Data is key for driving diversity and inclusion in the London Market
Marketplace needs baseline data and targets to track and accelerate progress
How is Lloyd’s performing when it comes to cultural change, diversity and inclusion? According to Sheila Cameron, CEO of the LMA, progress is too slow and it’s time to put some targets in place. “There are 52 active managing agents and of those 52, to my knowledge, there isn’t a single one who is not white and there are only two female CEOs. It’s got to the stage where we need to put in place some targets to change the dial on this. It’s been too long and we need to move forward.”
In terms of gender diversity, the split across managing agents’ leadership community – defined as board, ExCo and direct reports of ExCo – reveals that less than a third (29%) are female. Lloyd’s is aiming to increase that to 35% by 2023 says Cameron, talking to Hiscox London Market’s CEO Kate Markham for the second part of the Hiscox MarketTalk series on market modernisation.
“They have come up with a great toolkit which they are showing to individual managing agents now around how to implement that [increase]. It’s also open to brokers [who] are being encouraged to aim for this target,” adds Cameron.
Data is “shockingly poor”
Central to promoting more diversity and inclusion in the market, however, will also be a need for a better use of data argues Cameron. “I think there were really interesting debates…around ethnicity and around the whole Black Lives Matter movement and what became startlingly clear was that our data is shockingly poor across this market. And how do we start to get that data and how do we give ethnic minorities confidence that the data is not going to be used inappropriately?” A point shared by Markham who says: “The first step in the journey is understanding the starting point for people. And if we can’t get baseline data, we can’t measure, we can’t track progress, we can’t set targets.”
At the moment, says Cameron, less than half of the managing agents in the market can report on ethnicity. “But what Lloyd’s has been very clear about is that they are giving firms 12 months’ notice to collect the data, and we will be putting in place a target this time next year on ethnicity. So, it will be interesting to see how the data shapes out and what it says. This is a step change for the market..”
Put it on the board agenda
Making the issue of diversity and inclusion a strategic priority for the board is also important says Markham, who believes once Hiscox made that shift in thinking, it set the business off on a journey. “[I’m] not saying we’ve solved it because we absolutely haven’t and we’ve got a long way to go, but at least we had a plan. And over time those plans start to deliver progress.”
A view endorsed by the LMA’s Cameron, who adds that diversity and inclusion is a business issue so treat it as you would any other business issue. “Put in place the targets, track it, make people accountable, put it in their PDR objectives and take it forward from there. I’m really excited about what it can mean for our market. If we can hit that 35% target by 2023, I’ll be turning cartwheels down the street.”