As we emerge from winter and move towards a more hopeful year for the insurance and financial services professions both in the UK and international markets, I would like to reflect on positive steps taken by the CII in pledging to make our Aspire apprenticeship scheme available only to employers that have a diversity and inclusion policy in place.
In doing so, we are working towards improving the diversity of talent we continue to attract to these great professions, making them more inclusive places to work and creating a more sustainable sector to be part of.
Neither age, race nor gender should be a barrier to success in insurance and financial services and it is vital that we progress our commitment to reflecting the diversity of our customers and clients. Therefore we have taken this step for conscious commitment to ensure careers are accessible to people from the broadest possible range of backgrounds.
A recent online poll by the CII found that almost six out of 10 insurance professionals have suffered depression, anxiety, emotional distress or another mental health condition during the Covid-19 pandemic.
Insurance plays a vital role in the lives of billions of people around the world and has the power to transform lives and businesses. In 2020, Covid-19 impacted every customer served by the insurance profession, resulting in a dramatic increase in the number of customers in vulnerable circumstances.
However, you can only help others if you also look after your own mental health.
With the increase of remote working, many people may feel isolated or under more pressure, combining work with their personal responsibilities. We urge insurance professionals to find out what support and resources their employers offer.
There are also a growing number of free online resources that can offer effective measures of support. Good mental health in the workplace is as important as physical health and safety, and the CII will continue to offer support and guidance to our members and the wider profession wherever and whenever it is needed.
Keith Richards is chief membership officer of the CII