Diversity – The Business Imperative & CEO Pledge
In this session at Business Insurance’s 2016 Absolute Inclusion Conference, CEOs from top organizations in the insurance industry discussed their commitment to creating a diverse and inclusive workforce.
- Roger Crockett, Co-Founder & Principal at Global Performance Partners (moderator)
- Todd Jones, CEO, Willis North America
- Mike Foley, CEO North America Commercial and Regional Chairman, Zurich
- Peter Zaffino, CEO and Chairman of Risk and Insurance Services, Marsh
- Christopher Swift, Chairman and CEO, The Hartford
- John Lumelleau, President and CEO, Lockton
- Lori Goltermann, CEO, Aon Risk Solutions U.S. Retail
- Tom Lawson, CEO, FM Global
- Russ Johnston, CEO, QBE
- Mark Wilhelm, CEO, Safety National
Why is diversity and inclusion important?
- If we want to be the best business we can possibly be, then we have to be better and smarter in every single way.
- There are a lot of studies that prove that diverse and inclusive teams produce better results. It’s now critically important to have diverse teams to have a profound impact as an organization.
- This isn’t just an opportunity we have, it’s an obligation.
- If you can create an environment where everyone at your company has a voice at the table, everything will improve – from customer perception to internal engagement.
It’s no secret that the insurance industry needs to become more diverse. Why is this and what do we have to do?
- Not everyone wants to grow up and be in insurance. First, we are in a talent war versus other industries. We are receiving resumes from a less-diverse candidate pool. That’s what we get when we don’t try to recruit a diverse workforce. We have to make purposeful changes in our processes to do this.
- It’s critical that we take a step back and consider how personal lives impact our employees. Which of our processes can we assess and change to provide more balance, which makes our companies more attractive to a larger pool of candidates.
- When we focus on technical competency, we end up with what we have now. We have to look past technical competency and look for what voice we want on our team. When you think about it more broadly, you gravitate towards a more diverse group.
How do you approach diversity at your organization and how can you, as the CEO, have an impact?
- We all seem to be passionate about this topic and want to be involved. As the CEO, we have to be committed, set an example, and be genuine about it.
- Not all of us have Chief Diversity Officers. I look at myself as that person and help set the tone. In a way, we are all the Chief Diversity Officers.
- Sometimes there is value in not condensing diversity into one titled position. If we do right by our employees, we will do right by our customers. Taking a step back and looking at what creates a highly-engaged workforce will help get us there. All of these things are intertwined.
- We have to create an open environment, with open discussion, that makes people want to work at our companies and stay at our companies.
What collaborative efforts can we do to foster diversity and inclusion in our industry?
- If there is a way to create a better attraction to insurance as an industry, that creates a better talent pool. This is an area in which we can be collaborative.
- We have to do a better job, as an industry, explaining what we do and how interesting it is. The more interesting we can make insurance, the more people we will attract.