Look around yourself. Is your insurance workplace reflective of society as a whole? Do you have colleagues of different backgrounds, cultures and communities? For too long, the average answer to such questions has been a resounding “No!”
It’s #time4inclusion in the insurance industry.
The annual Dive In festival to promote diversity and inclusion in the insurance industry launched in London on Thursday. Crowds gathered outside the historic Lloyd’s building were treated to a mesmerising immersive theatre performance by inclusive theatre company, Chickenshed, which provided some real food for thought about the meaning of inclusion.
Great turn out for the @DiveInFest launch outside @LloydsofLondon today! Thanks to @CHICKENSHED_UK and to Ben for this wonderful performance! It's #time4inclusion in #insurance ! pic.twitter.com/jW2TNsm2W9— Insurance Business (@InsuranceBizUS) July 12, 2018
Dive In 2018 is taking place on September 25-27 in 26 countries and over 50 cities. This year’s festival marks a transition from ‘awareness into action’ and follows the theme of #time4inclusion.
The festival’s “astonishing” growth in just four years “shows the insurance industry is ready and willing” to talk about diversity and inclusion, said Jason Groves, Global Director of Media Relations at Marsh and the Dive In Committee Chair.
“What’s amazing is how much of a chord the Dive In festival has struck within the industry. People are really starting to realise the need for insurance to become more diverse and inclusive – and that understanding is growing throughout the whole workforce, including the C-suite,” Groves commented.
“One of the things that characterises the insurance industry at the moment is the need to become more innovative. To do that and meet the increased demands of the global workplace, we need to have diverse fields of thought, background, experience and ideas. There’s all sorts of evidence to support the dividends of diversity within business.”
While more and more workers are tuned into the need for diversity and inclusion in insurance, many still find it difficult to convert that awareness into action. A common theme to have presented itself in previous festivals is that people have difficulties finding the time to talk about diversity issues and make concrete improvements. Dive In is there to provide resources, advice around best practices and educational sessions to help people tackle diversity in the workplace.
“The insurance industry does do some of this very well. Recently in London, there was a fantastic cross-insurance industry Pride march, which included several hundred people from a wide range of insurance organisations,” Groves told Insurance Business. “That took a lot of self-organisation, but what we need to do now is get people at all levels more comfortable talking about these topics.
“There’s great interest in mental health issues at the moment. A huge proportion of colleagues will have some kind of mental health issue during their career, and there’s growing appreciation of wanting to understand how best to tackle mental health issues and get the maximum value out of employees. If you’re the manager of a small team of five, and one of your team has a mental health issue, it can be quite challenging knowing who to go to, where to respond, and how to help.”
All of these issues and more will be addressed at Dive In 2018 in 26 countries and almost 100 cities worldwide.