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Since the first Dive In Festival took place in 2014, we have been an enthusiastic participant in, and sponsor of, this insurance industry-wide event promoting diversity and inclusion in our market.

The fourth annual Dive In Festival this September 25-27 kicks off a two-year campaign – Awareness into Action. Over the past three years, attendees have learned more about the business imperative for D&I. Awareness has been raised, but enough talk, it’s time to act – today and every day. 

We know the insurance industry is facing a substantial retirement challenge, leaving us with an enormous talent and experience gap in an industry that is already experiencing a shortage. In addition, we compete in an increasingly global economy – where the talent market is increasingly diverse. 

It therefore goes without saying that those organizations that are able to capture and leverage the power of this emerging workforce, will be the ones that are able to drive innovation, performance and ultimately win in the marketplace. According to research by the Centre for Talent Innovation, organizations that rate highly for D&I are 70% more likely to have success in new markets and 45% more likely to increase their market share.

So, what are we doing to make progress? 

To make sure we have a ready supply of fresh and innovative perspectives to help improve the services we provide to our clients and develop new solutions for them, we have set in motion various initiatives to make good D&I practice part of the everyday working of our business. In particular, these have a strong focus on women’s leadership and creating a more inclusive workplace for all colleagues.

We’ve launched our Women of the World (WoW) colleague resource group, a Women’s Executive Leadership Program and a Flexible Working Initiative. But we realized we could do even more. And that’s why we have taken the following steps:

  • We signed up to the UK’s Women in Finance Charter, setting ourselves a target to increase the representation of women in our senior and executive roles to 35 percent or more by 2021 in the UK. The charter is an HM Treasury commitment to try to achieve gender balance across the financial services industry. As part of the pledge, firms agree to set internal targets to achieve better gender balance and then report publicly on progress made towards meeting those targets.
  • We implemented a Diversity Recruiting Policy to ensure our leaders consider the best and the brightest candidates, as opposed to the most familiar. In addition, we developed guidelines to help hiring managers identify unconscious personal and cultural biases, and understand how these can prejudice objectivity and cause well-qualified candidates to be excluded.
  • We set up an Inclusive Leadership Training Program to raise awareness of D&I among our top leaders, which we now plan to expand to include mid-level employees.

Ultimately, our goal is to embed D&I so deep into our culture and how we do our business every day, that it isn’t viewed as a separate initiative; it’s part of the fabric of our organization.  But, the change starts with you.

D&I is not just good for our colleagues; it's good for our business and the industry as a whole.

There’s still a long road ahead, of course. But we’re on the right path. So, what action are you taking today for progress?

  • About The Author
  • Head of Global Talent Acquisition and Diversity & Inclusion at AXA XL
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In the US, the AXA XL insurance companies are: AXA Insurance Company, Catlin Insurance Company, Inc., Greenwich Insurance Company, Indian Harbor Insurance Company, XL Insurance America, Inc., XL Specialty Insurance Company and T.H.E. Insurance Company. In Canada, coverages are underwritten by XL Specialty Insurance Company - Canadian Branch and AXA Insurance Company - Canadian branch. Coverages may also be underwritten by Lloyd’s Syndicate #2003. Coverages underwritten by Lloyd’s Syndicate #2003 are placed on behalf of the member of Syndicate #2003 by Catlin Canada Inc. Lloyd’s ratings are independent of AXA XL.
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