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Be open and honest about diversity challenges




My previous blog post in this series focused on data to analyze how how much, or how little, the insurance industry increased diversity over the last five years [19659002]. In this post, I want to highlight specific examples, both good and bad, directly from the industry. But I also want to dive into the elephant in the room: talk about diversity.

So many leaders and corporate cultures are afraid to be honest about their diversity. Social pressure is so strong that companies are often afraid that acknowledges failures in its diversity programs . If companies continue to distort their reality to simply market "diversity", they will never improve. This fear turns important diversity programs into nothing more than PR machines. The only way to truly move the insurance industry toward more diversity is to be open and honest about failures, as much as successes.

Steps Forward, Steps Backward

Many insurance companies have made visible steps towards improving their diversity. AXA, Alliance, MetLife and Zurich all topped Bloomberg's gender equality index this year. CNA and Nationwide were recognized by The Human Rights Campaign & # 39 ;s Corporate Equality Index. And Liberty Mutual, USAA and Progressive were among the top 50 jobs for diversity.

At the same time AIG recently lost four B lack managers . Before leaving, only 1.5% of AIG's senior officials and executives were black, according to a 2018 report. Most executives did not comment publicly, but Walter Hurdle, who is responsible for diversity efforts and early career recruitment, is quoted as saying that say that he was "informed that my role was eliminated, and that's all I have to say."

So while awards and accolades are nice to market, history's opinion will be determined by real change on the ground. [19659018] COVID-19 and Diversity

COVID-19 could potentially halt diversity advances in the insurance industry. Pandemic affects companies in different ways. the increase in net income for health insurance companies, while international insurance companies seem to be fighting .It is possible that insurance companies put diversity on the burner while they focuses on dealing with the pandemic. But this would be short-lived d, because creativity and unique views coming from different employees can actually be helpful during this difficult time.

Show Your Diversity Data: Transparency

T here is an argument to that this is the natural way to improve diversity. At present various candidates have not been brought up or trained to take leadership roles. N know that training of different candidates is a focus, we should see them promoted and eventually land in leadership positions over the years.

American family insurance is an excellent example of this type of initiative. T hey has established Business Resource Groups (Abilities, Black / African American, Women, LGBTQA, Veterans and more) to provide input on the company's initiatives and culture. Which takes me to the importance of openness.

Last year Accenture was named the company's number 1 on the Refinitive's Diversity and Inclusion Index, which identifies the 100 listed companies with the most diverse and inclusive workplaces .

But as I continue to say, these awards are fine, but not concrete. Instead, the real focus on increasing insurance diversity must be data. And data is only available if it is made available. Which brings me back to my original point at the beginning of this article: transparency.

Here are Accentures publicly published demographics for the US workforce dating back to 2015. This is how companies hold themselves accountable. By publishing diversity data, insurance companies can bypass by simply marketing the importance of diversity and evolving to really make e a difference. For example, Accenture cannot hide the information on this page. When investors, governments or the general public question our commitment to diversity, we must answer and explain these figures because they are not hidden.

It is very likely that many insurance companies are afraid of what their diversity data will show the year before. But before the industry fears failure, it should overcome its fear of openness. If diversity data remains hidden, it raises the question of how serious managers really are about increasing diversity. Publishing diversity data does not have to be scary. It is simply a benchmark for improvement. It is the responsibility that companies fear, but without responsibility, what is the point of all the awards and conferences?

Keep my eyes open for my third and last blog post in this series, where I will limit my focus and talk specifically about women in technology. With my own advice on "openness", I will bring my personal experiences (as a computer science major I was the only woman in my class) to highlight the challenges and opportunities that women face in the technology industry.


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