By Kris Maccini, Director of Social Media, Triple-I
Although the insurance industry recognizes the importance of diversity, justice and inclusion (DEI), has it become part of core values and culture? The short answer: progress has been made, but more action is needed. Triple-I met Dr. Leroy Nunery II, author of The Journey of African-American Insurance Professionals and Triple-I non-resident scholar to discuss how industry has developed in DEI since its 201
Nunery describes diversity, justice and inclusion as interoperable and notes that each is often defined separately but cannot stand alone. “Diversity is the practice of considering differences from whatever is the norm in a company. Justice is about access to opportunities that people may not have. Inclusion is bringing people together at the same table and the concern they have for each other, he explains.
According to S&P Global research, the number of black professionals in the insurance industry increased to 12.4 percent of the workforce from 9 percent in the last ten years, with the number of Asians and people in the Other category increasing to 6.2 percent and 2.7 percent, respectively. While the numbers are rising, the pace of change is lagging behind.
One of the main challenges for DEI in insurance is entry barriers. Nunery explains, “Insurance is largely nepotistic and driven by family contact. It is challenging to succeed without that group connection or network. "He believes that people of color can shift those numbers and take advantage of that drive. “We can be exclusive sometimes. We say & # 39; We are all inside & # 39 ;, but we do everything we can so that only a small group can enter. We need to do a better job of transferring knowledge, he says.
Companies recognize the commitment that DEI is more than hiring more people of color. There are markets to develop, business alliances to form and investments in education and advocacy. Nunery works with a client on a six-month job shadowing program that collaborates colored with senior executives – giving C-suite exposure and access to meetings that were previously out of reach. "It's important to coach talent to perform at a higher level," Nunery says of these programs. "It's a tightrope to go, but I tell people not to worry about failure. Worry about how successful you will be.
Friendship and mentorship can only go so far. A September 1945 survey by Business Insurance showed that 63 percent of those surveyed believe that the CEO bears the greatest responsibility for making DEI work. Nunery agrees and adds that the CEO not only needs to say that DEI is important but also translates it into action.
"When you ask companies to prove DEI, they fall short," says Nunery. “Managers are not evaluated for it. There are no important performance indicators. Boards ask about it but do not make it mandatory. To make DEI successful, let's be more honest with our exchanges.