’To create innovative products, [the insurance industry] needs to have a diverse pool of talent around the table,’ says senior diversity and inclusion manager

In order for the insurance industry to deliver the “best customer experience” and “create products and services that are relevant to a wide range of customers”, it must focus on having diverse talent, according to Monica Stancu, senior diversity, inclusion and wellbeing manager at Lloyd’s of London.

Stancu was speaking during a panel session entitled Driving inclusion and innovation in financial services at the MoneyNext 2024 conference on 19 June 2024.

She told delegates: “In order to create innovative products, [the insurance industry] needs to have a diverse pool of talent around the table.

“For example, if a company is thinking about launching a product in China, then [it should] make sure that there are people from that region involved in creating, testing and developing that product and service so that [it] lands well.”

Yvonne Alozie Obi, director of diversity and inclusion from Standard Chartered Bank, echoed Stancu’s sentiments. She added that within the financial services sector, firms are beginning to shift their focus when it comes to diversity, equity and inclusion to better consider customer attraction and retention.

She continued: “For example, we have groups of customers that have different cultural needs and different identities that are very specific.

“We know that one of the ways we can retain those customers is by making sure we have talent [from diverse backgrounds] that can really serve them, understanding their perspective and needs.”

Stancu added: “[Diversity, equity and inclusion] has to be thought about from two perspectives – from an internal perspective in making sure that there is the best possible talent around the table and also from an external perspective, where the customer’s background is taken into consideration.

”[Both] go hand in hand.”


Stancu told attendees that “from an insurance perspective, there is a need to futureproof the industry” when it comes to talent.

She explained that when she tells younger generations that she works in insurance, she has to “grab them by the arm and try to convince them that insurance is an interesting profession”.

She added: “When they find out I work in insurance, their face is ‘I am not interested’ and they want to move along.

“If we don’t go out there and [engage] with the [next generation], they will discount the industry as a destination of choice when they graduate from school.

“It is important that the industry thinks about how it continues to attract talent for the long term.

”For example, having an outreach programme where [firms] go to young [talent] from underrepresented groups in schools and [showcase the industry as a career option].”

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