The Dive In Festival 2020 wrapped up last week after three days of virtual sessions across New Zealand and Australia, with the talks discussing everything from indigenous inclusion to domestic violence, how to be an effective ally, and the opportunities for more diverse leadership within the insurance sector in the future.
The festival was wrapped up by Tim Plant, CEO of Zurich’s general insurance business in Australia and New Zealand. He acknowledged the reach and impact of the event, and noted that Zurich’s own executive team has been focused on creating a more equal gender balance, both within its leadership teams and across the wider company.
“We are committed to increasing the number of women in senior leadership positions, and I am very proud that we have equal numbers of men and women on our general insurance executive team,” Plant commented.
“There are many, many factors involved in helping to promote greater diversity in senior leadership roles. Importantly, I’m looking forward to hearing about the opportunities that have come about from the impact of COVID-19, where barriers around flexible work have been redefined.”
Moderator and Parents at Work CEO Emma Walsh noted that despite everything, conducting virtual events has had its perks when it comes to inclusivity, and says the COVID-19 crisis may help break down some of the negative perceptions surrounding flexible working.
“Doing virtual events like this has a silver lining, because they’re more inclusive and more people can participate,” she said.
“We know that stereotypes and perceptions still surround flexible work, and traditionally they have been a barrier to women’s participation in more senior roles. With this shift, I think the question is whether it will have a positive impact on women in those positions, or will the barriers remain?”
Dive In 2020 ran globally from September 22-24, having started in 2015 as a Lloyd’s of London initiative to promote awareness around diversity and inclusion in the insurance sector. It took place across 32 countries and attracted over 10,000 people, with all 2020 events being conducted virtually.