One insurance firm's 360-degree approach to diversity and inclusion | Insurance Business Canada
With the Dive In festival only a few months away, the insurance industry is abuzz with talk of diversity and inclusion, as companies spotlight their D&I initiatives and discuss the work still left to be done.
However, diversity and inclusion is about more than putting on educational events or bringing in a wide range of interviewees for positions. One brokerage and consultant has taken a 360-degree approach to its initiatives in this area by embedding D&I in many aspects of the organization.
“We have a diversity and inclusion practice that was developed a couple of years ago, and we’re trying to look at [the issue] from a 360-degree perspective. It’s not only the value of diversity as a recruiting tool, but how do we give opportunities to small businesses, and how do we look at our M&A activities in a way where that talent acquisition, and that market and growth also takes us to a more diverse slate of markets and opportunities,” said Ginnette Quesada-Kunkel, NFP’s chief HR officer. “There’s a commitment from executive management, and it’s very refreshing to see how much it’s become part of what we think about at the end of the day. It’s not an activity, but rather how we’re conducting business across the organization.”
The messaging that the company uses to reach new talent has also evolved over recent years to further those D&I goals.
“There are many, many different channels that we use. It is embedded in how we present the tenants of our culture – [focused on] people first,” explained Quesada-Kunkel, adding that technology and social media platforms like LinkedIn have helped NFP get a better reach among job seekers. “We also try to include senior leadership whenever we have presentations, [where they] go and talk about our core values. It’s important for us that we don’t only reduce it to an event, but how we communicate diversity and inclusion as part of who we are as an organization.”
When sourcing vendors, NFP has a commitment to turn to small businesses, as well as women- or minority-owned businesses, so that when candidates are being interviewed for open positions, NFP can show that it ‘walks the walk.’ That well-rounded approach to diversity and inclusion has helped its employees feel at home, while also giving the company a leg up in a competitive marketplace.
Read more: Diversity and inclusion in insurance: From awareness to action
“It has taken us to places in terms of growth that we may not have considered,” said Quesada-Kunkel. “Understanding that we’re supporting women, we’re supporting minorities, we’re supporting gender diversity and sexual orientation diversity has definitely created an environment where employees have said that they feel like they can be themselves at work, and it makes a big difference.”
In M&A discussions, NFP’s diversity and inclusion initiatives help it offer something different to companies that might be considering other suitors.
“The M&A market is very tight right now, and having that piece on the culture, on a value-based organization, makes a difference,” added Quesada-Kunkel. “It’s a selling point for us when we’re talking about why someone would join our organization, not only on the recruiting side but on the M&A side because targets are experiencing multiple offers. We tend to target successful businesses and leaders that want to leave a legacy. That cultural piece and understanding that their employees are going to be taken care of and that our values align, it’s that last push on the differentiator for us when we’re conducting this type of transaction.”