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Diversity & Inclusion 2020 Report

In partnership with Insurance Ireland

Diversity and Inclusion is at the core of the identity and culture of most (if not all) of the clients we work with in Ireland and across Europe – as, indeed, it is at the core of our own firm in Deloitte. 

Re-issuing this updated report nearly a year after we first launched it, in the midst of extraordinary and challenging circumstances, what is highlighted to me is how vital the need for respect, fresh and innovative thinking, courageous leadership, and an understanding of others’ experiences and points of view is to the ability of organisations to respond, recover and eventually thrive in the face of COVID-19.

As we highlight in this report, diverse and inclusive businesses promote resilience, collaboration, an open and innovative mind-set, and the creation of supportive networks and relationships. These all sustain leaders and employees through adversity and allow a fast and focused move into growth when the situation changes for the better – as we believe it will do in Ireland and across global markets.  

In financial services, and in particular the insurance sector, perceptions about culture and the make-up of organisations are deep-seated and can act as a barrier to the attraction and (sometimes) the retention of the best available talent. This is particularly true in a world that is shifting irreversibly, and ever more quickly, to digital products, services, workplaces and interactions. 

We at Deloitte fully support Insurance Ireland’s leadership and members in seeking to explore and take action on this topic. But we also recognise that changing culture is difficult, and takes time and investment, which is why we believe there is value in issuing an updated edition so that leaders can check in, be reminded about the key elements of diversity and inclusion, dust down their plans and, if necessary, course correct or set new priorities. 

If diversity and inclusion is already a part of the strategy for talent and culture in your business, we would love to hear from you and share the successes and challenges you have encountered. If you are thinking about taking action, or just getting started, it may also be useful to speak to one of our Human Capital leaders or practitioners, or watch one of our webinars. In either case, there will be food for thought and suggestions for action in this updated 2020 Diversity and Inclusion report. 

- Valarie Daunt, Human Capital Partner, Deloitte Ireland.

Diversity & Inclusion 2020 Report

Section 1: Defining Diversity & Inclusion

Diversity and inclusion (D&I) is becoming an increasingly business critical issue across all industries and sectors. There are a number of macro trends that are shaping the Future of Work and one of those is diversity and generational change. Top talent and millennials thrive on diversity and this is creating a business context that is far less homogenous and much more diverse than it has been in the past. There are seven trends that we should consider when we think of diversity. Read more.

Section 2: Building the Case for Diversity

How can you bring diversity and inclusion into your organisation? While many organisations recognise the need to transform their practices to become more diverse and inclusive, they can meet challenges in two forms:

1. Building a business case to drive true change in their culture.

2. Translating these aspirations into impactful actions. For many, the depth of change required is underestimated. Read more.

Section 3: Inclusive Leaders

It is clear that there are certain core aspects of leadership which are timeless, such as setting direction and influencing others. However, a new capability has emerged that is vital to the way leadership is executed in diverse environments. This is referred to as inclusive leadership. Inclusive leadership is about treating people fairly, personalising individuals and leveraging the thinking of diverse groups.

Deloitte’s research identified that behaviours of senior executives and managers can drive up to 70 percent difference between the proportion of employees who feel highly included and the proportion of those who do not. Read more.

Section 4: Practical considerations to action D&I

Deloitte research identifies four levels of D&I maturity: (1) compliance-focused diversity, (2) programmatic D&I, (3) leader-owned D&I, and (4) inclusive culture. Moving from one maturity level to another requires a significant level of effort, investment in resources and visible and clear support from leadership. We outline starting points to progress from one level to the next and corresponding sample activities. It is assumed organisations start at a minimum of ‘Level 1: Compliance-Focused Diversity’. 

Progressing from compliance-focused diversity to programmatic D&I involves shifting from a compliance mindset to one in which D&I is valued enough that organisations will invest in D&I programmes and policies. Read more.

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