How to create an environment of diversity and inclusion in insurance

‘Diversity in the workplace’ has become a very prominent recruitment prerogative in recent years. It refers to a mixture of ethnicities, religions, cultures, nationalities, genders, sexualities, physical or mental abilities, age, educational and economic backgrounds, and much more. Many industries are working hard to have a better balance of different types of people, genders, ethnicities and cultures within them, Financial Services and Insurance included.

And for good reason: the benefits of having a diverse workplace are undeniable and result in tangible profits. According to a seminal 2015 study by McKinsey, ethnically diverse companies are 35% more likely to be in the top-performing quartile.

The benefits of diversity in the workplace:

Having a truly diverse workplace has the added benefits of creating a dynamic and creative environment that supports problem solving and collaboration. Having that wide range of perspectives and inclusive attitudes in the office has also been linked to greater employee satisfaction and higher staff retention rates.

What’s more, it is important for those in Financial Services and Insurance to remember that most audiences or customer bases are diverse, so having a solid base of different backgrounds and perspectives in your workforce will help ensure that your service offering, customer support or product is better able to appeal to your customers, clients or audience.

Create an inclusive recruitment strategy in three easy steps:

Inclusive recruitment strategies allow you to shape your hiring process to consider how different experiences, opinions and values can work together and enhance your current team. Inclusive strategies take dedication, as people naturally gravitate towards hiring people that most closely resemble themselves and their current team, here are three easy steps to create an inclusive recruitment strategy and create a diverse workplace:

Step 1. Educate your hiring team about bias and unconscious bias

Being aware of the biases you’re trying to dispel and the common unconscious biases that can impede recruitment is key to tackling diversity in Financial Services and Insurance.

Providing structured, ongoing education and training about unconscious and conscious biases about race, gender, religion, etc., to your hiring team will help to widen your candidate pool with different experiences and perspectives.

Step 2. Create an inclusive job description

Writing a job description can be a difficult task and it’s common to use jargon or technical insurance-related language that might be part of the day-to-day language of the company but creates a barrier between you and the applicant. Try to avoid using technical acronyms or you may deter younger applicants, or qualified candidates from different professional backgrounds.

Many words are also gender coded, which means they register as more male or female oriented. This can be tricky in job descriptions, as some words will attract more male or female candidates even if that was not the intention. This can be a particular problem within insurance as roles like brokering are often perceived as male-oriented, whereas customer service can be more female-oriented. In order to get a good range of diverse applicants it is important to offset any coded language with generic job titles and inclusive language.

Step 3. Involve diverse people in your hiring process

Having a diverse set of people in your hiring process will bring a diverse range of perspectives when sifting applications, during interview and in the decision-making process. This will increase the likelihood of removing certain biases.

Having a diverse team when interviewing will also encourage and reassure your interviewee of your commitment to diversity and inclusion.

Engaging a specialist recruiter, like Davies, can help you at every stage when creating an inclusive hiring strategy as we are educated in bias and unconscious bias. We can also help you recognise where in your recruitment strategy you may be creating barriers between your company and diverse applicants, ranging from the job description to where and how you market your role.

If you are looking to broaden your candidate pool and attract diverse talent, finding a Financial Services and Insurance industry-specific recruiter, like Davies, will help. We can make sure your job listings are seen by your ideal candidates and can help you shape an inclusive talent acquisition strategy from start to finish.  You may also like to explore more about Davies Academy here.  Davies Academy is a solution designed to attract diverse talent and support their development through levy funds, enabling you to deploy high quality, diverse, entry level talent at scale with no recruitment fees.

Paul Johnson

Senior Vice President - Talent

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