30 \\\\\ INSURANCE CULTURAL AWARENESS NETWORK
One day at a time
Almost three years ago, a group of insurance professionals got together to consider
the challenges facing BAME individuals and those from outside the UK working in
the insurance sector, as Ajay Mistry and Kishan Mangat, co-chairs of the Insurance
Diversity and Inclusion Report 2019
Cultural Awareness Network, report.
he terms diversity and inclusion (D&I) are being heard a
lot at present, in the media as well as in the boardroom.
Insurance in particular seems to be subject to a lot of
scrutiny around D&I, as it struggles to shed its traditional
‘pale, male and stale’ image.
Questions are being asked of our industry from a number of
different angles. Are we recruiting a diverse talent pool, and are we
keeping that talent? Do we have diverse leaders and role models for
future generations? Are we developing multicultural leaders and does
the wider leadership group have an inclusive mindset?
These are all valid questions that deserve an answer. There are
excellent examples out there of companies that are taking it seriously,
building an inclusive ethos into their business model and changing
the face of insurance. But to make real and sustainable change, we
need to make this approach the rule, rather than the exception. And
we’re not there yet.
Who are we to talk? Well, we’re iCAN, the Insurance Cultural
Awareness Network, a 700-strong network of insurance professionals
which aims to promote multicultural inclusion and progression, engage
with allies and celebrate the benefits of D&I in the insurance industry.
We’ve been around since 2017, and we work with companies which
are starting out on their D&I journey as well as those which are setting
the standard, and those everywhere in between. Our members tell us
that change needs to happen, and that more needs to be done, and
we’re determined to make that happen.
To set the context, and to highlight the direction we feel the industry
should be going in, let’s take a look at what iCAN is all about. Almost
three years ago, after coming up against the same issues time after
time, a group of insurance professionals got together to consider the
challenges facing black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) individuals
and those from outside the UK working in the insurance sector.
We felt our industry needed to change, and the time was right to
do something about it. With this, iCAN was born. Our strategy since
we formed has stayed consistent, simple, and focused on delivering