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This theme has the following objectives:

  • Build a set of consistent metrics that allow us to understand the effectiveness of actions the sector is taking on DEI.
  • Foster a culture of transparency where evidence informs prioritisation and the progress being made is regularly reviewed.
  • Collaborate to ensure that employees are able to feel comfortable sharing data about themselves to inform decision-making.

Under this theme, our focus has been on both making our own DEI Data Collection more representative and on helping our members prioritise which data they use to assess the effectiveness of their own DEI Strategies.

We also work to make our own member networks and our flagship events operate effectively as a vehicle for sharing and promoting best practice.

Additionally, we work with a wide range of external experts and collaborate with counterparts across insurance and long-term savings and the wider financial services sector.

The current status of our data collection and our other priority activities under this theme are summarised below.

Data and Evidence: Expanding the annual ABI DEI Data Collection

We are continuing to broaden the representation of firms participating in our annual ABI DEI data collection, encompassing a wider cross-section of the industry.

We recognise that, especially for smaller firms, providing data requires them to commit additional resource.

We are therefore pleased that four new firms have confirmed their participation in 2023, marking a significant step toward achieving this objective. This will provide a richer and more inclusive dataset that better represents the industry landscape.

We continue to work with the help of our ABI data team to encourage more firms to take part in the future by updating our guidance notes and making sure our data collection stays consistent with data requests from other organisations, including any existing or future regulatory obligations.

Our members have fed back that our data collection is considered to be of more value than some of the other data collections they are asked to complete because it links directly to measuring progress against the goals in our Blueprint.

Collaboration: Comparing our Evidence Base with Industry Counterparts

Collaboration with a wide range of external stakeholders and industry counterparts remains a cornerstone of our approach. We are actively working to compare our evidence base with other organizations, such as the Investment Association (IA), the Financial Services Skills Commission (FSSC), and Lloyd's of London

We also wish to collaborate with representative bodies from other markets to understand how we can learn from each other. By participating in best practice calls and leveraging feedback from member firms we aim to ensure that we learn from the best approaches available.

Data Collection: Guidance on Best Practice

To encourage a high percentage of employees to take part in their employers’ DEI data collection, particularly on employees' experiences of inclusion strategies and social mobility, we have worked closely with our member firms to discuss potential barriers and to highlight solutions to them.

We have identified existing toolkits, such as the Lloyd’s Diversity data collection toolkit, and made sure members have access to these. We also plan to update the reference base of our DEI Blueprint.

Additionally, our ongoing discussions within the DEI Network provide a platform for sharing best practices and insights. This collaborative effort is essential in shaping the way forward for effective data collection and analysis.

Member Networks: Sharing Best Practice and Driving Change

We continue to leverage our member networks, notably the ABI DEI Board sub-group and the DEI Network, to review our progress and reassess priorities. Our member group on DEI was upgraded to a Board sub-group in 2022 to reflect the importance of this issue within the ABI’s overall purpose and strategy and to ensure that its work was directly accountable to the ABI Board.

Recent presentations from external speakers, including the Chartered Insurance Institute (CII) and Grant Thornton, have fostered insightful discussions within these groups.

Our data team also provided a detailed presentation on the results of our data collection, followed by a roundtable discussion on the lessons learned from this data.

We use the expertise from our members represented in these discussions to ensure that our DEI Blueprint remains aligned with evolving industry dynamics and needs.

The member groups also allow members to network with their peers, raise questions and share best practice. DEI is an area where firms benefit from collaboration, and we welcome the constructive approach firms bring to these issues.

The DEI Network is open to all our members – and we encourage any firm not already part of this group to join.  

Annual Conference and DEI Summit: Convening the Sector to Raise Awareness and Share Best Practice

Our programme of flagship events raises awareness of the importance of DEI and allows members, partners and associate members to share best practice, and hear from experts (from within and outside our sector).

In 2023 we hosted a plenary session on DEI at our Flagship Annual Conference in February, and we have also included sessions on DEI at our Future Leaders program and our Young Professionals event.

Our 2023 annual DEI Summit includes panel sessions focussed on providing practical insights on how to address some of the more challenging or less advanced parts of the DEI agenda, including disability, neurodiversity, ageism and older workers and utilizing apprenticeships to improve on social mobility.

These sessions will offer practical insights for participants to create a sector-wide culture of inclusion.

Social Mobility: More Progress is Needed on Data Collection

In order to address socio-economic diversity and effectively implement diversity measures that work, employers must seek to understand the current makeup of their workforce.

The proportion of companies collecting social mobility data from colleagues has increased from 29% in 2021 to 33% in 2022.

While this modest increase is positive, the ABI will prioritise supporting more firms to collect data on this in 2024 and 2025.

We contributed to the City of London’s Socio-Economic diversity taskforce and supported their 2022 recommendation for all employers in UK financial and professional services to collect data on the socioeconomic background of their employees by 2025.

For example, Progress Together, a membership body set up following a recommendation from the Socio-Economic diversity Taskforce, can support firms in their work on socio-economic diversity, including data collection and disclosure efforts.

The ABI is leading the way. It should be recognised for encouraging and supporting the insurance and long-term savings sector to make faster progress around social mobility.

We know workforce socio-economic diversity fits squarely within the 'S' in the ESG. But to evidence this to investors, standards setters, regulators and clients, the sector needs more data. We now know which question to ask (Parental Occupation at 14 - as recommended by the Social Mobility Commission), and I am delighted that HR systems such as Workday are adding socio-economic background to their platforms.

At Progress Together we are proud to work in partnership with the ABI to help firms in collecting social mobility data and boosting response rates.

Sophie Hulm
Progress Together


This progress update is based on data from our most recent DEI Data collection (2022)