With the latest iteration of the fabulous Dive In Festival in full swing – and also advanced plans for running our second week-long course for STEM students – thoughts have been very much on culture at LIIBA these last couple of weeks. And those thoughts have been emphasised by our enthusiastic contribution to the London Market Group’s relaunch of its London Insurance Life campaign. So, it feels a good time to reflect on the work we have done and the work that still needs to be done to build the inclusive market to which we all aspire.
Our STEM course this year, remarkably but very encouragingly seems to have been pretty much fully subscribed before we properly advertised it. Once again, we will bring around 40 school students from under-privileged backgrounds in for five mornings in their half-term week. They will be taken through our industry’s efforts to help clients meet their Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) challenges – providing specialist risk management consultancy services to help corporations identify and mitigate threats to the businesses which may or may not include the purchase of insurance. Experts from across the market will talk them through how their job will deliver the right outcome for clients. And at the end, the delegates will get to advise a client. It is an opportunity to showcase the wide range of roles people can find in our industry – a secret we keep depressingly well hidden.
This was further emphasised to me by our work experience exercise in the summer. We placed 30 university students across 16 member firms in partnership with the charity upReach, who select high achievers from under-represented communities. And we at LIIBA took two students for the week. One, Bryan Sarmiento, is chair of the University of Warwick Latin American Society. One area he found particularly attractive about the possibility of a career in insurance was the opportunity it would give him to pursue his interest in the region. And so, in a couple of weeks’ time, we are hosting a webinar for Bryan’s society members to make the point: if you are interested in Latin America, come and work here. We have so many roles that will allow you to engage in your passion.
This is a small chance to make a point we really need to make more as an industry. It is not just about insurance. There are so many careers that we can help you develop within insurance. It is a point the Army made really powerfully in their TV advertising a few years back (be an Army doctor, etc.). We need to get much better at reaching a similar audience.
Which is where LMG’s campaign comes in. This is all about building specialty insurance as a destination career. Something people aspire to be as they grow up. Something that maybe school and university careers advisers might suggest as an option. Key to that will be two things. As we have discussed here before, we need to get much, much better at letting people know the social good that insurance delivers. And then we need to turn the microcosm that is LIIBA presenting to the Warwick University Latin American Society into a global campaign to emphasise that whatever your interests, whatever type of career you want to pursue, you can find that role within the specialty insurance industry.
Dive In. Our work with STEM, upReach and the Prince’s Trust - numerous initiatives across broker and carrier communities. All are driving the work we need to do to expand our talent pool. And we are beginning to see positive results. But it is just the beginning. We need to continue to spread the word of the diverse and exciting roles we can offer if we are to deliver the diverse and inclusive culture we aspire to. To Warwick and beyond.