Dive In 2021: Advocating, reflecting and driving change through active allyship
Published On : 16 Sep 2021
The return of Dive In next week marks the festival’s seventh year of facilitating important conversations on issues of equality, diversity and inclusion, and bringing together fresh perspectives and ideas to help the insurance industry continue to make progress in this space.
This year’s festival theme is ‘Active Allyship’ and aims to raise awareness of how insurance professionals can use their voice and take action to address the biases and barriers that are experienced by underrepresented groups in the workplace.
In addition to my role as Pen’s Chief Operating Officer, I’m also incredibly proud to be the executive lead on inclusion and diversity (I&D). As an organisation, Pen’s I&D programme continues to thrive, with four dedicated work streams – mental health, disability, gender and a multi-ethnicity alliance group- playing a key role in ensuring diversity remains a priority within our corporate agenda and ensuring we as a business are supporting an inclusive environment for all of our people.
The work that we accomplish as a committee and as an organisation is enabled through the work of dedicated members who have volunteered their time to advocate and promote events and discussions with their wider teams.
We’ve already seen great strides having been taken by the industry in recent years to address diversity within insurance, and now is the time for businesses within the sector to continue this pace to move from intention to action, and ‘walk the talk’ when it comes to making workplaces more inclusive.
That’s why allyship is a very fitting theme for this year’s Dive In festival. To me, this is about celebrating individuals who consistently work to dismantle barriers - without seeking acclaim or attention for their effort. They regularly engage in difficult discussions, ask questions, listen and acknowledge the difficulties individuals from underrepresented groups still face, and check and challenge their own assumptions and biases when they detect them. Without active allyship in the workplace, the I&D agenda would slow down considerably.
As part of the incredibly valuable work our active allies do, our four workstreams operate a varied calendar of initiatives throughout the year, to educate, inform and engage our colleagues.
Next month, for example, we will be marking Black History Month - with different events, resources and materials being developed for our team members, including a range of articles and a series of colleague intranet profiles, as well as signposting useful TV programmes, books and podcasts to further our teammates’ own knowledge and understanding.
The world of insurance is so varied and exciting, and a reflection of the many different clients and communities that the industry serves. That’s why, within our own business, we are committed to driving diversity at all levels of the organisation, by creating an inclusive and engaging culture where everyone feels valued, respected and able to contribute to the success of the organisation.
We all have a part to play in making a real difference to the diversity and inclusion agenda. As this year’s Dive In will highlight, continuous engagement from active allies in the sector will play a key role in enabling us to see our mission through.
For more information, and to register for the event, please visit - https://diveinfestival.com/