The Association of British Insurers (ABI) has published a Blueprint, setting out a multi-year strategy and work plan to improve Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) across the insurance and long-term savings industry.
Launched at the ABI’s DEI Summit, and created in collaboration with a number of insurers, the Blueprint aims to takes a holistic approach to DEI and sets out priority areas for the ABI to lead, good practice for industry, and opportunities for collaboration with experts.
It looks at each stage of the employment journey: from using inclusive recruitment practices to attract the best talent from all backgrounds, to helping employees grow and progress their careers in the sector, and advancing understanding of what works to improve the working environment.
The ABI said that the sector has made progress, but it has not been consistent. While the proportion of board members that are women increased from 29% to 32% last year, the overall proportion of employees from ethnic minority backgrounds across the industry fell from 10% to 9%, largely due to decreases at entry level.
The Blueprint’s first goal is focused on recruitment practices. It aims to encourage people from all backgrounds, experiences and seniority into the sector, and to break down any barriers in their way. With a greater focus on socio-economic status, the Blueprint seeks to make opportunities for apprentices and school-leavers attractive and inclusive, drive up the take-up of initiatives to support under-represented groups into the industry, and show that insurance and long-term savings offers a wide range of attractive career opportunities for many different skillsets.
Hannah Gurga, ABI Director General said: “At a time when society is entering the most challenging circumstances in a decade, the need for a diverse range of experiences and perspectives has never been greater. I’m proud that our industry is setting the path for change with this ambitious Blueprint. This isn’t just about changing the way the industry looks and feels, it’s about creating a more effective industry that represents the people we serve.”
“Whether it’s financial resilience or climate change, our sector has always aspired to be at the forefront of efforts to address societal challenges. So we must also play a leading role in creating diverse, equitable and inclusive workplaces.”