Insurer