Steve Collinson, head of HR at Zurich UK, explains why the company should win the Insurer Diversity and Inclusion Excellence Award at the 2022 Insurance Times Awards

Explain briefly about your entry in the Insurer Diversity and Inclusion Excellence Award category.

Diversity and inclusion (D&I) runs in our DNA and we have a multifaceted approach in trying to shift the dial.

We are really proud of our flexible working initiative as this has really helped drive the conversation externally. The topic is now regularly debated in Parliament and we’ve seen demand for part-time roles increase by 83%.

Making our senior leadership team more representative is key, which in turn helped to improve our gender pay gap. Our research indicated that women working part-time or requiring flexible working patterns were less likely to apply for senior or management positions. We wanted to address this in a sustainable way.

Steve Collinson

Steve Collinson, Zurich UK

We worked with the behavioural insights team to understand our own data. We identified an opportunity to advertise every role clearly as part-time or as a job share, which opened the door for women to apply - irrespective of their working pattern.

What do you think makes your entry stand out or different from your competition?

We were the first employer to implement this initiative, which means we now have hugely valuable insights as to how it has impacted our workforce.

Since then, we’ve been recognised as a Glassdoor top employer, talked about in Parliament and seen our approach replicated by other organisations.

Within the first nine months, we saw a 50% increase in the number of female appointments into senior management roles.

What would winning this award mean to you and your firm?

We know that this is just a single step on a very long and multistrand journey.

We want to lead from the front on D&I and this recognition will help to open the discussion about equal opportunities to a wider audience, inviting new opinions and ideas.