The second Dive In Festival for Diversity and Inclusion in insurance concluded its three day, international events programme on 29 September in Columbus, Ohio. In London, it wrapped up with a comedy fringe evening, hosted by Aon. The light touch approach to getting insurance to focus on D&I issues also included broadcaster Gok Wan’s ‘Big Fat Massive Quiz’ at Willis Towers Watson and a hugely entertaining ‘An Evening with Clare Balding’ at Aviva. But despite the clear enjoyment evident from the crowds, the atmosphere and the social media flurry, the message that came through clearly from insurance leaders and D&I experts speaking at the 50+ global events was that D&I is no laughing matter and the insurance sector has to do more to attract diverse talent to futureproof its business.
Opening the festival in London, Inga Beale, Lloyd’s CEO and Brian Duperreault, CEO and President of Hamilton Group both urged the industry to accelerate efforts to see beyond the usual suspects to attract and retain talented people from different backgrounds, beliefs and cultures to strengthen the industry’s competitive DNA.
Chair of Inclusion@Lloyd’s, CEO of Aon UK, and President of the Insurance Institute of London, Dominic Christian commented, “When you look at the list of companies that have sponsored and supported Dive In internationally, it’s evident that as a sector, we are prepared to put aside competitive rivalries to invest in the future of insurance as an employer of choice. We are not perfect, and we still have a lot to do, but with efforts on this scale, change for the better is coming.”
Medal winning athletes from the Rio Paralympics, Ellie Simmonds and Libby Clegg sat on a panel chaired by fellow Paralympian, Claire Harvey. They shared inspiring films in their session at Lloyd’s and were powerful ambassadors for moving beyond stereotypes to see the potential of individuals and what can be achieved when they are properly motivated and supported. CEO of Paralympic Team GB, Tim Hollingsworth observed that ‘accessibility for those with impairments is social inclusion, not ramps.’
Mental health was also in the spotlight with compelling stories of coping strategies for depression at work from former political aide and author, Alastair Campbell. Cricketer Nasser Hussain addressed motivating multi-cultural teams and rugby player Ben Cohen spoke about his work as founder of the Stand-Up Foundation against bullying.
The festival’s content offered anyone working in insurance free access to events in 10 countries: Australia, Bermuda, Canada, China, France, Ireland, Singapore, Switzerland, UK and the USA. As well as celebrity speakers, industry leaders and subject matter experts shared their insights and experiences on issues ranging from mentoring and sponsorship (to get more women to the top), to inclusive recruitment that removes barriers and hiring bias, to enabling more flexible working practices for carers and parents. Content captured from the Dive In festival as learning video resources and event reports is available via the website www.diveinfestival.com