Time for inclusion is the theme of the fourth edition of the Dive In festival, which will take place in late September to encourage diversity in the insurance industry.
“Awareness is one thing; action is the big thing. And action takes time,” said Matthew Fosh, chairman of Axis Europe, at the official launch of the 2018 event.
Jason Groves, global head of media relations at Marsh, noted: “We went four years ago from raising awareness about diversity and inclusion to really building the business case and then last year demonstrating that diverse businesses are much more successful than the businesses that are less diverse.”
Pauline Miller, head of talent development and inclusion at Lloyd’s, explained: “We heard from CEOs last year in a dedicated session that they weren’t sure if they had the time and that that was the biggest barrier to making a very inclusive workplace.
“So we want to raise the message that it is time, the time is now,” she said.
Fosh explained: “We need now to make time to do the things that are necessary within our respective firms, to make the difference, form the committees, have the conversations, create the processes for the complaints.”
And Groves added: “A lot of the sessions and events that we’re having over the festival this year are really designed to give people practical tips and guidance about how they can change their workforce cultures to make sure that they’re being more inclusive.
“With the publishing of the gender pay gap, companies have seen some of the things that they need to do,” he added.
Miller stressed the importance of measuring progress and holding people to account. “You need to ensure that individuals understand that you’re not just saying that this is great for our business but that you’re going to hold them to account, to take the right actions, to call out bad behaviours,” she said.
Fosh noted for his part that behavioural change can’t necessarily be gauged. “If we can create an environment in which the low-level, lazy, petty prejudice is not OK, that is every bit as concrete as any numbers,” he said.
The 2018 Dive In festival was launched earlier this month, when the Chickenshed theatre company performed outside the Lloyd’s building in London. On the same day, the Dive In website opened for registration to the events that will take place across three days (from Tuesday 25 to Thursday 27 September) in 26 countries.
In London, where the festival was born in 2015, attendees will be able to hear from a 7 July 2005 bombings survivor, a female boxer, a former England rugby captain, and an Eastenders actor, among other speakers. Sessions will deal with trans inclusion, the power of language, stress management, recruitment practices, mental health and more.
In 2017, the festival attracted more than 7000 people in 32 cities across 17 countries.
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