Lloyd’s CEO Neal and TMK’s Irick back ACIN racial inclusivity proposals

Lloyd’s CEO John Neal and Tokio Marine Kiln CEO Brad Irick have thrown their support behind six steps to improving racial inclusivity in the London market drawn up by the African-Caribbean Insurance Network (ACIN).

The ACIN has crowdsourced the six recommendations via a canvass of more than 50 black professionals across 20 organisations, and include tangible actions to help London market companies boost the inclusion, development, and promotion of black and minority ethnic talent.

The six steps include: collecting ethnicity diversity data and creating measurable targets, committing to ethnic diversity throughout the organisation, improving short-term and long-term recruitment, creating a culture of inclusion, providing more training and development to and for black and ethnic minority employees and lastly supporting industry associations, networks and charities that combat racism.

Lloyd’s CEO Neal said: “Now, more than ever, we all share an urgent responsibility to not only understand what we can do to improve the experience and representation of black talent in the London market, and most importantly take measurable action to drive lasting change.”

He added that the ACIN’s recommendations gave insurance firms “tangible and meaningful actions” that would create an inclusive environment for all working professionals. He concluded that taking the steps towards more inclusivity was “critical to future of the industry”.

TMK has already incorporated the recommendations made by the ACIN into its inclusion and diversity strategy, and CEO Irick encouraged TMK’s peers in the market to do the same.

The executive continued: “We are also engaged with Lloyd’s activities and are committed to partnering with Lloyd’s and the broader market to maximise the impact. We are determined to embrace this opportunity to become a better business and to further our aim to create a safe, open, inclusive and empowering environment in which all our people can thrive.”

The ACIN is also working with Lloyd’s on the first comprehensive study of ethnic employment in the market, and plans to launch the first market-wide development programme to encourage leaders from ethnic minorities.

Within the recommendations the ACIN called for organisations to capture and publicise their ethnicity data, including pay-gap figures, and to set actionable and measurable targets to both improve ethnic representation and hold organisations to account.

The body outlined that it was important that companies were committed to ethnic diversity throughout the organisation, with buy-in from senior leadership including the CEO. It recommended that organisations designate an executive sponsor of internal ethnic diversity.

Regarding recruitment, the ACIN report stated that it was important to ensure a “long-term talent pipeline” of black and minority ethnic candidates for C-suite, senior leadership and managerial positions, and to create programmes to enable those from different ethnic backgrounds to reach leadership positions.

This was coupled with evaluating traditional recruitment practices, working with more diverse recruiters and committing to a blind recruitment process.

Creating a culture of inclusion “where race is recognised but irrelevant” was also highlighted as an integral step, and included several actions, including the removal of “BAME” [black, Asian and minority ethnic] from company lexicon in order to distinguish between ethnic groups and reviewing “organisational artefacts” with racist connotations.

Designating ethnicity as a separate diversity and inclusion initiative and committing to research projects to examine racial prejudice in the workforce were also suggested.

As part of training and education, ACIN recommended that unconscious bias training should be mandated, with an increased focus on racial prejudice. It also suggested reverse mentorship programmes for people from black and ethnic minority backgrounds, and taking time to ask black and ethnic minority employees about their development needs in their performance reviews.

The final step outlined in the report suggested company sponsorship of industry associations and networks which focused on improving the experience of black and minority ethnic professionals in the market, as well as donating to charities that aimed to combat racism.

ACIN co-founders Junior Garba and Godwin Sosi said that the London market had been “slow to give ethnic diversity the attention it needs” and they hoped that the six steps would serve as a “starting point” for insurers, brokers, market bodies and service providers.

“As a network, it is the ACIN’s duty to amplify the voice of black and minority ethnic professionals in the London market. Now that the community’s recommendations have been heard, compiled, and presented, the onus is on every market company to hear our voice,” they said.

The ACIN was founded in 2019 and aims to boost ethnic representation and empower ethnic minorities in the insurance industry.

The full ACIN report can be found here. 

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