Measurement & Evaluation

Reflections on diversity and inclusion in insurance

Research by Inclusion@Lloyd’s and the London Market Group

This year marks the first collaboration between Inclusion@Lloyd’s and the London Market Group to report back on key results, highlighting the state of diversity and inclusion in the insurance sector.

Signatories of the Inclusion@Lloyd’s Diversity and Inclusion Charter and members of the London Market Group were invited to share progress and insights in their organisations. This provides an update across companies, but also highlights which areas should be given further support and helps shape feedback to the LMG Talent and Diversity workstream and Inclusion@Lloyd’s strategies.

Respondents representing 35 companies with employee bases ranging from 90 to 165,000 people globally, answered both qualitative and quantitative questions on a voluntary basis. Responses have been anonymised and aggregated, and the resulting data and insights are non-attributed.

What we found

Overall, focus is increasing. More organisations are taking steps to drive progress, improving and reporting back on practices, policies and support for diversity and inclusion. The increase seen across several metrics in the following results represents a better understanding of the business case for D&I, allowing further development of our shared goals.

Laying the foundations

As global awareness and understanding of D&I increases, it’s important to understand how this translates into momentum within the workplace. A notably high number of our respondents (89%) feel there is a greater sense of urgency around diversity and inclusion in the last year, with the majority (86%) attributed to senior management. Though it is encouraging to see that our leadership remain on board, middle managers remain the hardest to engage.

There has been an uptake in the number of formal D&I policies put in place, rising to 63% with 11% also planning to introduce in 2018. A D&I policy can often be the catalyst for successful initiatives, acting as a clear signal to employees that this is something to take seriously. To support this, a D&I council or committee is often a natural next step for many organisations even in the early stages of their journey. We have seen a continued increase in the number of these operating across the industry which now sits at over half of our respondents (60%).

Operating a D&I policy in the organisation

60%

Operating a D&I council or committee

Breaking the glass ceiling

Around the world there has been a heightened focus on women in the workplace, and results show progress for women in insurance. In the UK, there are now companies that have more than 50% female representation on their boards, the first time this has happened. Mirrored by the same representation across senior management, it demonstrates a clear shift in action from organisations working to increase female leadership. The number of companies with 0 female representation on their boards has also decreased, dropping from 22% last year to 9%.

Women on UK boards

Women in senior management (UK)

Women on boards/ExCos outside the UK

Collaboration is key

The LMG Talent and Diversity workstream and I@L actively encourage the sharing of best practice and learnings between roles, levels and organisations. One of the most successful formats for open dialogues are employee resource groups (ERGs). Now 73% of organisations have ERGs in place, compared with 35% last year. This increase of more than double is testament to the committed individuals who are giving their time and energy to uniting around a common goal. The cross-collaboration of different networks also allows employees to share mutual goals such as raising awareness of intersectionality – understanding where different parts of our identity meet and how this can result in different forms of exclusion.

Data shows that the most common ERG continues to be gender, but this doesn’t mean only being open to women. The Gender Inclusion Network opened its invitation to ensure men are also welcomed and involved in the process of improving gender imbalance across insurance.

Measuring progress

Last year we observed a lessened feeling of positive culture towards D&I, attributed to the likelihood of a greater understanding of the progress that needed to be made. It is encouraging to see this figure rise in 2017, but even more so to observe that 49% claim that it is improving. Culture plays an important part in making any D&I objective successful, and we have retained the result from previous research that shows no negative response to this question. It is more commonly understood now that culture is a fundamental part of an organisation and can deliver a meaningful competitive advantage. Though in most businesses no one is directly accountable for it, diversity and inclusion initiatives can be the missing link to positively influencing corporate culture.

There has been a slight decrease in the proportion of training and development, however of those offering formal programmes that include D&I learning interventions, the most common is unconscious bias. Organisations are committed to reducing bias in a number of areas such as hiring and appraisal and development while understanding that it can’t be omitted entirely.

The ability to track and monitor progress can help D&I leaders and committees to look at the impact of the programmes they’ve put into place and ensure their effectiveness. To measure changing attitudes and behaviours committees need to navigate their way through objectives, so it’s important to measure key data from your employee base. For the first time we are seeing some organisations taking the lead and tracking gender identity separately to gender, marking a growing understanding of this area. Firms collecting demographic data continue to focus on age, gender and marital status. Over half (59%) capture ethnicity, a rise from below 50% in the previous year. As global scrutiny increases it is positive to see the rise in data, but we recognise this will be more prominent in specific markets like the UK, US and South Africa in the following years. Disability rose from 34% to 38% and sexual orientation data collection rose from 14% to 34%. Networks such as LINK seek to increase visibility of LGBT issues as well as uniting allies across the industry, in the hope that an increase in uptake to disclose this data follows suit.

Positive D&I culture in the organisation

Organisations with training/development in place that includes D&I?

Summary

Over the course of 2017 there has been a distinct level of progress across a number of key performance indicators, fostered further by greater collaboration throughout the industry. Gender-focused ERGs are investing in increasing female leadership critical for future success, and culture and the sense of urgency to D&I is on the up.

While this is encouraging, we must not lose focus on our longer-term goals. Two standout factors were evident when asked for the top barrier to creating diverse workplaces: a lack of diverse talent and disengaged middle management. In a time of increased risk to businesses in our sector we need to ensure we are attracting and retaining the best talent but doing that with the power of all our workforce. Forwards, our goal is to increase focus on these two areas, alongside our ongoing support for building a diverse pipeline of talent by creating a more inclusive culture that is attractive to, and fosters and develops diverse candidates.

View our previous research by downloading below

Holding up the Mirror

The main report, ‘Holding up the Mirror: Reflections on diversity and inclusion in the Lloyd’s market’, looks back at 2015, to highlight events and initiatives from around the market, including a review of the inaugural Dive In festival and its legacy. At its core is a summary of new research on the current D&I practice and aspiration of the Inclusion@Lloyd’s charter signatory firms.

Download report

Interim Report: Holding up the Mirror

The Interim report looks back at 2016 to detail the past year’s D&I milestones across the market, alongside new research into the initiatives, training and objectives supporting D&I best practice. The review of Dive In 2016 highlights just one way that Inclusion@Lloyd’s has extended its reach across borders to broaden the commitment to D&I.

Download report