Ways to assess an opportunity through a DEI lens

February 7, 2023

Careers, Diversity, Equity & Inclusion


By Lindsay Spann, Employee Engagement Specialist

Working in DEI means one of my main objectives is to contribute to the changes I want to see for the insurance industry overall — and for our world. Finding that balance is part of why I’m here. Yes, it’s bigger than me, but I can see past the obstacles because of the impact my work is having on people within my organization. As a woman and person of color, I’ve found there’s an opportunity for me to lean into it and amplify the voices of my colleagues, while not feeling the weight of having to represent for everyone. Having a diverse workforce is critical to business growth and sustainability, no matter the industry. It can accelerate meaningful progress and move DEI from being just an initiative, to being an imperative part of the business strategy and culture. This is why we need more new talent to join us!

One of the most important components of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) at any organization is recognizing the individual experiences of employees, which are most often impacted by a person’s ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation and culture just to name a few. While colleagues from underrepresented groups who are new to the insurance industry may not yet see themselves at all levels of leadership, it doesn’t mean you can’t find a sense of belonging. Nothing in DEI is meant to be in a silo, and Inclusion and Diversity are not just initiatives—they are principles for living. Businesses like IAT, that are committed to driving and building an open and supportive culture in the insurance industry, are succeeding by embracing the uniqueness of each employee, investing in their development, listening to, and engaging their ideas.


If you are looking to join this dynamic industry, here are 4 tips to help you evaluate opportunities from a DEI lens:

  1. When exploring companies during the application process, look for statements that define the company culture looks like before you step foot in the (virtual) door either on the organization’s social media, website or Glassdoor. A recruitment strategy that fosters belonging includes:
  • Job postings that speak to the organization’s view of DEI
  • Diverse interview panels and candidate pools
  • Thoughtful and thorough onboarding process
  • Mentorship and training opportunities
  1. One way companies can expand DEI efforts is to become active in and learn from organizations like the National African American Insurance Association (NAAIA) or the Association of Professional Insurance Women (APIW). From conferences to committees and workshops, there are take-aways for companies of all sizes that help support DEI initiatives. Ask the recruiter or hiring manager if they partner with any professional organizations and if they offer employee memberships.

  2. Look for organizations creating a culture that respects and values open and honest dialogue. How can you determine this? Pay attention to the dialogue during your application and interview process. Take note of how your questions and any concerns are addressed.

  3. Ask questions about their DEI strategy and what progress they have seen. Not every organization will be at the same place in their journey, but here you are looking for transparency, accountability, and ways that you can contribute to the efforts if that is important to you.

If I can offer support during your career journey or entrance into insurance, please don’t hesitate to connect with me on LinkedIn. And, if you’re interested in learning more about IAT and our Inclusion & Diversity strategy I invite you to check out our page here.

Happy Black History Month and Insurance Careers Month!