AXIS Insurance keeps diversity & inclusion at heart of business

Carlton-Maner,-CEO,-U.S.-Division,-AXIS-Insurance

Authored by AXIS Insurance

AXIS aims to foster a culture of inclusion where colleagues feel comfortable and empowered to be themselves and bring their whole selves to work. AXIS has recently scaled up its diversity and inclusion (D&I) efforts by introducing a formalized approach that includes community involvement, employee engagement, awareness, recruitment and advocacy within the industry. Working with partners across the industry, AXIS has placed an emphasis on improving diversity in both hiring and career development.

“Recruiting and retaining people who come from diverse backgrounds is crucial to fostering a more inclusive culture at AXIS and within the specialty insurance industry,” said Peter Wilson, CEO, AXIS Insurance. “Providing opportunities for people of all professional and personal backgrounds to build great careers in insurance is not only good for our business – it’s also the right thing to do to ensure we reflect the society and businesses that insurance helps protect.”

The recent virtual Wholesale & Specialty Insurance Association’s (WSIA) Annual Marketplace provided an opportunity to shine a light on the company’s recent D&I initiatives. It also offered a forum to communicate the industry-wide D&I leadership appointments for AXIS Insurance’s Carlton Maner, CEO, U.S. Division, and Janet Jordan-Foster, Head of Primary Casualty.

Maner has been named the inaugural Chair of WSIA’s newly-formed Insurance Industry Diversity Foundation (IIDF). Maner’s work will help guide the IIDF’s mission to promote and attract diversity in race, gender, sexual orientation and disability, and to influence meaningful progress in the diversity of the specialty insurance industry. At the heart of the IIDF’s work is a belief in the positive impact that insurance can have on society and the products and services that insurers deliver to their customers.

“Becoming a more diverse company is not only the proper direction for any business, it is a proven path to fostering more engaged teams, a better industry and improved business performance,” said Maner. “I commend WSIA for its willingness to be bold and loud in its efforts to bring different perspectives into specialty insurance. It’s not just underwriting, claims and actuaries; we need diversity in insurance professionals who work across an organization in finance, operations, HR, technology, facilities and all other facets.”

Maner has been a member of WSIA since the early 1990s and served on its Board of Directors from 2010-16. Since he rotated off the WSIA Board he has remained active in WSIA as a member of its Membership & Ethics Committee, where he has continued his focus on uniting D&I initiatives with bottom-line company success.

Jordan-Foster is Chair of the National African American Insurance Association (NAAIA). With more than 800 members, NAAIA is the premier organization for Black insurance professionals. AXIS is a long-standing corporate partner of NAAIA and encourages colleagues to contribute their time and talents to support the association’s mission.

“Diverse viewpoints allow us to succeed in our business objectives,” added Jordan-Foster. “It is imperative for AXIS and just as important across the industry to attract and support people with diverse outlooks to face traditional and emerging risk.”

Commenting further on how the specialty insurance industry can become more diverse, Maner said: “I have always talked about casting a wide net during a talent search. If we do that well, we will find people from different backgrounds and they will become candidates for open positions. We will always choose the best person available for an opening, but that selection can and should be from a candidate pool with an assortment of personal and professional backgrounds. Casting a wide net is essential to finding diverse, exciting talent. It is necessary for us to evolve as a company and take innovative steps to remain a healthy business that can overcome challenges.”

At the WSIA Annual Marketplace Maner and Jordan-Foster joined Oveta Mitchell, a Senior Underwriter for Primary Casualty, and other leaders from AmWINS, Worldwide Facilities, AIG and Markel for a panel discussion on D&I efforts across the industry, and to offer their counsel on how companies can embrace diversity as a tool for stronger teams and better business results.

The AXIS Virtual Broker Lounge at WSIA also contained digital D&I materials for wholesale broker partners, including a video hosted by Noreen McMullen, Chief Human Resource Officer, and featuring Jordan-Foster and Tim Madderom, AXIS Insurance U.S. Head of Operations.

Madderom was featured alongside Jordan-Foster to highlight AXIS’ support of the Cristo Rey Network. Cristo Rey is the only network of high schools in the U.S. that integrates four years of rigorous college preparatory academics with four years of professional work experience through the Corporate Work Study Program.

Through its partnership with Cristo Rey, AXIS provides work-study opportunities for students in its New York, Alpharetta and Kansas City offices. The students work one day a week in an AXIS office (or work virtual, as is the case currently due to the pandemic), gaining work experience in exchange for having their high school fees paid for by AXIS.

To learn more about AXIS and its commitment to diversity and inclusion, please CLICK HERE 

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