iCAN was founded in 2017 by a group of insurance professionals who came together to consider some of the challenges facing people of colour and those from outside of the UK, working in the insurance sector, particularly around Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) inclusion and attracting a diverse talent pool to the sector.
In respect of multicultural inclusion, there are three key issues facing the insurance sector at this current time:
Leaders - There are few leaders from culturally diverse backgrounds represented within the insurance industry. Given the global nature of the business environment and diversity of our client base, there is a need for this imbalance to be reconsidered. Increasingly clients are asking questions around the diversity of the board and the executives they interact with, and will be placing business with. It is important for organisations to recognise the importance of being able to reflect the diversity of their clients amongst their own talent. This brings its own benefits for the organisation, such as better cultural understanding of their clients’ businesses, diversity of thought, and innovation. With ever greater globalisation, there is a significant opportunity for the industry to achieve greater productivity and performance and through an inclusive and diverse workforce.
Industry Network - Within the insurance community of carriers, brokers, MGA’s and service providers there are currently only a handful of multicultural specific Employee Resource Groups (ERG’s), or individual ‘Champions’. These are not connected and tend to operate solely within their internal organisation, with little or no outside ability to influence industry-wide change, or access to shared resources and networking opportunities, and the benefits they can bring.
Role Models - The need for visible multicultural role models also became apparent, particularly when considering the insurance sector’s difficulties in attracting young talent to the industry, and retaining employees from a multicultural background.
An opportunity arose to address these challenges by establishing a network, which would allow us to work with colleagues across the industry, create partnership opportunities for existing ERG’s and Champions, and provide a platform from which to highlight the importance of multicultural inclusion, and promote concepts such as intersectionality and commonality, crucial aspects of successful inclusion. iCAN officially launched in May 2017 - an independent network run by volunteers from within the insurance industry, with a passion for creating a more inclusive and diverse industry, which is one of the most dynamic, innovative and exciting sector in which to build your career.