Q&A: Jane Harley, co-chair of GIN and manager, policyholder and third-party oversight department at Lloyd’s of London

Jane Hartley Lloyd's
Lloyd's

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 are doing, today focusing on The Gender Inclusion Network.

What are the main objectives of your network?

The Gender Inclusion Network strives to achieve gender equality for everyone across the insurance industry and to leverage diversity and inclusion to produce tangible business results and drive cultural change. The network was founded in 2015 by individuals who felt there was a need for a network to pool together resources and drive change.

Our key objectives are collaborate across a group of constituent gender networks within the industry to share and leverage best practices; instigate and drive tangible change in the industry to further advance gender balance; and act as a ‘go to’ place for anyone wanting to network across the insurance industry with those focused on gender inclusion.

GIN believe that through collaboration, we can achieve more and have a greater impact in the industry rather than working in isolation.

Can you outline why you personally got involved?

I joined the insurance market through a graduate programme and noticed quickly that success seemed dependent on fitting a typical stereotype. This has got to change as it doesn’t reflect the world we live in. I joined GIN to help break down these barriers, to drive industry change and to highlight these issues.

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

For the last two years we have partnered with Lloyd’s of London’s ‘Dive In’ Festival, which shines a light on D&I. For the 2019 festival we collaborated with Aviva to host ‘The Great Gender Debate’, featuring Marshall Bailey OBE in conversation with broadcaster, author, government adviser and retail expert Mary Portas. It was brilliant to hear them both discuss how we can drive change from the roots up and push for gender parity.

Alongside being a formal partner of Inclusion at Lloyd’s, GIN is also a partner of the Insurance Supper Club, a business network for women operating in or involved with insurance. Working with these networks enables us to engage discussion with a broader audience and help influence market-wide initiatives around inclusion and gender parity.

We also host our own events for our members, aimed primarily at entry level to middle management and run on average 10 events a year. These centre around stimulating debate and providing ways to respond to bias. Some of the themes covered in this year’s events were mindfulness and wellbeing, International Women’s Day and actions needed to achieve gender parity. In 2018 & 2019 we hosted a mentoring dinner as we realised that there was a growing demand for a more formal networking programme and we are now looking to implement this for our members.

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

One of our biggest achievements is becoming a partner network of Lloyd’s as it enables us to raise the issue of gender parity to a wider audience. We’ve also been able to attract some brilliant speakers and it’s been a real privilege to hear about their experiences and the lessons they want to share, such as incredibly successful multi-sports international athlete Rebecca Rowe and Pamela Hutchinson, global head of diversity and inclusion at Bloomberg.

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

We are a network of likeminded individuals, however, we are still predominately made up of women. To progress further we need our male colleagues to support gender inclusion both within their companies and market. We need to get to a position where we are inclusive of gender at all roles and eradicate unconscious bias.

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

Our committee is made up of 16 members and each member plays an invaluable role. We are also supported by our brilliant ambassadors and executive sponsors. Everyone helps on top of our day job and it shows our commitment to driving change.

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

When new starters join a company it would be useful to provide them with the information and tools available of all internal and external networks, this would be a great first step. It would also be great if more statistics were available such as information on the gender pay gap in companies and how each company is tackling this, information on women obtaining positions in senior management and initiatives on how the market is working collaboratively across the industry to tackle this issue.

Ultimately we need more people to be taking action rather than just highlighting it as an issue. Companies need to review their own policies and marry up what the executive might be saying publicly with how the policies and culture are implemented internally.

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

We will be launching our mentoring initiatives soon and this will be a fantastic tool available to all individuals up to middle management. The best way to keep up to date on all things GIN is to sign up as a member (for free) through our website and follow us on social media to receive our newsletter and keep abreast of our news. Below are the relevant links;

 

FURTHER READING

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

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

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

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

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

 

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