As the insurance industry evolves, greater emphasis is being placed on promoting diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI). While leveraging diversity of thought and experience can help improve business outcomes, it can also enhance the employee experience, creating a sense of community within the workplace. This is especially important in the current hyper-competitive recruitment and retention environment, in which agency players are vying to attract and retain top talent.
Defining and designing a path for equitable growth requires intentional, long-term commitments, as well as buy-in across all title levels and roles within an organization. The following are a few approaches agency leaders may find helpful as they look to build upon DEI efforts within their organization.
Implementing employee resource groups (ERGs) can have a positive impact on the employee experience. These groups, which bring together employees with a shared passion, connection or interest, can instill a stronger sense community and belonging. ERGs help give visibility and voice to employees and can play a key role in advising leaders on resourcing and support needs. They can also help lead meaningful conversations on issues regarding workplace inclusion and allyship. Groups may be centered on a variety of areas such as empowering women in the insurance industry, celebrating the cultures and communities of employees with different racial or ethnic backgrounds, supporting those in the military community, and more.
One key to establishing successful ERGs is to make sure they are employee sourced and employee driven. Agency leaders should encourage talent to determine which kinds of groups would be most meaningful, and from there, help develop a framework to ensure that the ERGs that arise meet those needs. The most successful ERGs are not merely venues for social interaction, but rather collectives that empower employees to better their communities and their organizations, from advocating for causes they are passionate about to helping drive business strategy.
There are many ways agencies can seek out diverse new talent, whether they have ambassadors attend high school or college recruitment events or leverage ERGs to establish affiliations with professional organizations. While the rise of remote work has presented certain challenges, it has also introduced opportunity in this arena: Agencies with remote or hybrid work policies can broaden their pool of potential talent by expanding beyond those who are in close proximity to their physical offices, removing a potential barrier to employment.
That said, cultivating a diverse talent pipeline extends beyond recruitment efforts. Once talent is “in the door,” prioritizing their professional development is critical. By serving as mentors, coaches, sponsors and champions, more experienced producers can help unlock opportunities for junior talent. Such connections give new talent visibility and access to leaders they may not have access to otherwise and can and help them realize their full potential.
Fostering DEI is a long-term process, not a short-term project. As the context changes and the world evolves, agency leaders should continuously ask themselves – and employees across all levels of the agency – how to build a more equitable work environment and which resources are needed to support such growth.
While leaders set the tone, establish core values and emphasize commitment, employees at all levels must recognize their part in making their agency a more diverse, equitable and inclusive place to work. By working together to foster DEI, the industry can attract and develop the leaders of tomorrow.
For information about how Chubb is working to create a diverse, equitable and inclusive environment, visit: https://about.chubb.com/diversity-equity-inclusion.html.
Kurt Stemmler is Senior Vice President and Branch Manager of Chubb’s San Francisco office.
David Rhoden is Vice President, Culture & Inclusion at Chubb.
The opinions and positions expressed are the authors’ own and not those of Chubb. The information and/ or data provided herein is for informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional advice. Insurance coverage is subject to the language of the policies as issued.