Group calls for industry to commit to establishing data on their ethnicity pay gap, among other measures

The insurance industry needs to do more on ethnicity pay gap reporting, according to one of the co-founders at the African Caribbean Insurance Network (ACIN).

Speaking during a recent webinar, Junior Garba said the industry needed to establish ethnicity data, the right metrics for it and hold itself accountable to meeting these initiatives. 

The network has published a research paper ‘Six Steps to Racial Inclusivity: Recommendations for the London Insurance Market’. 

“If things are not being tracked, quantified or measured the managers are less inclined to be committed to it.

”In fact, managers are more likely to revert to old habits and this is something we want to change. Capture and publish ethnicity data including pay gap data [as well as] set and publicise actionable targets to increase ethnic representation,” Garba said

He reflected on the gender pay gap data that the government made compulsory to publish.

He continued: “We believe that if firms publicise ethnicity pay gap data this is likely to create the same effect and we will see a shift in behaviour, and the attitude of companies towards racial inclusion.”

At the beginning of this month, Zurich recently became the first insurer to publish its ethnicity pay gap data.

Garba commended the actions of Zurich and urged more companies to follow suit and “be pro-active rather than reactive”.

He referenced a toolkit that Lloyd’s of London released to help firms collect and report data of this nature.

Top downwards

Meanwhile, Godwin Sosi, co-founder of ACIN emphasised the need for support from the top downwards and commitment of senior leadership to achieve this.

“When chief executives give their support, it trickles all the way down throughout the whole organisation,” he said.

The research paper highlighted that 10% of the insurance market are black, Asian and minority ethnic backgrounds, out of this just 2% are from black background – a figure that is “highly disproportionate” to the actual number of black people in the UK.

Over the past 18 months Garba and Sosi have been working with HR professionals and diversity and inclusion heads which has given ACIN further insight into the matter.

Garba added: “The most notable things we have seen is that there are good and bad companies at this.

”For bad companies, they want to create an illusion and be perceived as a diverse employer but have no genuine commitment.

”[For] good companies there is clear and vocal support from the top down, the chief executive is often issuing statements advocating that the organisations support racial diversity.

”This then sets a tone and creates a culture where people can openly speak about issues and that gives a platform to create calls to action and drive change.”

Reflective representation

In terms of objectives, ACIN hopes to increase the number of black and ethnic minority talent in the insurance industry.

Garba added: “The London Market is currently suffering from an aging population, and a talent shortage.”

Last year ACIN sought out universities across the UK to educate students on the different career paths available in the insurance sector.

Garba is also a cyber underwriter at Tokio Marine Kiln and Sosi is management and liability underwriter at Sompo International.

“For a lot of ethnic minority professionals who are in the middle phases of their career, they actually struggle to break into that next category and often employers do not know of their cultural struggles,” Garba said.

To combat this the ACIN is launching an accelerator programme in partnership with Lloyd’s, it is designed to take ethnic minority professionals in these middle career phases and act as a stepping-stone to get them into the next phase. It will include chief executive workshops and mentoring.

ACIN has also been working with various organisations to overhaul the recruitment process such as blind recruitment processes.

Garba is also encouraging training for black and ethnic minorities but he suggested flipping this around. He said that the mentor could tap into the mentee’s experience of working in insurance and then use this to inform leadership decisions.

Read more…Black Lives Matter protests reawaken insurance industry under-representation BAME debate

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