The 2017 Insurance Industry Diversity Survey, which will provide industry-wide benchmarks and statistics on diversity and inclusion across the Australian general insurance sector, has launched today, as part of Dive In 2017the festival for diversity and inclusion in insurance (26-28 September 2017).

The survey will provide insights to workplace inclusion on broad demographic areas such as gender, languages, ethnicity, mental health, and sexual orientation along with attitudinal feedback.

Lloyd’s General Representative in Australia and Chair of the Dive In 2017 Organising Committee, Chris Mackinnon, said that diversity and inclusion was rightly moving higher up the agenda for a number of firms and the industry more generally.

“Insurance companies are increasingly aware that diversity and inclusion needs to be a strategic priority. There is a wealth of evidence proving more diverse companies are better placed to win top talent, and to improve customer engagement, employee satisfaction and overall decision-making,” Mackinnon said.

According to the Insurance Council of Australia, there are approximately 60,000 people employed in the insurance industry in Australia. The industry is already aware that there are gender diversity issues and a significant pay gap in insurance (and lack of women on boards as NIBA reported last month), but there isn’ta clear view on the rest of the diversity and inclusion measures for the insurance industry.

There are, however, some national non-insurance statistics (courtesy of Dive In):

  •  45 per cent of LGBTI people hide their sexuality or gender identity for fear of career repercussions
  • 1 in 10 businesses in Australia set an age cap on recruiting
  • 19 per cent of Australians report they have experience discrimination at work due to the colour of their skin, ethnic origin or religion
  • One in five Australians have some form of disability, yet Australia has one of the poorest employment rates for people with disability in the developed world.

So, the time is right to understand more about the specific makeup of the insurance industry, its diversity and how inclusion is being created.

The survey is supported by Macquarie Bank, which is independently hosting the survey and compiling results . A number of key industry players have already committed to participating in the survey, which is open to all individuals working in the insurance industry in Australia.

Eoghan Trehy, head of the insurance broking segment for Macquarie Business Banking said: “Measuring progress and understanding the opportunities that diversity and inclusion offers for all businesses is critical. It’s important to identify the areas which need addressing and generate new ideas, and we understand the important role benchmarking research has to play in obtaining the data businesses need to make informed decisions.”

“We’re proud to be supporting the insurance industry in creating this landmark benchmarking research.”

Insurance professionals interested in participating in the survey can do so here. The survey is now open and will close at 11.59 pm on 5 August 2017.