The Gender Inclusion Network on driving change in the Insurance Industry
The Gender Inclusion Network for Insurance (GIN) is an industry-wide initiative that was created to promote networking, strive for change and challenge norms and stereotypes -- all under the umbrella of improving gender inclusion across the industry.
The network was formed in 2015 by a group of likeminded women from across the insurance industry, as demand to promote and achieve real inclusion was rising and it was a chance for the debate about gender inclusion to be heard in the industry.
GIN now has a management committee of 13 individuals from within insurance, who have passion, enthusiasm and confidence to champion gender equality. The committee additionally represents a mix of professions -- with some members being part of their employer's internal gender inclusion networks.
Sponsored by ten of the largest insurance organisations, the work the team at GIN is now doing is influencing how the industry approaches gender -- also giving additional voice to individuals when they ask. The network has three key objectives:
1 Collaborate across the group of existing in-house gender networks within the industry to share and leverage best practices
2 Instigate and drive positive change in the industry to further advance gender equality
3 Act as a wider resource and 'go-to'
place for anyone wanting to network across the insurance industry with others who are keen to promote gender inclusion and equality.
There are two co-chairs of the network -- Maren Burrowes, of RSA, and Louisa Lombardo from Chubb. Both stepped up to the role in the summer of last year to help build on the network's foundations and drive a stronger focus on making a real impact.
Ms Burrowes says: "We designed our calendar this year to bring our members an event every month, covering a range of topics that people have asked for. In the past few months, we have had a deep dive into how we look after our wellbeing to benefit our working life; a workshop on promoting and building our personal brand; and hosted a #PressForProgress panel discussion as part of our International Women's Day celebration.
Discussing why people get involved, Ms Lombardo says: "More and more people have been taking advantage of our events, which is very rewarding to see.
We really respect our members' time and plan our events around the hot topics that will have the biggest impact.
We are here to make a difference -- and feedback is strongly showing that we are.
"We're also placing a real emphasis on offering development opportunities to our committee. We maximise our meetings to discuss best practice and empower our committee members to practise skills, from presenting to chairing meetings. Our committee is newly formed and our regular membership is growing all the time, which is great to see -- but there's no limit on numbers so we'd absolutely encourage people to join or come along to one of our events to find out more."
If you would like to get involved, join the network or ask questions, GIN would love to hear from you.
Just get in touch via Twitter or LinkedIn -- follow them @Gender1nclusion or email info@GenderInclusionNetwork.co.uk
Samantha Eustace is communications lead for the Gender Inclusion Network