New research from  Dive In,, the global festival for diversity and inclusion in insurance, highlights the urgent need for companies to give diversity and inclusion (D&I) their full attention, especially in times of crisis.

The survey was conducted from more than 12,000 registered attendees across 30+ countries in the run up to this year’s festival, taking place virtually from 22-24 September.  

Now in its sixth year, the festival is still gaining new audiences.

This year 70% of its over 12,000 attendees will be attending for the first time, indicating a shift in attitudes towards the importance of D&I.

97% of respondents agree that diversity and inclusion plays a crucial role in building resilience to help overcome the many challenges businesses face. Almost all (97%) agree that the pandemic has highlighted an even greater need for business to focus on building inclusive workplaces.  

Attendees were also asked to identify the most pertinent areas the insurance industry needs to focus on as a result of new ways of working. Mental Health ranked the number one concern (44%), followed by Gender Equality (43%), Flexible Working Patterns (41%) and Culture & Ethnicity (34%).  

Yet the results also highlighted differences across the globe.

Attendees in Latin America, where many countries are hosting a Dive In event for the first time this year, called for Gender Equality to be at the top of the insurance industry’s D&I agenda.

While both the UK and the Americas named Culture and Ethnicity as a key area which needs addressing, amidst the ongoing Black Lives Matter protests dominating many cities around the world. 

Commenting on the findings, Jason Groves, chair of the Dive In committee (and Global Director of Media Relations at Marsh): “The research is clear. D&I is not just good for business, it’s essential. Now, more than ever, D&I has to be integral to an organisation’s business strategy.” 

Day Bishop, director, Insurance Consulting and Technology at Willis Towers Watson, added: “Our ambition with Dive In has always been to reach outside the echo chamber and speak to those who may not be as familiar with the value of D&I. Thanks to a new virtual format and the tireless work of over 500 volunteers from across the world, the festival is now far more accessible to those who haven’t been able to attend in the past – either due to geography, time, or cautiousness over the value of D&I. The staggering numbers of participants who have never attended before shows we have overcome this barrier, while also demonstrating a desire across the market to learn more and make a positive change.” 

Since its birth in 2015, Dive In has grown far beyond its roots to include some of the world’s largest insurance companies, brokers and associated service providers.

A global movement aimed to support the development of inclusive workplace cultures, the insurance industry was the first to run a sector-wide global diversity and inclusion festival. It is now one of the largest festivals for diversity and inclusion in the world. Dive In’s mission is to enable people to achieve their potential by raising awareness of the business case and by promoting positive action for diversity in all its forms.   

This year’s theme of authenticity and perspective asks festival go-ers to reflect on the aspects of diversity and inclusion that enable us to bring our whole selves and our unique experiences to bear on shared challenges. 

The festival counts on the support of 17 Global Festival Partners from across the industry. These include: AIG, Aon, Aviva, AXA, Chubb, CNA Hardy, DLA Piper, Marsh & Guy Carpenter, Kennedys, Lloyd’s, Markel, MS Amlin, Renaissance Re, RMS, Tokio Marine Kiln, Travelers and Willis Towers Watson.

 About Dive In  

The award-winning Dive In Festival was conceived by Inclusion@Lloyd’s, a collaboration between the Corporation of Lloyd’s, IUA, LIIBA, and the Lloyd’s Market Association and has grown to be a global, sector-wide festival.