The top 40 D&I re/insurance champions
Intelligent Insurer has selected its top 40 D&I champions in the re/insurance industry for their work and leadership in this vital area.
The fight to keep diversity and inclusion (D&I) high on the agenda has been tough in a world where raging inflation, the ever-present threat of climate change and more recently, a war in Europe, have dominated many people’s thoughts.
But D&I remains essential as it offers innovation, creativity and solutions that homogenous groups often miss, as well as being key to gaining a competitive edge in the re/insurance industry. With the importance of D&I top of mind, Intelligent Insurer has selected its top 40 D&I champions in the re/insurance industry for their efforts to ensure that the benefits of greater equality are not disregarded in the furore of global events.
The top 40 D&I champions, who appear on these pages in alphabetical order, were chosen for their leadership, achievements and efforts in supporting and promoting D&I in their organisations and in the wider re/insurance market.
TOP 40 D&I CHAMPIONS: A–C
Internal communications business partner—Beazley
Colleagues describe Arnold as a vocal and supportive ally of all marginalised groups, who does a lot of work behind the scenes to ensure that people are made aware of all the diversity champions at Beazley. She dedicates a significant amount of her time to ensuring that Employee Resource Groups at Beazley receive ample recognition.
Head of learning & development—Hiscox
Beaumont works to support diversity in the industry by providing advice on potential career paths to follow for those thinking of a role in the industry and how to turn plans into outcomes. She is the founder of Olive Avocado, a coaching and advice consultancy that supports women’s health and raises awareness.
Chief executive officer—EDII
In her role at training, development and innovation consultancy EDII, Bedford works with insurance industry players to drive real career opportunities for people from diverse backgrounds. She was instrumental in cementing a partnership between the East London Business Alliance and EDII to launch the Next Generation programme which works to bring positive change in London by channelling the wide-reaching resources and influence of the private sector to address key areas of need.
More recently EDII partnered with Willis Towers Watson and Chubb to deliver a workshop session on Talent Management of Future Skills Innovation for people already in the industry, including older employees.
Head of US broker practice—Lloyd's Corporation
Black is recognised as a leader in driving D&I efforts across her region as well as more broadly across Lloyd’s offices globally. Her achievements include strategies to grow minority-owned business opportunities and expand mentoring and career opportunities for talent from diverse backgrounds.
She is chair of the Boston Chapter of the Insurance Industry Charitable Foundation (IICF) and a board member of several other industry and non-profit organisations including the Intermediaries Reinsurance Underwriters Association, the Association of Professional Insurance Women, and is a founding member of Women in Insurance Global Network Advisory Group, and the Covenant House International Latin American Development board.
Black is deeply involved in the community through philanthropic leadership roles and as an active local and international volunteer. In 2021 she was recognised as an Inclusion Champion with the IICF Inclusion in Insurance Forum.
Chief executive officer—Aon
As a well-recognised role model within the industry, Case puts D&I priorities at the forefront of the Aon United strategy. With the Aon United culture, he is a champion of change in the industry and demonstrates to colleagues that you can be successful in business while also being your authentic self at work.
He was recognised as the number one ally on the INvolve OUTstanding LGBT+ Ally Executives List in 2021. Aon made an investment of $30 million to expand its pioneering corporate apprenticeship programme, which helps bridge the gap between education and employment while supporting the broker’s efforts to build a more diverse pipeline of talent.
Case is one of the founding members of OneTen, a coalition of chief executives and their companies committed to hiring one million black Americans in 10 years. The coalition will invest more than $100 million to create opportunities, connect with talent and training partners and build demand for diverse and underrepresented talent.
CEO and founder—Protecdiv
Throughout his career Coleman has been an active champion of D&I. He established Protecdiv in 2020 to address the need for increased supplier diversity in the US. Protecdiv is the only minority-owned insurance broker that qualifies as a tier one broker in the US.
Coleman formed the Racial & Ethnic Diversity Employee Resource Group when he worked at Guy Carpenter in 2010. He also led the Philadelphia chapter of the National African American Insurance Association in 2013. While employed at Willis Towers Watson in 2016, he helped transform its D&I committee from celebratory to action-oriented to deliver new opportunities to employees.
Head of culture and inclusion—DLA Piper
Comerford has dedicated her career to creating a balanced workforce. She is responsible for driving the D&I strategy across the law firm globally. She works closely with the executive team, the D&I Council, EMEA and Asia-Pacific D&I Steering Groups.
She is a member of the UK government’s All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) for Governance and Inclusive Leadership. This APPG is designed to link government and businesses to drive the D&I agenda forward.
Comerford is a member of the Diversity Project’s Steering Group, an initiative to accelerate progress towards an inclusive culture and achieve diversity across the investment profession. She is also the Lead Role Model Ambassador for LGBT Great, a global membership organisation specialising in developing LGBTQ+ D&I.
She was named a Top 10 Champion Ally in the Investing in Ethnicity Awards 2018 and 2020, and joined the advisory board of UK newspaper The Telegraph’s D&I Conference 2019.
Head of inclusion—Aon
Colleagues describe Conway as a positive, results-driven and passionate D&I professional with excellent communication skills. She is committed to driving inclusive cultures where employees can truly be themselves at work, and thrive as a result of that. Her peers view her as an ambassador and influencer for the business case for diversity and she is a well-known speaker and advocate on the topic.
Human resources manager—Reinsurance Group of America
Costello is the HR manager in Reinsurance Group of America (RGA)’s UK office, where she is an inspirational leader who promotes a wide range of diversity, equality and inclusion (DEI) work. She established mental health as a workplace priority after an RGA UK initiative raised awareness of mental health issues. She has championed formal and informal efforts around gender equality, LGBTQ+ support, and other diversity issues.
She has worked with dedicated teams at all levels of RGA’s UK organisation to build out a DEI strategy which she continues to lead.
Head of HR business partners and apprenticeship, North America—Zurich
To tackle what many colleagues have described as a talent crisis in the industry, Crook has led Zurich’s North American apprenticeship programme in a bid to attract and retain budding insurers. The programme complements the insurer’s regular hiring practices for professionals, executives and college leavers. Apprenticeships at Zurich have become an important way for the employer to fill a talent gap with people from a different population of previously untapped recruits.