Insurance leaders hope to challenge stereotypes and misconceptions around neurological differences

Insurance firms have joined a Group for Autism, Insurance, Investment and Neurodiversity (Gain) campaign to promote neurodiversity in the workplace during Neurodiversity Celebration Week, taking place this week (13 to 19 March 2023).

The Creating pathways to neuroinclusion campaign aims to emphasise the importance of providing inclusive work environments to neurodiverse employees in the financial services sector.

Gain explained to Insurance Times that the campaign would run as an ongoing process with the involved firms committing to certain inclusivity benchmarks and yearly reviews from the organisation.

Insurance firms and trade bodies – including the ABI, Aviva, Ageas, Biba, Covéa, Zurich, Swiss Re and QBE – have joined the campaign in a move designed to highlight their commitment to neuroinclusivity in the workplace.

Neurodiversity refers to the idea that differences in neurological functioning – including conditions such as autism, ADHD and dyslexia, for example – are natural variations in brain development, rather than disorders or disabilities.

A Gain mission statement explained that it wanted to spark an improvement in the employment prospects of neurodivergent people in the insurance sector and other financial services.

In a statement, Gain explained that its campaign aimed to highlight “the need to review, reflect and change the way the industry operates in order to protect, nurture, enable and equip neurodivergent employees”.

Challenging worldwide stereotypes

Tim Bailey, chief executive of Zurich, commented: “Our people are our most important asset.

“Through our partnership with Gain, we aim to not only become a more inclusive organisation for our neurodivergent employees, but also to champion neurodiversity at an industry level, helping to make insurance more accessible to our customers and colleagues.”

Liisa Antola, policy adviser for diversity, equity and inclusion at the ABI, said: “To accomplish our mission of becoming the most diverse, equitable and inclusive sector of the UK economy, we must broaden our collective understanding of what diversity of talent means.

“It is our responsibility to ensure everyone can realise their potential and that the workplace provides a supportive environment for neurodivergent individuals.”

Owen Morris, Aviva’s managing director for personal lines, shared this view.

He said: “The UK insurance industry can be a wonderful place for talented neurodivergent individuals to work, with so many problems to solve and different ways to think – which will benefit our customers.”