Insurance chief urges companies to embrace diversity

Insurance chief urges companies to embrace diversity

Embracing diversity is the key to long term business success, yet that sentiment has still not fed into workforces according to a senior executive in the insurance industry.

As an example, in the US more than 96% of the Fortune 500 chief executive officers (CEOs) are still male, says Nicolas Aubert, CEO of Willis GB, part of insurance broker and risk advisor Willis Group Holdings. Several other minority groups, such as disabled employees, are also underrepresented in many markets.

Aubert is making his remarks today in a presentation today to mark the beginning of the Inclusion@Lloyd’s Dive In festival in the City of London, where he will call on the insurance industry to embrace diversity.

In a challenge to the status-quo, Aubert says the industry needs to employ a truly meritocratic approach. “We are committed to playing our part in improving the talent pipeline in our industry so that the best individuals get to the top, regardless of gender, race, sexuality or nationality. Only by employing a true meritocracy can firms in our sector ensure they give themselves the best chance to succeed over the long term.

“People with different experiences and backgrounds can enrich our business with diversity of thought, skills and creative ideas. They can help us provide valuable insight from different perspectives to help us better serve global clients, respond to new challenges and reach out to new markets.”

Aubert argues that diverse teams get better results. “They can challenge ideas, make us more innovative, more competitive and ultimately more successful. Having a diverse workforce makes good business sense. Strength lies in differences, not in similarities.

Despite the obvious benefits, progress has been slow and many people still face limitations or discrimination at work.”

“That’s why [the Dive In] festival is so important. This is where we start to shift the conversation. Our goal is to affect real change in the industry, both in terms of enabling people to unlock their potential, achieve their aspirations and attract new talent to the insurance industry.”

Dive In events will be hosted at City of London venues for the next four days to raise awareness about the benefits of a diverse workforce and an inclusive culture. Further information on the festival is available at www.diveinfestival.com.

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