This post is part of a series sponsored by IAT Insurance Group.
To foster a diverse workforce with unique perspectives, purposeful Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) policies must be implemented. Supported by transparency, targeted recruitment to ensure large, diverse applicant pools, and retention efforts, it is possible to build an inclusive and engaging corporate culture regardless of industry.
And yet, striving for a DEI culture in the insurance industry may be easier said than done. Because the insurance industry is typically known as a white, male-dominated field, and recruiting and retaining is more difficult when diverse candidates are not reflected in the industry, change can be more difficult. But it doesn’t have to be.
Here are 5 best practices to increase and increase success in recruiting and retaining DEIs across the insurance industry:
- Evaluate your company in relation to DEI. Take the time to assess any gaps in your company’s hiring processes, starting with the recruiting process. Evaluate:
- Interview recruitment boards – are you diverse?
- Recruitment and hiring processes – where do you recruit and find candidates?
- The process from the candidate’s perspective – what does your employer branding say about you and does that align with the candidate’s experience?
- Be transparent. Educate prospective employees about your company’s DEI goals and where you are on your journey. When recruiting, consider the following:
- Be honest when speaking to candidates about DEI initiatives in your organization. The generation entering the workforce is bold and courageous, and does not hesitate to ask questions about DEI programming and executive representation.
- Speak openly with applicants about areas where diversity and inclusion can be improved and how your company is working toward measurable goals, including how they can be part of the journey.
- Have open conversations with internal teams and managers to discuss candidate questions.
- Walk the conversation. It’s one thing to add a page to your website that talks about DEI, but it’s more impactful to show how you implement DEI initiatives in your company. Work with organizations like the National African American Insurance Association (NAAIA), Prospanica and the Association of Professional Insurance Women (APIW) that provide resources and development opportunities specifically for underrepresented groups.
Encourage employees to get involved. The ultimate goal is to create opportunities and increase exposure to bring more DEI to the insurance industry.
- Make DEI part of the business structure. Talk about DEI often so that it is woven into the everyday life of your company and into the structure of your company. Dig deeper and use the knowledge and leadership skills of your employees to address concerns and ideas to advance the DEI needle. IAT has developed two programs to achieve this:
I&D Council: A gathering of IAT leaders and leaders meeting to discuss high-level DEI strategy.
Family Ambassador: Who is up to date in the company? Our employees. At IAT, we rely on our family ambassadors to provide insight into how employees feel, identify gaps for improvement, and develop ways for employees to feel more engaged and supported.
- Set up a mentoring program. It is important to employees to provide opportunities for early professional education and training. Role models and mentors in your chosen profession are valuable. Invest in employees by paying to become members of advocacy organizations like Prospanica that enable the Hispanic community to reach its full potential. This allows employees to grow and develop around people who look like and resonate with them.
Even if your company isn’t where it wants to be on its DEI journey today, that’s ok. DEI is not a one-size-fits-all solution, so it’s important for your organization to understand what’s happening in this space from a broader perspective, figure out what works, and make it applicable to its employees. Be specific about your company’s DEI goals as they relate to the business, and remember that transparency and accountability are key.
Visit IAT’s website to learn more about our commitment to DEI.
By Lindsay Span
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