The Association of British Insurers is among 50 insurers, brokers and industry bodies signing up to a new sector-wide Inclusive Behaviours Pledge this morning.
Spearheaded by the CEOs of Zurich UK and Lloyd’s of London – Tulsi Naidu and Inga Beale – the pledge aims to address all forms of potential discrimination in the workplace and sets out a framework of desired behaviours for leaders, their employees and for interactions with suppliers and customers.
There’s more about the pledge on a new dedicated website,www.inclusiveinsurancepledge.co.uk
ABI Director General Huw Evans said:
“The insurance sector is on a steep path towards being a properly diverse and inclusive industry. Along with the wider financial services industry it has a lot to do, but good progress is being made thanks to initiatives such as the Women in Finance Charter and strong commitment from industry leaders. The fact this inclusive behaviours pledge has been devised by people at the very top of the industry shows how strong the drive is for change and I am pleased to be adding my signature on behalf of the ABI as an employer.”
Insurance Edge Comment:
Like many public sector bodies the insurance sector is keen to tick the diversity box. Who can blame them ,for as anyone who has attended any major insurance event knows there is still a majority of middle class, white guys, aged 35-65 running the show. Exactly the same can be said of the UK construction, IT, automotive, engineering, defence and waste recycling sectors too.
Whether the job is insurance claims handler, or household waste lorry driver, your ethnic background, religion or sexual preferences are completely irrelevant. While any diversity policy always looks good on paper, what does it mean in reality when it comes to hiring people? Surely if you’re not recruiting using blind CVs, where the candidate’s date of birth, University attended, disability etc are NOT disclosed, and no information on sexuality, religion or ethnic background is being demanded, then how can you say it is a truly level playing field?
By setting quotas and targets any organisation then invites employees – or potential new hires – to game the system by identifying a particular grievance and declaring that advantage at every step of the recruitment, and promotional ladder.
Can everyone agree that jobs should be allocated on merit, and that experience, ability and attitude are more important that someone’s diversity score, or is it a thoughtcrime to say that out loud?