Penny Black’s Insurance Week - 30 April 2015

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Penny has some sympathy for company recruiters these days, with many fearful of cracking a joke in case a poorly judged remark lands them on the wrong side of an employment tribunal.

However this week offered a timely reminder that legislation has, in some areas, forced the business world to change for the better.

Speaking at the London Market Association's Inclusion At Lloyd's, Claire Ighodaro, Audit Committee chair and member of the Lloyd's Franchise Board, revealed that when applying for promotion to a management role early in her career, she was asked whether her husband would mind her taking on the role, particularly as people from "her background" were "meant to have lots of children".

While reflecting that taking this approach today would definitely land a company in hot water, Ighodaro stressed that curiosity about those different from oneself was no bad thing and that asking questions - politely - was the key to gaining understanding. Such composure is admirable.

Anyone asking the views of Penny's spouse in the context of a job interview would have been on the receiving end of some corporal punishment, along with a lawsuit.

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