The International Union of Marine Insurance (IUMI) used its annual conference in Edinburgh as a platform to deliberate and advocate for diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging (DEIB) within the marine insurance sector. The goal is to boost representation within IUMI and across the broader marine insurance community.
Leading this initiative is Patrizia Kern-Ferretti, chair of IUMI’s nominating committee, who highlighted the need for progress in embracing various aspects of diversity, beyond gender. Kern-Ferretti emphasized the importance of considering age, culture, ethnicity, background, education, and sexual orientation to make well-informed and robust decisions.
“This is more than statistics and counting genders. We need to embrace age, culture, ethnicity, background, education, sexual orientation, and other factors. It has been proven that companies make better and more informed decisions if they receive input from a range of perspectives and that means they must be both diverse and inclusive in their make-up,” Kern-Ferretti said.
The emphasis is also on creating a strong sense of belonging, a key factor in retaining employees. IUMI noted that when individuals can be authentic without fear of discrimination, it significantly impacts their job performance and reduces turnover rates.
A recent study from the Harvard Business Review highlighted that a high sense of belonging leads to a 56% increase in job performance, a 50% reduction in job turnover, and a 75% reduction in sickness-related absences. This can translate into substantial cost savings for companies.
Kern-Ferretti also underlined the clear benefits and discussed various initiatives that IUMI is considering promoting DEIB. These may involve setting ambitious goals and encouraging young individuals from diverse backgrounds and genders to participate in technical committees and industry events.
The IUMI executive committee also showed its commitment to the initiative through a DEIB statement.
“Diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging are core to our mission and shall define who we are at IUMI. To address the challenges of a complex – and increasingly diverse – world, we must ensure every person has an opportunity for a voice and a seat at the table. We are committed to creating a diverse organization where everyone feels represented and respected. We are working hard to embed these values across our work at IUMI,” the statement said.
What are your thoughts on this story? Please feel free to share your comments below.