Sheldon Mills has spoken to the ABI on driving change in D&I within the FS industry. He noted that the insurance industry is not currently attractive to minority ethnic talent, although is generally a good place to work. ABI research has shown that although 55% of new industry joiners were women, only 24% of the executive were. For minority ethnic employees, the figures were 10% and 2% respectively. He noted that D&I from a regulator’s perspective requires both proper internal representation and, externally, sufficient knowledge and understanding to enable regulators to serve a diverse society well. He noted some of the misconduct actions that have arisen from “boys’ nights out” and highlighted research that found that firms with gender diverse boards get significantly fewer misconduct fines.
The regulators will publish the findings from their D&I discussion paper next year, but have noted that firms tend to focus data collection on gender and ethnicity and don’t take account of matters such as socio-economic background. Mr Mills called on firms to work hard to create a culture in which employees were happy to share all relevant data. He also noted that most firms have D&I policies, which again tend to focus on gender and ethnicity, with firms often claiming they cannot focus on everything and have to choose a limited number of areas. He noted that diverse representation at senior level within firms is key to encouraging juniors.
Finally, he stressed the importance of inclusive cultures.