Progress is being made on improving diversity and inclusion (D&I) in re/insurance with ever more people recognising the value they bring, not just as a good thing to do, but also in financial results and competitive advantage.
For our 2019 special report we spoke to senior leaders throughout the industry, including Inga Beale, Sian Fisher and Jane Portas, to find out what they are doing and how they see the future of D&I.
While progress is happening, many of the people we spoke to say it is still not happening fast enough. Our lead feature ‘Cultural evolution’ looks at how the sector and wider society can accelerate action to bring benefits not just for individuals but also at national and global levels.
When, for example, the benefits of greater female participation in work include a potential $6 trillion boost to the GDP of OECD countries, the drive for change seems like a no-brainer. This finding comes from PwC’s March 2019 Women in Work Index, which also found that closing the gender pay gap alone could boost GDP for OECD countries by $2 trillion.
Looking at D&I more broadly, McKinsey has a warning for businesses that think doing the bare minimum is enough. The firm’s ‘Delivering through Diversity’ report, published in 2018, found that companies in the bottom quartile for both gender and ethnic/cultural diversity were 29 percent less likely to achieve above-average profitability than all the other companies in the dataset.
While the business case has repeatedly been made, societal attitudes lag behind. That said, high profile re/insurance sector firms are backing D&I programmes such as Dive In and many have signed up to Insuring Women’s Futures, which offers a holistic plan to improve women’s financial lives, while highlighting business opportunities for the sector into the bargain.
If you need more inspiration for making changes in your business, have a look through our carefully selected 2019 list of the top 50 most influential women in the sector with personal profiles for each one.
Our report overall brings home that D&I isn’t a nice-to-have, it is a clear business and societal imperative.