“If the insurance industry tries to increase the number of employees, we have to look at where we are recruiting,” said Leonard. A diverse pool for selecting the best applicants regardless of socio-economic status, race or gender is valuable for the overall success of a company.
However, having conversations about diversity and inclusion can be challenging for managers and leaders, she explained.
“The first thing you want to do is let everyone in the room know that we are here for a purpose, we want to exchange ideas and all views are welcome,” she said.
When managers encourage open and equitable communication channels, this promotes a diverse work culture in which employees are more inclined to express their opinions.
“If we get people to talk more, we’ll see that we’re more alike than we think. People have similar interests and thoughts, even if they don’t look the same, ”added Leonard.
“As a leader, don’t hesitate to reach out to a professional for guidance on how to approach and interact with your team,” she said. “Just as we turn to professionals to create a business plan, there is nothing wrong with turning to a professional to help you get started communicating.
“Don’t assume you have the skills to start these conversations just because you’ve been a successful leader and have had positive results for the company, it’s okay to ask for help.”
Leonard will speak more about the importance of diversity and inclusion during Women in Insurance New York’s Digital Summit on September 14, 2021. Further information can be found at https://women.ibamag.com/newyork/