Events in 2020 that included protests in response to the brutal killings of several unarmed Black people—George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and Ahmaud Arbery to name a few—reignited passionate conversations around systemic racism in North America and across the world. We have had to revisit questions like: Does racism really still exist? To what extent? How is it systemic? And what can we do about it?
Executive SummaryA leader and mentor for the International Association of Black Actuaries shares her experiences and those of other members (with permission) in dealing with racism in and outside the workplace, some research about diversity in the actuarial profession, and IABA recommendations about what white actuaries and other insurance professionals can do to work toward eradicating racism in the P/C insurance industry. "It only requires you to be intentional, vulnerable and open to learning," she writes, providing a list of dos and don'ts that starts with acknowledging the issue. The first version of this article was originally printed in Future Fellows, September 2020. It is used with permission of the Casualty Actuarial Society.
Even if you wanted to get away from the topic of race, the May incident involving Society of Actuaries member Amy Cooper calling the police on birdwatcher Chris Cooper (coincidental last name) in New York’s Central Park brought this right to our doorstep as actuaries. As an organization whose drive since 1992 has been to increase the number of Black actuaries and provide support to them in overcoming racial barriers to be successful in the profession, the International Association of Black Actuaries (IABA) was primed to further our work with company executives to bring tangible long-term solutions to tackle the issue of racism in the actuarial profession. In fact, over the summer the IABA released a crucial document: a list of recommendations for employers to increase and advance diversity internally.