Today Inclusion@Lloyd’s is proud to launch its first report on the state of diversity and inclusion (D&I) in the Lloyd’s market.

“Holding up the Mirror: Reflections on diversity and inclusion in the Lloyd’s market” looks back on 2015 and shines the spotlight on D&I initiatives across the Lloyd’s market, highlighting best practice, lessons learnt and the legacy of the first ever festival for diversity and inclusion in insurance, Dive In.

It also includes new research from interviews conducted with 40 HR professionals whose organisations have signed up to the Inclusion@Lloyd’s Diversity and Inclusion Charter. It makes for an interesting read.

According to the results, more than half believe that there is already a positive D&I culture in their organisation, with a further 37.5% classifying their D&I culture as “improving”. Encouragingly, over half the companies we interviewed for the research are planning to increase training on D&I and over 40% will be revising their recruitment policies to incorporate D&I.

Our report highlights the growing body of evidence that points to a clear business case for D&I. Beyond the ‘carrot’ of improved productivity and greater innovation, there is also a clear ‘stick’ for accelerating progress on diversity and inclusion with 27.5% of companies now aware of clients examining D&I practices as a supplier requirement.

Despite this, 65% of respondents do not have a dedicated D&I policy, so while 2015 was the year for us to do some serious awareness-raising, we hope 2016 will be the year for action on D&I, led by Inclusion@Lloyd’s. By establishing the starting point with this report, we can gauge what resources companies need to ramp up their efforts on D&I.

We have seen the most progress on gender diversity, with more employee resource groups, mentoring programmes and external networking set up for women. Our research shows that gender is easier to identify, measure and discuss for most organisations, which perhaps reflects the fact that women are the only ‘diverse” majority – making up 50.9% of the UK population. However, as some of our respondents pointed out, there is a lot more to D&I than gender, so we will be looking to see the similar progress in other areas, such as disability, LGBT issues and cultural diversity.

We were pleased to see that the research confirmed a strong appetite among charter signatories for leadership on D&I issues. Respondents are looking to Lloyd’s to provide resources including best practice, business cases, case studies and an overview of what is being done in the market. In the wider world, it has an important role to play in updating the image and public perception of the Lloyd’s market to attract young, diverse talent.

‘Holding up the Mirror’ shines a spotlight on just some of the brilliant D&I initiatives, events and groups from around the market. Interviews with New Generation Insurance Network (NGIN), Independent Women in Insurance (iWIN), Link, the professional network for the LGBT community and their allies, and Marsh’s Women’s Exchange Group all point to the same conclusion – collaboration and learning from others is essential.

Insurance needs diversity and inclusion – if we don’t start aiming high in this area we will lose out on talent and as a result we can kiss goodbye to our competitive edge. Let’s make 2016 the year for action on D&I so that we can all be winners.

For more news and views on diversity and inclusion in insurance and beyond, follow @LloydsInclusion on Twitter. For updates on the 2016 Dive In festival for diversity and inclusion in insurance please visit www.diveinfestival.com