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Advocacy Manager Adeola Ajayi blogs about her role in helping to build a more inclusive industry , and how ABI employees may not all be as grown up as we seem…

Tell us about your role at the ABI – what do you do and why?

I lead on our member engagement work on inclusion issues. This involves bringing our insurance and long-term savings members together to determine what we can collectively do to build an industry that is more inclusive to people from all walks of life. There is a long way to go and many challenges, but good energy across different levels in our members firms. I chair the ABI Talent and Diversity network of talent and diversity leads across member firms. This year we have held roundtables with CEOs, held our popular young professionals events and recruited for the next cohort of our Future Leaders course for which we commit to gender balance.

What’s been your highlight and what’s been your most challenging moment?

I always enjoy running our young professionals events. The attendees are organically always more diverse than many of our other events, and I hope that’s an encouraging sign of what our industry has to look forward to. Seeing those early in their career get great value from meeting peers, lending their voice to industry issues and having different examples of what a manager or senior leader is makes it worthwhile.

There are always people who don’t get why we ought to care about inclusion and some of those discussions can be challenging, but I welcome diversity of thought! And I would rather have the conversation than not have it.

Where did you work before, how and why did you come to join the ABI?

I worked at two ABI member companies, Hiscox and Friends Life, before joining. My background is press so I came from busy press teams into the ABI’s very own busy press team and had lot of fun. I then became the speechwriter to our previous Director General before doing my current role.

What’s the best thing about working here?

It undoubtably has to be the breadth of issues we work across – when I was in the press team I could be speaking to journalists about flooding, funding long-term care, UK financial regulation and pet insurance all in one day! Alongside this it is the breadth of networks that you are exposed to at the ABI. I love getting away from my desk and meeting new people so it often doesn’t feel like work…

What surprised you most about working here?

Coming from the industry, it was quite hard for me to get my head around what organisations that weren’t driven by profit actually did. I was genuinely surprised at how many issues we influenced across, what impact we had across the sector and the autonomy you had as an employee – I was doing back to back broadcast interviews on the UK flooding crisis quite early in.

Describe your team in three words.

Amazing of course!

What does #OneABI mean to you?

Having fun with your colleagues. A recent ‘how adult are you’ quiz taken by a number of us one afternoon, showed us all is not always as it seems!

If you weren’t working at the ABI, what would be your second career?

Something that didn’t involve sitting at my desk! I would love to be more active.

Interested in joining the ABI team? Find out more about our current vacancies and apply now.

Last updated 30/08/2018