BIA Winners 2017: Workforce - Investing in the profession/training, diversity

LMA’s director Charlotte Myers collects the Investing in the Profession/Training Award from the Chartered Insurance Institute’s CEO, Sian Fisher

Training up the talent

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With so many worthwhile causes and initiatives taking place, it was quite a decision for the judges to agree on the winner of the Investing in the Profession/Training Award, but the Lloyd’s Market Association stood out.

Founded in 2009, the Lloyd’s Market Association Academy recently underwent a significant refresh to align itself with new strategies based on attracting and developing talent, implementing more lifelong learning opportunities and supporting the roles and contribution of the company’s younger workforce.

Initially for professionals in the Lloyd’s market, the academy’s courses have since been opened to both insurers in the London companies market and London-based brokers, in response to requests from brokers and non-Lloyd’s insurers.

To build up London’s skill base, the LMA Academy conducted a review of courses and needs, discovering a case for strengthening business critical skills and teaching on emerging risks such as cyber, robotics, autonomous vehicles and climate change.

New programme content was developed and modified based on delegate and organisational feedback – for example, what emerged from the research was that the under-35s needed to be treated as a distinct group.

Since 2014, attendance at its events and website traffic has doubled, the number of events has risen by 50% and all modular programmes are significantly over-subscribed. Its carefully-managed programmes and promotion of lifelong learning are keeping London at the centre of the global insurance industry.

Aon UK’s head of diversity and inclusion and community affairs Katherine Conway picks up the Diversity Award from XL Catlin’s chief executive of client and country management, Kelly Lyles

Forming an open-minded company

XL Catlin
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Challenging the lack of diversity within the insurance culture is a herculean task, and no single company should take on this sector issue alone, however Aon, winner of the Diversity Award, has worked hard and succeeded in embedding an inclusion strategy into its both its leadership model and at ground level. The company then delivered on all aspects of that strategy to ensure an inclusive culture where all colleagues can be their authentic selves at work.

Based on the belief that an inclusive culture encourages a more engaged and inspired workforce that leads to greater creativity and innovation, Aon recruited a full-time head of diversity and inclusion to drive the agenda home.

With seven active business resource groups : gender; mental health; multicultural; disability; working parents and carers; lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender plus and generations, Aon provided colleague support by raising awareness of issues; improving recruitment, retention and career success and allocating a senior executive sponsor to organise educational and networking events, both internal and external.

An Aon Apprentice said: “Having such an active role in pushing diversity and inclusion in Aon at this early stage in my career just shows that Aon wants the future of their company, the young professionals of today, to be educated and active in this space. This is especially true when speaking to friends from other firms.”

In addition to its internal work, Aon has committed to working with its peers to drive inclusion across the industry and make the insurance industry attractive to a diverse workforce.

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