Festival opens with greater diversity call

As the insurance industry’s leading festival for diversity, equity and inclusion (DE&I) began yesterday mental health and gender equity  are still seen as the biggest issues for the market.

Dive In began yesterday with a record-breaking 150 events taking place across 40 countries and opened with Aviva CEO Amanda Blanc (pic) telling delegates that the market still has a long way to go before it can be classed as truly diverse.

The festival comes as new research from Dive In highlights the most pressing issues that need to be addressed to improve DE&I within the industry, with mental health and gender equity identified as the main concerns among professionals.

The survey, completed by more than 20,500 industry professionals, placed Mental health (68%) and gender equity (42%) as the most pertinent issues that the insurance industry needs to focus on, followed by racial equity (33%) and family and carers support (30%).

Commenting on the start of the festival, Dominic Christian, Global Chairman of Aon’s Reinsurance Solutions and Deputy Chairman of Lloyd’s, said: “We are proud and delighted to see so many industry leaders and inspirational guests from across the world come together for this year’s festival. The world today is a challenging place so it’s more important than ever that we help promote the importance of building braver cultures that allow everyone to feel safe and able to be their authentic selves each and every day.”

As the insurance industry’s most prominent voice for a progressive future, the festival has made great strides to improve DE&I within insurance, with 43% of attendees stating that they believe the industry is more diverse and inclusive than when the festival started.

However, with 67% of attendees joining for the first time, there is still work to be done to ensure everyone is aware of the role they can play in improving DE&I within their organisations.

Over the next three days global industry leaders will join the call to Build Braver Cultures, including Amanda Blanc (Aviva), John Neal (Lloyd’s), Lucy Clarke (Marsh), Ann Haugh (AXIS Re), Tomi Latva-Kiskola (AIG) and Kalan League (AXA AL).

Blanc said: “We have a long way to go before our industry is truly diverse. There is no agenda more important and the Dive In festival contributes greatly to a safer and more inclusive insurance industry. With so many attendees joining us for the first time this year, it shows the continued importance of the festival in reaching professionals across the world.”