One of the hot topics at recent industry conferences has been the need to attract millennials to the insurance industry. That includes the IICF Women in Insurance Global Conference, where the central topic on the agenda was the need to elevate more women into industry leadership roles.
Lloyd’s CEO Inga Beale is one of several conference attendees who believe the two challenges are related. She and other attendees discussed the path to change with Carrier Management.
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Inga Beale, Lloyd’s
“What we’re trying to achieve is a new, vibrant working environment that is going to appeal to the millennials. That means that you’ve got to have more flexible work practices.
Digitization allows people to pretty much work when and where they need to, but it’s all about the cultural expectations, behavioral expectations in the office. If you’re in a culture where people are still expected to be there and be sitting at their desks, maybe completely unproductively, that’s not going to be inclusive of a new generation.
Women, in that many of them are the natural home keepers, would like to have flexibility in the workplace. If you start bringing that in for women, then that will also encourage the millennials. If you have it there for the millennials, it will also benefit the females. It’s all connected.”
CSAA Insurance Group, a AAA Insurer
“It’s not that millennials want more flexibility at work. They want it, and they expect it. But everybody else does, too.
What we’re really finding is that they’re outspoken about their needs and desires—the things that they’re looking for are things that are really relevant to the broader workplace as well.”
Therese Vaughan, Drake University
“The first thing the average person thinks of when they think of insurance is agents selling homeowners, auto, life insurance. The fact that there are incredibly diverse careers and that this is a fascinating industry is something you come to understand only after being exposed to it…
When companies recruit students as interns, it’s important that those students have a good experience, come back and tell their friends…One of my best students went to a company, was stuck at a desk all summer doing personal lines underwriting, came back and said, ‘I don’t ever want to go back and do that.’ And then, of course, he told his friends. That’s not how you do this. The network among students is an important one…Give them a project. They want to be able to work on something they can be proud of.”
Barbara Bufkin, Hamilton USA
“You need to be honest. You need to understand what is going to motivate someone to come into our business.
We probably have to break down some barriers of what the insurance industry has represented and why it looks kind of old and stale. So you have to start there—with an openness and an honesty.”