Its steering committee includes Zurich’s Maxine Goddard as external relations and partnerships leader and Heather Armond at Allianz Global Corporate and Specialty as its communications lead 

The Insurance Cultural Awareness Network (iCAN) has announced its sponsors for 2019 in a bid to drive best practice for inclusion and diversity in the sector.

Dubbed its “year of impact” iCAN will work with its sponsors to host a full events programme to push forward the agenda.

Its sponsors include Lloyd’s Partner Network, PremFina, Zurich UK and Allianz Global Corporate and Specialty.

It follows a successful range of events last year, but Ajay Mistry, iCAN’s co-chair and partnerships director at Brokerbility, said there is “more to be done.”

Diversity and inclusion remain an ongoing issue in the sector with the ABI recently vowing to track it. 


This year the programme features topics such as wellbeing, speed mentoring, panel debates and networking opportunities.

The network encourages brokers and insurers to join them to explore how iCAN and its membership of more than 500 is pushing engagement in diversity.

While understanding further how firms can promote their own diversity and inclusion agenda, add value to CSR activities and network with likeminded individuals.

Mistry spoke positively of working with organisations that are committed to supporting multicultural inclusion and making a difference for the BAME (black, Asian and minority ethnics) community in insurance.

“I thank them for their continued support, and know that with them in 2019, we can build on the progress we have made to date.

“We started iCAN in 2017, and I’m very proud of what we have delivered so far, but there is still so much to be done,” he said.

Calling on the industry

Co-chair, and associate at DWF, Kishan Mangat has called on the industry to get diversity, inclusion and multiculturalism on firms’ agendas.

“Our sponsor’s support is essential to iCAN’s success, and I’m excited to make 2019 our best yet.

“Although with industry partnerships and sponsors, plus other diversity and inclusion networks in London, we can make progress – we must keep the pressure on and make an impact for BAME in our industry.

“We know 2019 is going to be our ‘year of impact,’ and with our two-year anniversary just around the corner, we cannot wait to show everyone what we have in store.”

Steering committee 

Both Mistry and Mangat are involved in iCANs steering committee as well as Zurich’s Maxine Goddard as external relations and partnerships leader, Heather Armond as communications lead who from Allianz Global Corporate and Specialty’s communications officer.

It also includes Glody Makiese from Lloyd’s and Nick Borzenko from Markel who serves as treasurer.

As well as Elisha St Hilaire from Aon as iCAN’s events lead, Natalia Zurowski from Synechron as marketing lead and Gareth Mutema from Midway Insurance Services is also on the committee. 

iCAN claims to be the first industry wide independent network that supports multicultural inclusion across the sector.