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Insurers and long-term savings providers bolster commitment to diversity and inclusion across the sector

The Association of British Insurers (ABI) and 32 of its members are now amongst the first wave of insurance and long-term savings firms signed up to Business in the Community’s Race at Work Charter, as part of an industry wide commitment to improving opportunities for Black, Asian and minority ethnic colleagues.

Race at Work

The Race at Work Charter is designed to drive better outcomes for Black, Asian and minority ethnic employees in the workplace. It consists of five principles to ensure organisations address the barriers to recruitment and progression. Organisations that sign up to the charter commit to:

  • Appointing an Executive Sponsor for race
  • Capturing data and publicising progress
  • Ensuring zero tolerance of harassment and bullying
  • Making equality in the workplace the responsibility of all leaders and managers
  • Taking action that supports ethnic minority career progression

Alongside signing up to the Charter, the ABI has launched a new internal inclusion strategy and set new targets for gender diversity within the organisation.

The updated two year plan sets out the ambition to be a workplace that attracts, nurtures and retains a diverse range of talent and where all colleagues feel able to bring their whole selves to work. In addition to continuing commitments to flexible working, supporting the INvolve mentoring scheme for LGBTQ+ and Black, Asian and minority ethnic colleagues and tracking progress on inclusion work through the employee engagement survey, the ABI is committing to:

  • Achieving a 50/50 female to male split across the ABI’s senior management population by 31 December 2022
  • Using blind recruitment processes to mitigate against the risk of unconscious bias. The ABI will no longer shortlist candidates based on CVs. Longlists from recruitment agencies for senior management recruitment must have a 50/50 gender split
  • Implementing reverse mentoring for the Executive Team with junior colleagues from a range of backgrounds
  • Rolling out cultural awareness training
  • Launching a new ‘speak up’ policy so all colleagues understand expectations and know how to report any unacceptable behaviour

The ABI will also launch a new industry-wide flexible working and job sharing campaign early next year aimed at reducing the gender seniority gap and helping people who want to work part time progress their careers.

Huw Evans, ABI Director-General says:

Huw Evans“Making our industry more representative of the customers we serve is vital, but we also need to focus on how we retain and develop talent and create the kind of inclusive environment that people want to be part of. Whilst we’ve made progress as an industry on issues like gender equality, we know overall that progress is too slow. It’s time to step up our efforts and it’s fantastic to see how many of our members have committed to taking action.”

Yvonne Braun, ABI Director of Long-Term Savings, Policy and Protection and Executive Sponsor says:

Yvonne Braun“The Black Lives Matter movement has brought home to us all the need for urgent change to deliver greater equality of opportunities. Our sector has an important role to play in fostering diversity and inclusion in business, and we’re proud to commit to the Race at Work charter, alongside 32 of our members, as well as strengthening our own internal commitments to support inclusion at all levels of the ABI.”

Sandra Kerr, Race Director, Business in the Community says:

Sandra“Signing the Race at Work Charter is not just a promise to act within your own organisation. It is also a recognition that you are part of something bigger: diversity and inclusion is not defined by a logo. Today, we can see that in action as companies across the insurance sector unite in their determination to create fairer work environments so that black, Asian and ethnic minority talent can know that they belong and that they can progress and thrive.”

The ABI is holding a free diversity summit on Friday 9th October which will explore how ethnic diversity can be improved in the insurance and long-term savings sector. ‘Time for change: improving ethnic diversity in insurance and long-term savings’ will look at what ABI members are already doing and explore what more can be done.


Notes for Editors

Enquiries to:

Sarah Aspinall      020 7216 7412   Mobile: 0772 5245297
Malcolm Tarling      020 7216 7410   Mobile: 07776 147667
Laura Dawson      020 7216 7338   Mobile: 0772 5245838

  1. The Association of British Insurers is the voice of the UK’s world leading insurance and long-term savings industry.
    A productive, inclusive and thriving sector, we are an industry that provides peace of mind to households and businesses across the UK and powers the growth of local and regional economies by enabling trade, risk taking, investment and innovation.
  2. Skype and FaceTime are available for broadcast
  3. More news and information from the ABI is available on our web site, www.abi.org.uk.
  4. ABI members who have signed up to the Race at Work Charter include:
Admiral Group plc Ageas Insurance
Allianz Insurance Plc Assurant
AVIVA AXA UK & Ireland
BlackRock BNP Paribas UK CIB
Bupa Global & UK Canada Life Limited
Chubb Covea Insurance
Direct Line Group Fidelity International
Hiscox HSBC UK
Invesco J.P. Morgan
Just Group plc Lloyds Banking Group
LV= General Insurance M&G PLC
Phoenix Group Royal London Group
RSA Insurance plc Schroders
Standard Life Aberdeen UBS
Unum Vitality
Zurich Insurance UK Wesleyan Assurance Society

Last updated 07/10/2020