This post is part of a series sponsored by IAT Insurance Group.
To foster a diverse workforce with unique perspectives, purposeful diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) strategies must be implemented. Supported by transparency, focused recruitment to ensure large, diverse applicant pools and retention efforts, it is possible to build an inclusive and engaging company culture, regardless of industry.
And yet, striving for a DEI culture in the insurance industry can be easier said than done. Because the insurance industry is typically known as a white, male-dominated field, and recruiting and retention is more difficult when diverse candidates don’t see themselves reflected in the industry, change can be more difficult. But it doesn’t have to be.
Here are 5 best practices to increase and increase DEI recruitment and retention success in the insurance industry:
- Rate your business in terms of DEI. Take the time to evaluate any gaps in your organization’s recruiting processes, starting with the recruiting process. Evaluate:
- Interview hiring panels – do you have diverse representation?
- Recruitment and hiring procedures – where do you recruit and source candidates?
- The process from a candidate’s perspective – what does your employer brand say about you and does it align with the candidate’s experience?
- Be transparent. Let potential employees know about your organization’s DEI goals and where you are on your journey. Consider the following when recruiting:
- Be honest when talking to candidates about DEI initiatives within your organization. The generation entering the workforce is bold and courageous and will not hesitate to ask questions about DEI programming and executive leadership representation.
- Talk openly with applicants about areas for diversity and inclusion improvement and how your company is working toward measurable goals, including how they can be part of the journey.
- Have open conversations with internal teams and managers to discuss candidate issues.
- Walk the talk. It’s one thing to add a page to your website that talks about DEI, but it’s more impactful to show how you’re practicing DEI initiatives in your company. Partner with organizations such as the National African American Insurance Association (NAAIA), Prospanica, and the Association of Professional Insurance Women (APIW) that specifically provide resources and development opportunities for underrepresented groups.
Encourage employees to get involved. The ultimate goal is to initiate opportunities and increase exposure to bring more DEI into the insurance industry.
- Make DEI part of the fabric of the business. Talk about DEI often, so that it is woven into your company’s daily existence and the structure of your business. Dig deeper and leverage the knowledge and leadership skills of your employees to help weed out problem areas and ideas to move the DEI needle forward. IAT has developed two programs to help achieve this:
The I&D Council: A gathering of IAT leaders and managers who meet to discuss high-level DEI strategy.
Family Ambassadors: Who has their finger on the pulse of what is happening in the company? Our coworkers. At IAT, we rely on our family ambassadors to provide insight into how employees are feeling, identify gaps for improvement and develop opportunities for employees to feel more engaged and supported.
- Establish a mentorship program. Providing opportunities for early career training and development is important for employees. There is value in role models and mentors in your chosen profession. Invest in employees by paying for them to become members of representative organizations like Prospanica that empower the Hispanic community to reach its full potential. This allows employees to grow and develop around people who look like and resonate with them.
Even if your business isn’t where it wants to be on its DEI journey today, that’s ok. DEI is not one-size-fits-all so it is important for your organization to understand what is happening in this space from a broader perspective, find what works and make it applicable to their employees. Be specific about your company’s DEI goals, how they relate to the business, and remember that transparency and accountability are key.
Visit the IAT website to learn more about our commitment to DEI.
By Lindsay Spann
The most important insurance news, in your inbox every working day.
Get the insurance industry’s trusted newsletter