From riots to rights – Stonewall releases top global employer list
Almost 50 years since the Stonewall riots, hundreds of thousands celebrated LGBT+ culture in London this July. Zurich was proud to take part. In fact, our strong focus on diversity and inclusion within the workforce has recently been recognized by Stonewall, the leading LGBT+ charity bearing the riots’ name.
In June 1969, a series of spontaneous uprisings by the New York LGBT community took place. These were in protest against a police raid on one of the most popular gay bars in the city, the Stonewall Inn. This became known as the Stonewall riots and remain a seminal moment in the campaign for LGBT+ rights.
Almost 50 years later, equality and inclusiveness for the LGBT+ community has thankfully made huge strides. Recently, London’s iconic Pride parade took place to celebrate LGBT+ culture, with over 30,000 marching from 500 groups. They were watched by hundreds of thousands more.
In and amongst the marchers was a special moment for the insurance industry, as 600 people from 12 insurance companies formed the largest single insurance entity in the Parade’s history.
Zurich was proud to be represented in this group. That’s because ensuring diversity and inclusion in our workforce is a key global focus for us. We want to shape an environment that encourages and values different views and opinions, respects employees’ personal needs, provides equal opportunities regardless of gender, race, ethnicity, age, sexual orientation or other aspect of difference. Ultimately, we know that a diverse and inclusive workforce is crucial – for customers, for profitability and for our employees. For example, a recent PwC survey found that 86% of millennials in insurance saw an employer’s policy on diversity, equality and workforce inclusion as a decisive factor when choosing a new job.
So we were particularly pleased to have recently been recognized as a top global employers for LGBT+. That is according to Stonewall, the LGBT+ charity bearing the famous riots’ name. Their top global employers list is seen as definitive for showcasing the best multinational employers for lesbian, gay, bi and trans staff. It’s drawn from Stonewall’s Global Workplace Equality Index - a powerful benchmarking tool. The index measures employee policy, training, staff engagement leadership, monitoring, procurement, community engagement and understanding local context and additional in-country activity.
This accolade reflects the hard work and commitment that has driven our progress on LGBT+ issues in recent years. In December 2016, we launched our global LGBT Network (Pride@Zurich) in December 2016 with five Chapters. In the last 18 months we have grown to 12 Chapters globally. The network is sponsored by Group Chief Investment Officer Urban Angehrn and is focused on three key areas: education and awareness, growing our global footprint and inclusive policies. We know that there is more work to do though, and remain committed to our diversity and inclusion focus going forward.
Why? Certainly because it’s the right thing to do, but there’s more to it than that: In this exciting era of technological change, it can be tempting to believe that the latest gadget or program is all that’s needed to stay ahead of the pack. But make no mistake, for industries like insurance, people ultimately deliver for people.