Ahead of the Modern Claims Awards on 27th April 2023, Modern Insurance Magazine sat down with Donna Scully, Director at Carpenters Group, to discuss Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, the fight to reach net-zero, and those all important sightseeing hotspots in Liverpool and Merseyside!
Q. Hi Donna – always great to catch up!
It’s wonderful to have you on board as a sponsor for the ‘Diversity and Inclusion’ Award at this year’s Modern Claims Awards. I know Diversity and Inclusion means a lot to you all at Carpenters Group, as it does to us here at Modern Insurance Mag!
Tell me how you’ve been pioneering DE&I in the sector recently, and how you’re incorporating these initiatives into your hiring and staff retention practices over at Carpenters Group.
A. In one way or another, Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) has always been very high on our agenda. John and I come from a very basic background, we didn’t go to university and we became lawyers the hard way. Opportunity for everybody – no matter background, education, religion, ethnicity, sexuality or creed. We have a very active and incredibly engaged DEI team, which has continued to grow and is becoming increasingly representative of us as an organisation. It is very much employee led, and its main purpose is to work on creating a culture of respect, empathy, understanding and awareness of difference, as well as promotion of the value to be found in diversity of thought and perspective.
We have always been ahead of the game from a gender perspective. For example, we have a very small gender pay gap and female employees at all levels across the business. This is something we are incredibly proud of. Lots of women want to join us and stay with us because of this.
We also have an incredibly diverse apprenticeship programme in operation across the business, with a dedicated apprenticeship leader supporting their progression, development and success. Currently, we have 21 apprentices across our business doing SQE, Legal, HR, Marketing, CII, Admin and IT apprenticeships all at different levels. We are very proud of this. We recently launched our first cohort of Legal Advisors as part of our new Legal Academy, which stems from our culture of promoting from within and our commitment to providing training and development for all our colleagues, in order to help them realise their potential.
We also recently introduced a Development Hub led by our Diversity, Inclusion & Development lead, which brings together a whole host of informative guides about growing your career within Carpenters Group.
Q. Talk to me about the work you’re up to over at Carpenters Group at the moment. What does 2023 have in store for the business?
A. A big focus for 2023, which is very close to my heart, is on inspiring young people from all backgrounds to believe that anything is possible if you are given the right information and support. We have a busy and very successful schools’ engagement and education programme in operation across the Merseyside area, which we really want to build on over the next year or so.
We are really proud of the educational programme that we have launched this year. The focus of this work is on culture, religion, ethnicity, mental well-being, sexual orientation and of course, gender. The work and activity that surrounds this programme is very much centred on listening to our people, so that we can better understand what they need. The work is essentially based on understanding their individual needs, so they can flourish both on a personal level and also professionally within our business. We have lots and lots of activities planned for 2023 in support of this – things like policy reviews, planned partnerships with other organisations, creation of employee led video content and a series of learning workshops.
Q. Carpenters Group have recently signed a commitment to the Science Based Targets initiative. What goals does this entail, and how are you implementing these changes to achieve Net Zero?
A. Yes, we have! The first part of this involved getting the right people around the table to start talking about the sorts of things we need to be putting in place, primarily to look at what we can do as a business to lessen our impact on the environment. We are currently working across the business and looking at how we make our facilities more sustainable. Reducing our electrical and gas consumption, more effective water and waste management, not to mention our IT infrastructure and services consolidation, are all our top priorities.
Q. This year, you’ll be aware that the Modern Claims Awards is being hosted right on your doorstep at The Rum Warehouse in Liverpool!
What ‘must see’ attractions would you recommend to those attending the Awards, especially those who have never been to Liverpool or Merseyside before?
A. There is so much to see and do in Liverpool! There are some amazing galleries, theatres, restaurants, bars and sightseeing tours to go on. If I had to choose a couple of things that everyone should do when they come to Liverpool, I’d probably tell them to visit the Albert Dock and take a sightseeing tour of Liverpool – it’s such a beautiful city!
Being a proud Liverpool FC supporter though, a tour of Anfield would definitely fall towards the top of my list of recommendations. Feel the magic!
Q. What are you most looking forward to about Awards night, and why?
A. For those of you who know me, you will be very much aware that I love a night out and a dance, so I’m really looking forward to getting glammed up and heading out for the night. The Rum Warehouse is a fantastic venue!
I am also looking forward to seeing the many familiar faces from our industry whom I have known for many years, and meeting some new ones that I’ve met virtually but not in person yet.
I will be talking about community spirit and the amazing work of Fans Supporting Foodbanks, who will be present on a community table to hear me speak! I’m very proud to work with them and be associated with them, and I love that Kate and the team are doing so much to support their work too.
And finally, I am obviously very proud that Carpenters Group are supporting such an important issue by sponsoring the Diversity and Inclusion Award on the night. It’s set to be a wonderful evening and I can’t wait to share it with you all!
About Carpenters Group
Carpenters Group is one of the UK’s leading providers of insurance and legal services. We work in partnership with insurers, brokers and MGA’s to deliver a variety of fully outsourced claims solutions. Our team has grown to approximately 1000 employees across six offices throughout the UK. We have sites in Liverpool, Birkenhead, Leeds, Haywards Heath and Glasgow.
Our team’s insurance experience combined with our legal expertise gives us the size, scale and strength to successfully work in partnership with any insurer or broker. Our long-standing relationships are testament to the quality of our service. Our focus is always on the customer and ensuring their claims journey consistently exceeds expectation.