How to make DE&I work in insurance

Chair of major event shares how it can be done

How to make DE&I work in insurance

Insurance News


Gunjali Rana (pictured, far right) knows a thing or two about the importance of inclusivity. As the assistant vice president of diversity, equity and inclusion at CNA – as well as the chair of IB’s upcoming Women in Insurance Summit – Rana’s lived experiences have shaped her personal and professional growth.

Born in India and raised in the Philippines, Rana navigated through both British and US-based educational systems – eventually landing her current role at CNA, where she thrives on her passion for creating an inclusive culture.

“At CNA, we’ve spent a number of years focused on DE&I, every day pursuing a culture of inclusion that attracts and celebrates all dimensions of diversity,” she told Insurance Business. “That’s the end goal. We’ve ensured we have a whole suite of learning and development experiences in every modality - delivering opportunities for all of our colleagues, individually and within their teams, to engage in DEI.”

And this commitment to diversity begins well before the employee lifecycle – it actually has roots in CNA’s recruitment strategy. The company’s strategic approach to recruitment and retention is pivotal in building a diverse workforce, which, as Rana pointed out, is crucial for fostering innovation and driving business success.

“On the recruitment side, we’ve really been purposeful in ensuring that we’re providing equal access to opportunity wherever possible,” she told IB. “We have eight employee resource groups (ERG), and each of them plugs into strategy on how to [improve] DE&I, providing our employees with opportunities to engage in this work.”

Misconceptions about DE&I

Rana’s also well aware of the myriad of challenges in the DE&I space, particularly the misconception that DE&I efforts solely benefit minority groups.

“DE&I - the ultimate goal of which is a culture of inclusion – benefits everyone,” she said. “It’s about ensuring equal opportunities and access for people from all backgrounds.”

But these DE&I initiatives are only successful if you can measure, analyze and improve upon the output. At CNA, Rana said that this is a complex but crucial aspect of their strategy.

“There’s some work you do today, where the results will show up tomorrow,” she said. “And then there’s some work you do today, where you won’t see the results for a number of months or even years. It’s a long-term play. So how do you then know that you’re creating an impact? I think can look to the company’s results overall.”

At CNA, Rana believes this past year in DE&I has been one of their best to date - in large part because her fellow CNA colleagues, around the globe, have an unyielding passion for progress. 

“When you have a diverse team at your table, and that diverse team is feeling included, that’s when you get the innovative solutions to your challenges,” she said. “And for us, we’re seeing that every day.”

And this diversity is something that Rana is excited to be discussing at the upcoming Women in Insurance Summit – where she believes it’s important to champion, support and elevate fellow females.

“I think the future for women in the insurance industry is bright,” she said. “I look at CNA and I look at its leaders, and I find lots of women among them - which gives me hope. I look around us in financial services and also see women who are climbing the ladder, and pulling others up with them.”

Want to learn more from industry leaders on how to bolster your career in 2024? Register for IB’s upcoming Women in Insurance Summit here.

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