Dive In 2017: Overall company culture needs to be changed to generate diversity at senior level

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Businesses need to change their entire culture before achieving diverse executive boards, insurers have said.

At the annual Dive In Festival held in London, insurers discussed the ways in which the festival has had an impact on the industry and said that, although some progress has been made, more needs to be done.

Andrew Horton, CEO of Beazley, said that insurers need to change the overall culture of their business in order to see an impact on executive boards.

“We want to see more diversity in our executive teams, but if we’re to do this then we need to change the culture of the business,” said Horton.

“We’ve seen a huge impact of the Dive In Festival, with more companies paying attention to their diversity and inclusion policies. Targets are a good way of ensuring that diversity is achieved throughout our appointment process, but they aren’t a great enough incentive. Companies need an overall culture change so that attitudes are transformed so that we can continue to have a mixed workforce.”

Last year’s Dive In Festival saw a strong focus on gender diversity and ensuring that more women are brought into senior positions within the insurance industry.

However Patrick Gage, chief underwriting officer at CNA Hardy, said that businesses should pay close attention to their overall diversity and inclusion policies.

“Companies should make sure that their diversity and inclusion policies look to change the business on the whole,” said Gage.

“It’s not enough to simply replace white, middle aged and middle class men with white, middle aged and middle class women. We have the Millennial generation coming in, which I think will be hugely refreshing and good for diversity because they don’t see things through the same lens as the older generation.”

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