Dive In Festival 2019
Marking its fifth year, the Dive In Festival 2019 has certainly made an impact, with over 30+ countries and 60+ cities taking part in activities aimed at supporting the development of inclusive workplace cultures within the insurance industry, this global movement is continuing to develop awareness into action. Here you can find some of this year’s highlights, along with an exclusive interview from Donna Richards, CEO of Carpenters Group, discussing diversity and inclusion within the insurance industry.
This global movement is continuing to develop awareness into action.
Dive In’s opening event 2019 was hosted by Gold Sponsors Willis Towers Watson; Alistair Swift, Head of CRB & Head of Transportation Lines, welcomed a packed auditorium as we celebrated a fifth year of the festival.
Taking up the theme of #inclusionimpact, Alistair reflected on how the practice of diversity and inclusion has evolved and become a client-facing imperative. He soon introduced Sir Trevor MacDonald as the first among the speakers, who acknowledged the festival’s global footprint while sharing his experiences in television. The rest of the panel, John Neal, Lloyds; Andrew Bailey, FCA; Fiona Luck, Lloyds; and Karen White, RMS; joined Sir Trevor and spoke of the challenges surrounding D&I in the industry and invited us to make seize the moment and make a difference.
Seize the moment and make a difference.
The opening event commenced the start of a number of seminars, lectures, presentations, and workshops taking place in and around the UK; one being in the centre of York, which Modern Insurance Magazine were asked to attend, being a keen ambassador of the insurance industry and D&I in the North of England, it was our pleasure. The event, Learn how to believe in yourself and then how to promote yourself, took place at The Hiscox Building and included two sessions: Imposter Syndrome, and Putting yourself OUT there: Networks and Career Progression. Phillippa Hurrell, Hurrell Associates, introduced session one by outlining imposter syndrome – a psychological pattern in which an individual doubts his or her accomplishments and has a persistent internalised fear of being exposed as a “fraud”. During the talk, Phillippa, helped the attendees to be that bit braver, and to push themselves to aim that bit higher. She discussed the concept of self-doubt and explained how these types of thoughts and feelings can hold us back from operating at our best – she equipped the audience with a range of skills to take forward in order for them to enjoy life and play big.
Lauren Peel, Aviva, presented session two. She spoke about differing paths of career progression, and how being out and active with LGBTQ+ networks can lead to success, and how best to manage your personal networks. Overall it was a positive session, presenting some useful insights into navigating your career.
Dive In promotes year-round best practice in diversity and inclusion with tools and advice and it is something that the industry needs to continue to be involved in. Reaching new heights in 2019, we can be sure that 2020 will bring events to even more cities, countries, and individuals across the world – all with the aim of raising awareness and creating a positive impact.
Dive In promotes year-round best practice in diversity and inclusion with tools and advice and it is something that the industry needs to continue to be involved in.
Diversity and Inclusion with Donna Richards, CEO of Carpenters Group
Q. This year’s Dive in Festival focused on the impact of inclusion. What would you say has been the impact of inclusion for you, both personally and professionally?
A. I have always been lucky to be involved in businesses throughout my career that have provided a voice and a place for all, this has allowed me to progress in my career. As CEO, I am privileged to lead a business that sees how people, values, and culture make our success possible. The way we conduct ourselves and demonstrate our ethics and standards at every level throughout the business is a testament to our belief in our people. In 2017, a large group of employees from across the business were involved in our Institute of Customer Service project, which culminated in them giving presentations to the Executive Board of their ideas for business improvement in their area. I am proud that a number of these innovations either have been or are planned to be implemented imminently.
Q. How can we influence more businesses, leaders, and individuals to create environments that enable inclusion to foster?
A. The business case for a more diverse and inclusive workforce is indisputable. Giving all employees a fair chance, no matter what their personal circumstances, to develop and then creating the environment for them to progress will directly enable a business to succeed. Cultural change does not happen overnight; it must be encouraged, nurtured and driven. That is why it is important to keep pushing the message home, whether it be through events such as the Dive In Festival, sponsoring awards or articles such as this one. Nothing, though, beats everyday business practices that do what you say you stand for in terms of inclusivity, transparency, fairness and equal opportunities.
Cultural change does not happen overnight; it must be encouraged, nurtured and driven.
Q. How has Carpenters Group been contributing to the conversation around diversity and inclusion within the workplace this year?
A. Carpenters Group operates in a diverse and multi-cultural society with diversity being second nature in our employment practices. We have a fully integrated approach to diversity in every part of the employee life cycle. Our employment policies and processes actively promote inclusion by ensuring all employees are treated uniformly without reference or consideration to their backgrounds or circumstances. It is one thing to say you act in a certain way, and another to do it. That is why we do not differentiate in age in relation to pay rates. We also work with organisations who actively upskill the long term unemployed to meet the needs of local businesses. These things together with flexi-time and our ability to accept flexible working requests demonstrates that we actively embrace diversity. There will likely always be room for improvement in attitudes towards inclusion, which is why it is important that we continue to promote diversity and embrace it daily.
Q. How can we continue to move the dial on gender equality within the industry?
A. With a female majority on both our Executive and Operations boards, we can proudly demonstrate that diversity is an everyday part of our working life. The wider industry is going to be a tougher nut to crack, but progress is being made all the time. More and more businesses will recognise that they cannot be agile and adaptive without the benefit of a diverse and inclusive employee base, especially if the business is focused on customers. There are many gifted and able women in leadership roles in the sector and over time, they will break down prejudices and progress the advancement of women.
There are many gifted and able women in leadership roles in the sector and over time, they will break down prejudices and progress the advancement of women.
Q. What do you hope to see improve in terms of D&I in the next year, both in wider society as well as in the insurance industry? In addition, how do you think we should tackle that?
A. As technological advancements continue at a rapid pace, it should further remove barriers to flexibility and open the workplace to a more diverse team. I would hope to see more women promoted to senior positions in the coming year, not just in the insurance sector, but also across the industry.
If you missed any of the Dive In Festival 2019 events but want to learn more about how to promote diversity and inclusion in your workplace – check out Dive In’s event reports to find out more: https://diveinfestival.com/category/event-reports/