Although the sector has already improved a lot, new research finds that greater diversity would improve industry expertise and drive innovation in insurance.

99% of risk management and insurance professionals believe that diversity is important to future business success, according to research carried out by ACE at the 2013 FERMA Forum in Maastricht last week. 100 respondents were interviewed from insurance, risk management, broking and service functions across the sector.

Encouragingly, an overwhelming 87% of interviewees also believe that diversity within the sector has improved over the last five years, with more younger people (26%), more flexible corporate cultures that encourage diversity (24%) and role models from different cultures (19%) as the most visible examples of change.

Work to be done

However, the majority (56%) of respondents think there is still work to be done to improve diversity further in their own businesses. The top three improvements they would like to see at their own companies are more women in senior roles (25%), a greater diversity of cultures and nationalities (16%) and more younger staff making their way up the ranks (15%).

According to the research, today’s risk and insurance professionals believe the benefits of greater diversity are widespread. Over a quarter of professionals say that diversity increases the sector’s base of skills and expertise and enhances creativity and innovation. In addition, around one in five believes diversity gives the sector greater understanding of its customer needs and makes it more relevant to its customers.

Pat Goudarzi, Director of Sales and Distribution for ACE in Continental Europe, said: ‘Encouraging greater diversity within the risk management and insurance sector is clearly the right thing to do. But, more than this, our research shows that it simply makes good business sense. Not only will a growing awareness of the benefits of diversity help us to recruit the best skills and talent from the widest talent pool possible, it will also strengthen our customer proposition by making us more innovative and more relevant to our customers.

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