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Inclusion matters

Aerial view of cyclone damage to residential properties

An interview with Sheila Cameron,
CEO, Lloyd’s Market Association

The Lloyd’s Market Association (LMA) is the professional body for underwriters in the Lloyd’s market. Sheila Cameron describes the LMA as being equally driven by values as by objectives, and its purpose as enabling the market’s success and creating a more diverse and inspiring place for everyone to work in. She describes inclusion as a vital aspect of that agenda, we sat down with her to discuss why.

Headshot of Sheila Cameron

“Lloyd’s is a relationally driven place. We must grow a culture that not only talks about inclusion and diversity but also lives and breathes it”

Q: You are very passionate about inclusion in the Lloyd’s market, where does that come from?

A: There are many reasons, but perhaps what ignited my own inclusion awareness was my personal experience of being a woman in the industry who, during a critical period in my professional career, became both a part time carer for my mother who had terminal cancer, whilst simultaneously undergoing IVF treatment, all whilst holding down a full time role in the London Market. It made a huge difference for me to work in an organisation that understood and empathised with the way I would have to adapt my work life to start a family. 

I was a successful woman who’d ticked all the life goals boxes, but now I needed my boss and my organisation to understand the demands this process would make on me. Luckily, I worked for Hiscox, a hugely values driven organisation that understood the issue, had my back and supported me through that process. I’ll always be grateful for that support. It hasn’t always been that way, I’ve also worked in far less inclusive businesses, and I’ve lived the experiences that either hold women back or make them decide this isn’t a career for them. Whilst no organisation can completely eradicate prejudice, I do believe that we should assess organisations on how they deal with these situations, and the steps they take to change their culture.

Q: How do Lloyd’s ambitious inclusion targets lead to impact for our industry?

A: Because if we don’t pursue a progressive inclusion strategy, we’re walking away from at least 50% of the talent in London. 

It’s not just about addressing an historically poor record of inclusion for women and people of ethnic minority backgrounds and other protected characteristics. The targets set by Lloyd’s are about building the range of skills and diversity of thinking that’s going to give us a wide angled view and the ability to keep pace with a constantly evolving risk landscape and the changing needs of customers. 

You get better business decisions and outcomes with a range of views and skills around a table – if we continue hiring in our own image, we don’t evolve and we fall behind where our clients expect us to be.

Q: Are you optimistic about the progress being made?

A: I’m optimistic that change has happened and will continue to happen, but there’s still much to do. Women are still underrepresented in the underwriting field, and we need far more people from multi-ethnic backgrounds joining us. When we break down barriers, we become stronger. 

Change always takes leaders with intent to make their culture better and we must lead by example, ensuring inclusion is actively part of the recruitment and promotion process amongst all our members. When you have leaders that have actually taken the time to understand the nuances of the subject and who have lived the challenges, you can make faster progress on removing them. 

Lloyd’s is a relationally driven place, it’s all about people, so a vibrant diverse culture is essential to our progress and our values are just as important as our day-to-day objectives. We work here because we believe we can make a difference.”

Culture at Lloyd’s

Creating an inclusive marketplace is a priority for us. 

We are determined to create a working environment at Lloyd’s where everyone feels safe, valued and respected.