The ACIN has been recognised as an industry leader in attracting and retaining talent to the insurance industry

The African-Caribbean Insurance Network (ACIN) was awarded the Talent Attraction Initiative of the Year Award at the Chartered Insurance Institute (CII) Public Trust Awards yesterday (24 June 2021).

The Talent Attraction Initiative of the Year Award recognises an individual or organisation for their work in attracting and retaining talent to the insurance profession.

Other finalists included Samantha Ridgewell – managing director at Empower Development and founder of the 2017 business Into Insurance – in addition to Bahrain Institute of Banking and Finance, which the judging panel decided to highly commend.

In winning the award, however, the CII recognised ACIN’s work over the last two years, which has seen the network conduct career fairs in over 20 universities, as well as amass a student network of approximately 2,000 members. The body also works with existing professionals within the insurance industry.

Following extensive consultation with over 50 black professionals from over 20 London market companies, the network also produced a six step guide in July 2020 that aims to enable the industry to action and bring about positive change regarding inclusion.

By adhering to the ACIN’s Six Steps to Racial Inclusivity report, the network hopes the insurance sector will improve the corporate experience of black and ethnic minority people working in insurance.

Godwin Sosi, spokesperson for ACIN and management liability underwriter at Sompo International, said: “It is an honour to be able to win [a] public trust award.

“We believe that together as a collective, we can bring about change and also be the change that we want to see.”

According to ACIN, just 2% of the UK insurance workforce comes from black backgrounds.

To provide new roles and opportunities, ACIN has partnered with Lloyd’s, Tokio Marine, Travelers, DAC Beachcroft and Hiscox.

Junior Garba, spokesperson for ACIN and cyber underwriter at Tokio Marine Kiln, added: “We’d like to say a big thank you to all of our sponsors and to all of our partners – without your continued support and your backing, we wouldn’t have been able to have won this award, so a big thank you for that.

“Going forward, the ACIN has a lot of plans for the future and we hope to be able to make you more proud with more success to come.”

The Six Steps to Racial Inclusivity are:

1. Know, share, target – develop, track and report ethnic diversity metrics in the areas of representation, recruitment, retention, promotion and pay gaps.

2. Be committed – ensure ethnic diversity throughout the organisation, built on the commitment of senior leadership.

3. Recruit for now and the future – improve ethnic diversity among employees at all levels now and build a pipeline of opportunity for the future.

4. Create a culture of inclusion – create a workplace where race is recognised but irrelevant.

5. Train and develop – use proven HR tools to embed diversity in minds and processes.

6. Sponsor, partner, support, donate - provide resources to enable the creation of a racially inclusive London market.

Boosting racial inclusivity

In ACIN’s report, Lloyd’s chief executive John Neal, added: “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, [but to] take measurable action to drive lasting change.

“The recommendations developed by the ACIN, in consultation with many of their members, provide insurance firms with tangible and meaningful actions they can take to ensure that we create an inclusive environment, where everyone has the opportunity to achieve their potential.

“Our collective commitment to taking these steps is critical to the future of our industry.”

The ACIN was formed to increase black and minority ethnic representation within the insurance industry by increasing cultural competence in the London market, as well as making the sector a more attractive destination for young ethnic professionals.

As a social enterprise, the ACIN relies on funding from its sponsors to achieve its objectives.