Inga Beale

Inga Beale

On Friday, October 16th afternoon, BELRIM members had the privilege to gather and listen to special guest Inga Beale, CEO of Lloyd’s talking about diversity and inclusion.

On behalf of BELRIM and all participants, Sabine Desantoine thanked Inga for her presence and introduced the subject.

Diversity is a hot topic and is high on the priority list of many companies. Diversity is everywhere: from the streets of Brussels or London to the streets of Hong Kong, and many surveys and serious consultants have stressed the fact that diversity at all levels of companies is a guarantee for more success.

Belrim, as an active and innovative association, has already applied the diversity principles. As a matter of fact, if you take a look at the board composition, you’ll see a parity men/women, an equal number of Dutch speaking/French speaking board members and a trend to have diversity of experience.

Without speaking about the launch of the Ladies Mind Risks initiative that will see its 3rd event next January.

Not just words!

The same is to be found with FERMA where diversity has been on the agenda for more than 2 years since the presidency of Julia Graham. The last Ferma forum in Venice was rich in diversity sessions and workshops as well as diversity in the speakers.

For CEO of Lloyd’s Inga Beale, diversity is also a subject very close to her mind and heart.

She is a good example of diversity and implementation of diversity; although she prefers to use the term ‘inclusion’.

She has a broad experience in insurance and reinsurance in the UK, in continental Europe and in the US. She became the first female CEO of Lloyd’s in 325 years history. A total diversity revolution in itself!

She is also a board member of the Insurance Supper Club promoting network of senior women in the insurance industry. She has been elected Insurance personality of the year in 2015.

But what is also really important is that diversity and inclusion are not just words for Inga but that she does put them on the agenda and take actions.

Some key ideas from her speech, focusing both on innovation and inclusion:

° Innovation rests on employing the right talent;

° innovation rests on understanding your customers;

° innovation requires creativity;

° retaining the best talent is central to the sustainability of the insurance industry;

° women make up  around 40% of the wider London insurance market, yet only 3 % of them have executive positions;

° insurers seem to be biased towards men (more so than other financial services sectors);

Lloyd's created the Inclusion@Lloyd's programme to attract and retain the best talent, whether that talent be straight or gay, black or white, old or young, rich or poor, internationally-based or British-born and raised.

Lloyd's works to change the culture, supporting inclusion as well as diversity by means of a Diversity and Inclusion Charter, with the Pride@Lloyd's group and their women's network.

Moreover, they had their Diversity Festival called "Dive-In", aimed at building awareness and at helping to recognise our own unconsicous biases. Over 35 companies took part in this programme that ran 18 events across 11 venues.

Inga ended her presentation by remarking that diversity and inclusion must be more than an initiative. It must be a business imperative, embedded within our daily lives.

Lloyd's hosted this BELRIM event and a lively exchange continued, with personal input from all participants, in the foyer of the Thon Hotel.