106 Communications

6th Sense

Moving the dial in Diversity & Inclusion

March 2017 | Diversity

The Insurance market has long been a bastion of white, middle-class, middle-aged men.  But is it changing?  On March 22nd, Hanover Search Group held a breakfast event on the New Paradigm in Diversity & Inclusion.  The guest speaker was Pauline Miller, Head of Diversity & Inclusion at Lloyd’s of London.

Times they are a-changing.  Pauline predicted that in the next 10-15 years we should start to see a very different Lloyd’s.  You may think this is slow progress, but in an institution and sector with this tradition and legacy, that seems like things are happening.

Lloyd’s hosted the second Dive In festival last year.  They went from hosting 10 events in one country in 2015 to hosting over 50 events in 10 countries in 2016.

Pauline herself had been previously skeptical about Diversity & Inclusion weeks – big bang and then everyone goes back to their job.  But she has been a convert – especially by making Dive In not just an event, but a change programme supported by leaders, packed with useful guidance and resources, and bringing together people and businesses across the sector.

Some of her tips for success in moving the dial in Diversity & Inclusion:

Leadership Support – without it, you won’t get far.  But it’s not simply a box-ticking exercise, leaders need to be advocates and know their ‘D&I story’.

Resources – simple, but effective.  Give people the resources they need to make this happen.

Values – build D&I into your values and culture, in a way people understand and can buy in to.

Accountability – don’t just make leaders or managers accountable; make everyone.

Unconscious bias – don’t use this as a sheep-dip.  Create awareness with colleagues, and look at more specific training for managers and one-to-one sessions with leaders.  For many leaders, this will be an ongoing process of coaching.

Embed – look at how you embed D&I into everything from recruitment process to Town Halls.

Networks – support them and make them accessible; but make sure they are employee-driven not simply employee-owned and look at how they work for the organisation.

Measure – ‘what gets measured, gets done’ has never been more true than for driving a more diverse and inclusive workplace.

This year, Lloyd’s is moving towards a focus on the ‘Diversity Dividend’ which certainly puts the emphasis not just on doing the right thing or treating people well; this implies a business outcome.  We look forward to more from Lloyd’s in the future…

We also heard experiences from the floor – in particular around promotions (and decision-making), middle management and career breaks – and how organisations can support people coming back into the workplace.  In particular, it is this mid-point in a women’s career in particular where employers can do more to support women, but also educate managers and leaders about how decisions can and should be made.  Interesting stuff – and no silver bullet, but the debate is surely helping organisations to do more to support everyone in the workplace.

Special thanks to our friends at Hanover Search Group for the invitation.

Sign up for your weekly shot of Comms, Engagement and Employer Branding