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Zurich: Signs Pledge to be More Inclusive

Category: inclusive workplace

The words 'diversity and inclusion' on a red VERCIDA background

In July 2018, insurers, industry bodies and brokers, together with other organisations across the insurance sector, have joined forces to launch a new industry-wide Pledge, designed to change behaviours and create a more inclusive work environment across the sector.

Spearheaded by Lloyd’s and Zurich, the Inclusive Behaviours Pledge has attracted a groundswell of cross-sector support with 50 firms signing up and joining forces to demonstrate the insurance profession’s unwavering commitment to transforming its culture. This pledge builds on the insurance sector’s well-established work and initiatives driving greater inclusion across the profession, including the global Dive In Festival now in its fourth year.

The Pledge addresses all forms of potential discrimination in the workplace, whether on the grounds of age, disability, gender reassignment, marriage/civil partnerships, pregnancy/maternity, family and caring responsibilities, race, religion/belief, gender or sexual orientation.  It sets out a clear framework of desired behaviours for leaders and their employees in the workplace, as well as in their interactions with suppliers and customers.

Founding Pledge signatories Lloyd’s and Zurich are joined by firms such as RSA, AXA, Willis Towers Watson and Marsh.  In addition, the Pledge has support from trade bodies the British Insurance Brokers Association, the Association of British Insurers, the Lloyd’s Market Association, and the London & International Insurance Brokers' Association, with other high profile organisations set to sign up to the Pledge in the coming weeks. 

Inga Beale, CEO, Lloyd’s said, “Having worked in the insurance sector for 36 years, I’ve seen just how far it has come, particularly in the last decade. I’m proud of the progress that has been made, but the job isn’t over yet. The Inclusive Behaviours Pledge is a public commitment reinforcing our promise as individual organisations, and as a collective, to challenge inappropriate behaviour and create increasingly welcoming and inclusive workplaces for the diverse talent powering our sector.    

Tulsi Naidu, CEO, Zurich UK said, “My experience is that the insurance industry is a great place to work but we do still see instances of poor behaviour which undermine the whole - that’s why we think this pan-industry initiative is so important.  We believe the Inclusive Behaviours Pledge will send a clear signal that the leadership of our industry is committed to working together to drive out inappropriate or discriminatory behaviour.  We want our current and future employees to be confident in the insurance industry and see it as a sector that is inclusive and welcoming to all.”

Bertrand Poupart-Lafarge, Interim CEO AXA UK & Ireland and Executive Sponsor for Diversity & Inclusion said, “At AXA UK we are committed to achieving truly inclusive behaviour to make our business as diverse as the customers we serve. I am delighted to sign this pledge reinforcing our stance that all our employees are treated with respect, courtesy and dignity, embracing and valuing all our differences.”
Richard Pryce, CEO, QBE European Operations said, “I’m delighted to sign this CEO Pledge and add QBE European Operations to the list of insurance companies standing up for inclusive behaviours and encouraging appropriate conduct in the workplace. I pledge to lead an organisation that has a workplace culture where the unique ideas, capabilities, and experiences all our people bring to the office are valued and respected.”

The Pledge contains a series of CEO-level commitments, with an obligation for them to have clear policies and procedures in place for reporting any inappropriate or discriminatory behaviour in the workplace. It commits CEOs to taking action within their own organisations if their employees are not treated with dignity at work, with serious repercussions for the perpetrators of any behaviour which falls short of the desired behaviours.

A dedicated website, inclusiveinsurancepledge.co.uk, has also been launched, where organisations can read about the Pledge and sign up online.  The website provides signatories with an ‘Inclusive Behaviours’ toolkit, designed to help firms embed and enforce the Pledge across their organisations.  Social media users can look out for the #InclusivityPledge hashtag. 


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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 info@vercida.com for more information.

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Zurich Insurance

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