’The increase in events focused on DEI, along with rising attendance at these functions, demonstrates a growing engagement among employees,’ says cofounder 

Despite the insurance industry’s progress in adopting diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) measures throughout 2023, Ajay Mistry, cofounder of the Insurance Cultural Awareness Network (Ican), has warned that “there is still significant work to be done” in the coming year.

Speaking exclusively to Insurance Times, he said that 2023 saw “significant developments in attitudes toward diversity and inclusion (DEI)” among industry leaders and employees in the insurance sector.

Mistry added that Lloyd’s of London’s DEI-focused event Dive In event, hosted between 26-28 September 2023, represented a “significant milestone,” that represented a change in the industry’s approach to addressing DEI matters.

Dive In was launched in 2015 by Inclusion at Lloyd’s – a collaboration between Lloyd’s of London, the International Underwriting Association, the London and International Insurance Brokers’ Association and the Lloyd’s Market Association – and aimed to “empower individuals to realise their potential”.

Its theme for 2023 was “Unlocking Innovation: The Power of Inclusion” and its agenda centred around inclusion and innovation and explored the types of actions firms could take to shape inclusive cultures and attract new talent.

Mistry explained that initiatives, such as Dive In, have fostered increased employee engagement and participation, leading to a noticeable transformation in insurance industry discussions related to DEI.

“The increase in events focused on DEI, along with rising attendance at these functions, demonstrates a growing engagement among employees,” he said.

“They are actively participating in DEI conversations, leading to a shift from diversity being a top-down initiative to becoming a more integral part of the company culture, embraced by employees at all levels.”


However, while Mistry noted that the “positive momentum is there” for DEI in the insurance industry, he warned that the “reality is that [the industry was] in a state of continuous evolution”.

He continued: “It’s clear that continuous effort and commitment are required to fully realise the vision of a diverse and inclusive industry.

“The journey is ongoing and, while the progress is encouraging, the industry must remain vigilant and proactive in its efforts to navigate and embrace this cultural shift.”

Despite the advances, breaking “down deep-seated barriers remains a challenge” and there are various areas that need improvement, with transparency standing out as a key focus.

Mistry explained that the industry faces a “lack of accountability and transparency” in DEI efforts.

“Companies may outwardly commit to diversity but lack clear, measurable goals or transparent progress reporting,” he said.

Mistry added that, in the insurance sector, words were currently speaking louder than actions where diversity and inclusion (D&I) in the workplace was concerned.