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Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in Insurance (Part 2)

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in Insurance (Part 2)

June 2024 by Josh Jennings
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Much like other business sectors, the insurance industry has undergone significant changes in its approach to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) in recent years. Major civil society movements such as Black Lives Matter (BLM) and #MeToo have brought DEI to the forefront, compelling the industry to re-evaluate its practices. In the UK, initiatives such as the Insurance Women’s Inclusivity Network, the Insurance Cultural Awareness Network, and the ABI Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Blueprint have been instrumental in driving change. However, despite these efforts, the insurance sector still trails behind other industries in DEI leadership.
Please join us in exploring part two of this DEI blog series which explores ethnicity, LGBTQ+, and Neurodiversity & Disability. Read part one here.

A recap, the current DEI status in the insurance industry

Since 2017, the proportion of insurance organisations with a DEI strategy has steadily increased. More companies are now tracking various diversity characteristics, including LGBTQ+, social mobility, neurodiversity, disability, menopause, age, and faith. This marks a significant step towards creating a more inclusive workplace. Please read on to discover the latest statistics.

Ethnicity

  • Ethnic representation within the insurance sector has declined from 16% in 2017 to 9% in 2021. This overall reduction is mainly due to a decrease in Black, Asian, and minority ethnic employees at entry and experienced non-managerial levels, despite an increase in board-level representation from 2% in 2021 to 6% in 2022.

  • In 2023, only 3% of senior positions in the UK insurance industry were held by individuals from ethnic minority backgrounds, well below the national average of 6.7%. This underrepresentation is concerning, as diversity and inclusivity are crucial for creating an equal work environment and attracting a wide range of valuable talent.

LGBTQ+

  • The percentage of companies with specific LGBTQ+ inclusion policies decreased from 36% in 2020 to 26% in 2021. However, there has been a steady increase in internal networks and external organisations supporting LGBTQ+ inclusion and representation in the workplace. This suggests that while formal policies may be lacking, efforts to support LGBTQ+ employees are steadily growing.

Neurodiversity and Disability

  • Recognition of neurodiversity is emerging, with only 14% of companies having policies to support neuro diverse employees. Furthermore, no companies have recruitment targets for disabled individuals, although 66% work with external organisations to support the inclusion and representation of disabled workers.

To further the pursuit of gender equality, tools such as gender decoders can be used when writing job adverts and social copy. These tools help eliminate unconscious gender-coding linguistics, creating job descriptions that read more inclusively. Jennings recommends the use of such tools to foster a more inclusive hiring process.

While the insurance industry has made significant DEI development, particularly since 2017, there are still notable areas where progress is needed. Ethnic representation has declined, LGBTQ+ inclusion policies have waned, and neurodiversity and disability support remain in their growing stages. These challenges highlight the absolute importance of sustained and comprehensive efforts to cultivate inclusive environments.

Thank you for exploring the current state of DEI in the insurance industry. If you need assistance with sourcing candidates or finding a new role, please do not hesitate to get in touch. ​