A Bird’s Eye View: Building Braver Cultures

Published: 3 Nov 2022

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The first event in the UK calendar was opened by Lloyd’s CEO John Neal and host Krishnan Guru-Murthy. The event kicked off by introducing the 2022 festival theme of ‘Building Braver Cultures’, noting that this is the eighth festival since launching in 2015, and is set to be the biggest and best yet.

Lloyd’s CEO John Neal spoke about how we are at a pivotal moment in history, not just for Lloyd’s and the insurance industry, but for society in general. We have never had such a good opportunity to change the way we do things. So, now is the time for bravery – we need to step up, not step back. By harnessing our unique strengths and building culture, through hiring targets, market policies, and encouraging global and local social mobility. Being braver will make us more resilient, sustainable, and inclusive.

Speaking of Lloyd’s position in this era of bravery, Neal shared that they are “in the spotlight more than ever, but we’ve also never had such a terrific opportunity to change the way in which we do things.”

Krishnan Guru-Murthy led the panel discussion by asking each of the speakers what bravery means to them. Ann Haugh, CEO of AXIS Re, expressed her view that bravery means being true to yourself, opening up and being vulnerable. We all need each other now more than ever, given world events. It’s also important to be accountable, as 50% of what we measure is the ‘what’, such as statistics, and 50% is the ‘how’ – the behaviours and how we treat each other. Haugh shared her view that “there seems to be an empowerment in the younger generation and I think that is translating into more confidence in the workplace.”

Lucy Clarke, President of Marsh Specialty and Global Placement, gave her take on building braver cultures, noting that there is a difference between doing something that is brave and doing something that is just ‘right’. What was seen as being brave yesterday is only right today – we have made progress but there is still far to go.

The event then moved onto a Q&A session, with questions from the audience members that ranged from the need for action rather than conversation, and the importance of also setting targets for groups which are currently not included, such as disability and cognitive diversity. Speakers discussed the need to be representative of society and agreed that now is the time for action. Conversations such as these can lead to tangible steps and actions. It’s also essential to realise that inclusion is an everyday undertaking, through everyday actions and interactions.

When questioned about how to ensure teams are inclusive of different nationalities and cultures, Haugh spoke about always having a global mindset, “put yourself in the other person’s shoes, understand the cultural differences, educate yourself.”

Krishnan wrapped up the panel discussion by noting that we need the people at the top to be driving the change. It’s crucial to look at progress over time, because it’s easy to say all the right things and be ‘performative allies’. But now we need the action to back it up.

The event concluded with closing remarks from Jason Groves, Global Director of Media Relations at Marsh. He encouraged all the attendees of the festival to become activists for diversity, equity and inclusion and noted that Dive In Festival is a great opportunity for sharing best practice around the industry. There are challenges all around the world to be tackled, and so the number of global events has been a great start to this year’s festival.