Being a diverse and inclusive organisation matters. There have been many studies which demonstrate how this can benefit both businesses and individuals – providing a wider range of views and perspectives can often lead to better ideas and approaches. As the leading trade association for the insurance and long-term savings sector, the Association of British Insurers (ABI) has a unique opportunity to not only look at this from an employer’s perspective, but to also be a driving force in the sector.
In 2018, the ABI launched its first internal inclusion strategy aimed at supporting inclusion in all aspects of our core ways of working. In late 2020, an updated version was published which included a commitment to creating an internal Inclusion Group. The Group would facilitate open discussion with staff on why diversity and inclusion is important to us as an organisation and embed any changes internally.
The Inclusion Group, which we both sit on, was set up in early 2021. Our aim is to give all colleagues a voice, so we all have a forum to express our opinions and thoughts, and to effect any necessary changes. Our mission statement, which was written by colleagues in the Inclusion Group, helps us summarise our ethos:
At the ABI, we feel empowered to bring our whole self to work without fear of judgment and embrace all our differences as every voice matters.
Our aim is to encourage colleagues to be mindful of people’s differences and show curiosity when asking questions. The Inclusion Group also celebrates the diversity of our colleagues, most of whom did not come to the ABI with an insurance background!
As a group, we’ll be working with colleagues to create thought-provoking and engaging content which can spark questions and conversation. To ensure that everyone can have a voice, we feel that it is important to give everyone the opportunity to share something personal to them, such as their religion, home life and culture. We plan to use blogs, book/film reviews, informal chats with senior leaders and speaking events to showcase the different backgrounds and life experiences that make up the fabric of the ABI.
There is so much to do in the D&I space, and this is just the beginning, but we hope that the Inclusion Group can help make everybody’s voice feel heard at the ABI.
By Zoe Pope and Julie Shah
VERCIDA works with over one hundred clients who are committed to creating an inclusive work
environment. If you are an employer and interested in working with VERCIDA to promote your
diversity and inclusion initiatives and attract the best candidates, please email
[email protected] for more information.
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