Q&A: Iowa Morgan, manager of City Claims at AIG and chair of the Insurance Disability, Ability & Wellbeing Network

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As part of the Inclusion at Lloyd's programme six partner networks have been set up to help bolster diversity and inclusion in insurance. Post spoke to a representative from each one to get an insight into what they doing, today focusing on the Insurance Disability, Ability & Wellbeing Network

Iowa Morgan AIG Manager City Claims
Iowa Morgan

Please could you summarise the main objectives of your network?

The Insurance Disability, Ability & Wellbeing Network aims to help people thrive in the insurance industry. We do this by promoting mental health and disability wellbeing, encouraging open discussions, and providing a support network for mental health and disability within the insurance sector.

We work to improve mental health and disability inclusion by influencing and encouraging proactive management of personal resilience, championing best practice across the sector, and by providing scalable initiatives and information which can be freely accessed.

Why did you personally get involved?

I have an invisible disability and after a phased return to work following major surgery, I joined the disability staff network at AIG to see how we could work with the business to improve the workplace for staff with visible and or invisible disabilities and long term medical conditions.  I took over as chair of the network and we expanded the mission to include ability and wellness.

Can you list some of the activities your network has undertaken to help increase understanding and achieve its D&I goals?

IDawn was formally established this year and is working on a formal launch to be held at Lloyd’s on 3 December 2019.

We have been busy, even before our formal launch, driving positive change in the industry. For example, IDawn is partnering with AIG and Allied World to host an event at the 2019 Dive In Festival where Frank Bruno will share his personal story. We have also built a website, have a strong steering committee, and are building our mailing list by engaging with company employee resource groups working in the disability and mental health areas.

What have been the network’s biggest achievements to date?

Being appointed as an Inclusion at Lloyd’s official partner network. This recognition enables us to get involved in the Dive In Festival, provides us with funding, some promotional support, and a link into wider D&I initiatives taking place across the insurance industry.

What have been the biggest barrier to the network achieving its objectives?

Getting the message out to people working within the sector that IDawn exists is a key challenge that we face. We have been fortunate to get the support of publications like yours, but we are always looking for partners to support getting our message out.

It can be as simple as people sharing our social media posts or making sure that IDawn is listed on the intranets of their employers. In order for us to have a bigger impact we need more people to be aware of what we do.

Could you single out some of the bright stars within the network and outline why their input has been so important?

We currently have a small committee and membership as we’re just starting out but everyone brings something special to it. Look out for an upcoming event where some of us will be sharing our personal stories.

What could the insurance sector start doing/ stop doing in order to help increase awareness in your network’s D&I specialist area?

Encourage more role models in the industry to speak up and be showcased – telling their stories of how they have overcome challenges they have faced and the opportunities that have come about from their experiences with disability and mental health.

It could also facilitate the creation of employee resource groups to empower colleagues impacted by disability and/or mental health challenges to connect with their peers, act as role models within companies, and to influence policy and culture strategies to improve inclusion.

What has your network got coming up in the future; and how can readers get involved?

Our launch event is schedule to take place on the evening of 3 December 2019 at the Old Library in Lloyd’s. I encourage everyone to visit our website and join our mailing list so that you are the first to get notified of when registrations open. It promises to be an excellent evening with industry leaders sharing their own stories about physical disability and mental health, with a focus on what can be achieved, not what can’t.  

For more information

 

FURTHER READING

Q&A: Benjamin Hindson, vice-president for communications, media and technology, Marsh and chair of Next Generation Insurance Network

Q&A: Amanda Lucas, L&D manager, Allianz Global Corporate Solutions and co-chair Insurance Families network

Q&A: Ajay Mistry, partnership director, Brokerbility and co-chair, Insurance Cultural Awareness Network

Q&A: Maurice Rose, manager, insurance risk and regulation, PWC and co-chair Link

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