Is this insurance's great untapped talent pool?

"We want to hear from you"

Is this insurance's great untapped talent pool?

Diversity & Inclusion

By Mia Wallace

As one of six Inclusion at Lloyd’s networks, the Insurance Families Network has set itself a goal – to empower parents and carers to have a better working life. This ambition is at the heart of all the network’s initiatives, programmes, events and structures, according to Cristina Galindo (pictured right), external partnerships and sponsorships lead at the network – and its ‘Insurance Cross-Company Returner Programme’, created in partnership with Career Returners (formerly Women Returners), is no exception. 

First launched in 2021, the programme looks to bring together employers across the insurance sector to provide a route back to mid-to-senior roles for experienced professionals who have taken a career break for any reason. The relaunched campaign is rooted creating a more inclusive insurance marketplace.

“The reality is that when people take a break they tend to learn other skills, to become more efficient and effective in so many ways, but the market doesn’t always recognise that,” she said. “And because somebody hasn’t been in an active corporate job, they lose confidence. They think their CV is not up-to-date, or they’re worried about doing interviews, or they think they won’t be able to catch up.

“But the minute they join a programme like this, they’re part of a supportive environment surrounded by a cohort of people in the same position. Being in that environment with a supportive manager and a programme designed to work with them makes all the difference.”

The initiative serves as a chance for employers in the UK insurance sector to pilot a cost-efficient  returner programme with the benefits of a larger programme. The six-month returnship is aimed at experienced professionals who have taken career breaks of 18 months or more, she said, and will see the team partner with participating organisations to design, promote, support and manage the programme.

How and why to get involved with the programme

This year, there are five participating companies, she said - applications opened on Jan 30 and will remain open until Feb 29, before the programme starts on May 7. Galindo noted the early traction the 2024 iteration of this programme is already gaining across the market.

“But the feedback that I've got time and time again, from all the companies working on this is that these people are hiding,” she said. “They're not on LinkedIn, they're the friend of the friend, or the relative of somebody at the school gates. They’re more present on Facebook than they are on LinkedIn, so companies can’t rely on more traditional corporate channels to get the word out.

“So, we all need to get the word out so that people can tell other people and that word of mouth can make the people who need it most aware of this opportunity. And I would say this to anybody considering applying to the programme – you don’t need to be perfect. If you’ve worked in the corporate world before and you feel you’re ready to come back, we want to hear from you.”

What sets this programme apart?

Galindo highlighted that the programme is not just aimed at the more ‘traditional’ insurance roles in underwriting and claims - it is open and receptive to returners from outside the insurance market.

There will be ongoing workshops, both for the companies involved and the returners, and the application process and interviews will take place before the programme kicks off in May.

“What we’re looking to solve here is a genuine business problem that companies have,” she said. “These returners are trained people, they have the capacity, they have the knowledge, they know the market and they know their jobs. And all that is being wasted because it’s so hard for them to find a bridge to bring them back into the market. This is the bridge.”

Supporting a return to the insurance workforce

In insurance, she said, it often takes a business making that first step before other companies recognise that it can and should be done - but she is confident that this initiative can help open the floodgates. And for those considering a return to the workforce, Galindo’s message is clear:  “You have absolutely nothing to lose.”

“If you think you’re ready and you’re looking for an opportunity, this could be your chance,” she said. “Everything you get out of this will be positive; you’ll have your CV in good shape and experience sending in applications and in doing interviews. This experience will position you better for a return to the corporate world. What’s the worst that could happen? Go for it!”

Are you considering a return to the corporate world? Find out more about the Insurance Cross-Company Returner Programme today.

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