LGBT Insurance Network “Link” goes from strength-to-strength

Link Event - Julian James - CEO, Allied World Global Markets, Erik Johnson (Honorary Secretary of Link) and Inga Beale, CEO, Lloyd's of London

Link, the network for members of the LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgendered) community who work in the UK insurance sector, welcomed over 100 guests last night at an event to celebrate its recent successes in delivering its mission to “Create and maintain a workplace that attracts the best LGBT talent to the insurance industry.”

At the event, hosted by Allied World in their 19th floor broker lounge at the Walkie Talkie building, Link’s guests raised £500 for Switchboard, the LGBT+ Helpline, which was matched by Allied World, bringing the total raised to £1,000. Switchboard provides a one-stop listening service for LGTB+ people on the phone, by email and through Instant Messaging.

Julian James, CEO Allied World Global Markets, said: “As a signatory of Inclusion@Lloyd’s Diversity & Inclusion (D&I) Charter, Allied World is honoured to host Link’s summer event. D&I is vitally important to attract and retain the best talent to the industry, and is key to our growth strategy as we develop our business internationally, now and over the coming years.”

Inga Beale, Lloyd’s CEO and Executive Sponsor of Inclusion@Lloyd’s, gave an update on the recent D&I initiatives in the London Market as well as plans for a market-wide D&I festival in the autumn. “Diversity is important to Lloyd’s because it’s the right thing to do and because it makes sound business sense,” she said. “One thing in particular I’m proud of is that we’ve established Pride@Lloyds, the Corporation of Lloyd’s LGBT staff and allies network. The insurance sector needs to attract talented people from the broadest range of backgrounds and it’s fantastic to see organisations across the insurance market collaborating to achieve this. I know we can do even more together.”

Along with Link activities, there have several exciting developments in the wider insurance industry in the last year:

· Link welcomed over 100 new members, increasing membership to 360 people form 150 companies; and

· With the support of Axa and Aviva, Link had over 70 participants at London Pride 2015;

· Two new insurance firms became Stonewall Diversity Champions, AXA and Swiss Re, up from just four in 2012;

· For the first time the Stonewall Starting-Out Guide, a careers guide aimed at school and university leavers, has a dedicated insurance section; and

· “Link Up North” was launched, delivering insurance LGBT focused events in Leeds / Manchester.

Theresa Farren, Co-Chair Link said: “Over the last 12 months, Link has seen a dramatic uplift in focus on D&I across the insurance industry. Inclusion@Lloyd’s is leading the way, encouraging its membership to engage in discussion on a range of topics. Working with Inclusion@Lloyd’s and other companies, Link is proud and delighted to represent LGBT insurance professionals and support the wider industry’s D&I activities.”