Insurance Times: iCAN unveils industry role models for ethnic diversity

Publication released telling the stories of 35 ethnically diverse role models in insurance in a bid to make the industry more multicultural

The Insurance Cultural Awareness Network (iCAN) launched its role models publication on Monday in a bid to promote diversity in the industry.

The publication – ’Multicultural and International Role Models in Insurance’ features a series of thirty-five ethnically diverse industry role models and tells the story of each individual’s journey into insurance.

It was launched on the organisation’s second birthday, and was accompanied by a full panel discussion on what the industry needs to do to improve its record on ethnic diversity - details of which can be found here.

Mission

Kishan Mangat, co-chair of iCAN, said: “Our mission is a simple one, it’s to promote multicultural inclusion at all levels, to engage with our allies, and to celebrate the numerous benefits of having a diverse yet inclusive workforce.”

She said that the booklet aims to highlight to the next generation of insurance professionals that they too can forge a successful and meaningful career in the industry, and that their race, creed, colour or background is not an obstacle in doing so.

Its overarching aim is to “bring together existing employee resource groups within the sector and to provide a forum for those organisations that feel they do not have enough critical mass to form their own networks”.

Year of impact 

Ajay Mistry, co-chair and co-founder of iCAN said that it is the initiative’s “year of impact”, with many more announcements to be rolled out during the year, including a partnership with a recruitment firm.

“A lot of the focus on diversity has been about gender, but it is very important that we raise the profile of other areas of diversity and inclusion. At the moment, if you ask anyone to name someone senior from the BAME (Black, Asian and minority ethnic) community, it’s taking people on average 34 minutes,” said Chartered Insurance Institute chief executive Sian Fisher. 

The release of the publication follows a conversation between Tali Shlomo, global people engagement director at iCAN, and Fisher, which resulted in a partnership last month.

Sian Fisher, CII

Sian Fisher, CII

Shlomo added: “It’s about recognising talent and individuals and what they bring.”

“Diversity is a fact, but inclusion is a choice,” concluded Fisher.

iCAN was founded in May 2017, following the first Dive In Festival – the insurance industry’s global diversity and inclusion festival which highlighted that many firms were running separate multicultural agendas, but little change was being made.

The publication launched with a panel discussion debating what the industry can do to tackle a lack of ethnic diversity in the insurance industry. 

The full discussion about what firms need to do to improve workforce diversity can be found here.