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Diversity Essay

1270 words - 6 pages

What Does Diversity Mean to You, and What Does a Diverse Insurance Industry Look Like? By Amanda M. White, CPCU, API

As I was preparing to start thinking about the topic of diversity, I did what most of us do these days. I did an internet search on the term. The search results were overwhelming and easily set a picture of what diversity is, without even having to click on a single link. But, while the search results may provide a definition of diversity, those results do not reflect the importance of diversity in the insurance industry and the role of insurance professionals in its development. Diversity is so much more than just the surface qualities of race or gender. It encompasses all ...view middle of the document...

I embraced the opportunity to experience this new world through the eyes of my classmates. It was fun and challenging at the same time. Actually, I think I ended up learning more from those experiences than I did from the classroom. That learned appreciation for diversity shaped my future in a positive way, not only personally, but professionally as well. I can now apply CPCU Society 1 2009 Diversity Essay Contest

those learning experiences in my career in the insurance industry. That is why diversity is important to me. So, now that I have touched on my background, let me tackle the second half of the question. What does a diverse insurance industry look like? Most companies are striving for a diverse workforce these days. In reality, it is easy for the human resources department to create such a workforce through the hiring process, but it’s the development of the workforce that is necessary in order to gain the benefits presented by the unique characteristics. Sadly, this is where many companies fail. It is easy to say you have a diverse workforce, but another to say that the diversity works to its best advantage. Thankfully, I’m lucky enough to work for a company that goes above and beyond in developing its workforce and promoting diversity in a positive light. In my opinion, it sets the example of how diversity should be reflected in the insurance industry. But, the goal isn’t to highlight what my company does, but instead to highlight what diversity looks like, or should look like, within the insurance industry. A diverse insurance industry looks like leadership. Management needs to encourage diversity in order to get the best out of its employees. In return, productivity, profits, and customer service satisfaction are exhibited at the highest levels. Productivity is important in order to generate a profit. Profit in turn generates reserves, which are needed to respond to future claims. And customer service provides the consumer knowledge, understanding, and competitive edge. Given the increased trend of catastrophic weather events, unfavorable state and federal legislation, and the current economic environment, industry leadership must be focused on these three factors to be successful. A diverse insurance industry looks like innovation. Without diversity, there is no innovation. Without innovation, there are no new products and services for consumers. The varied backgrounds and viewpoints that work together can come up with unique ideas, each from a different perspective. I have been a part of many project meetings where a new product or process was positively redesigned from the original idea just based on comments and experiences shared among the team members. It really...

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