This post is part of a series sponsored by IAT Insurance Group.
Working at DEI means that one of my main goals is to contribute to the changes I want to see in the insurance industry in general – and for our world. Finding that balance is part of the reason I’m here. Yes, it’s older than me, but I can see beyond the hurdles because of the impact my work has on the people within my organization. As a woman and person of color, I found there was an opportunity for me to focus on and amplify the voices of my colleagues, while not feeling the weight of having to represent for everyone. Having a diverse workforce is critical to the growth and sustainability of a business, regardless of industry. It can accelerate meaningful progress and move DEI from being just an initiative, to being a necessary part of business strategy and culture. This is why we need more new talents to join us!
One of the most important components of diversity, equality, and inclusion (DEI) in any organization is recognizing the individual experiences of employees, which are often influenced by a person’s race, gender, sexual orientation, and culture to name a few. While colleagues from underrepresented groups who are new to the insurance industry may not yet see themselves at all levels of leadership, that doesn’t mean you can’t find a sense of belonging. Nothing at DEI is meant to be in silo, and inclusion and diversity aren’t just initiatives – they’re principles for living. Companies like IAT, which are committed to leading and building an open and supportive culture in the insurance industry, succeed by embracing the uniqueness of each employee, investing in their development, and listening to and engaging with their ideas.
If you are looking to join this dynamic industry, here are 4 tips to help you assess opportunities from a DEI lens:
- When exploring companies during the application process, look for data that defines the company’s culture as it looks before you step in the (virtual) door on either the organization’s social media, website, or Glassdoor. A recruitment strategy that promotes affiliation includes:
- Job postings that speak to the organization’s view of DEI
- Diverse interview committees and candidate groups
- Thoughtful and comprehensive preparation process
- Mentoring and training opportunities
- One way companies can expand their DEI efforts is by becoming active in and learning from organizations such as the National American Insurance Association (NAAIA) or the Association of Professional Insurance Women (APIW). From conferences to panels and workshops, there are quick requests for companies of all sizes to help support DEI initiatives. Ask the recruiter or hiring manager if they partner with any professional organizations and if they offer employee memberships.
- Look for organizations that create a culture that respects and values open and honest dialogue. How do you determine this? Pay attention to the dialogue during the application and interview process. Write down how your questions and any concerns were addressed.
- Ask questions about their DEI strategy and what progress they have seen. Not every organization will be in the same place in their journey, but here’s looking for transparency, accountability, and ways you can contribute to the effort if it’s important to you.
If I can be of support during your career journey or getting into insurance, feel free to contact me on LinkedIn. And if you are interested in learning more about the IAT and our inclusion and diversity strategy, I invite you to check out our page here.
Happy Black History Month and Insurance Jobs Month!
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