HEATHER GOODHEW, Chief Operating Officer, Aspen Re
Research suggests that companies with demonstrable diversity within an inclusive culture outperform their peers and Aspen Re is investing considerable resources in addressing our diversity and inclusion objectives.
Success is about attracting, developing and retaining talent as we create an inclusive culture. As a global company, we are committed to promoting diversity and inclusion at all levels, in all activities, across all regions through an holistic approach. We recently launched our Women in Leadership program for our high potential women. This addresses, among other core skills, resilience, confidence, executive presence and leadership with workshops and 1:1 coaching. Aspen recently became a corporate member of Women in the Boardroom and a number of our senior female executives have joined the Women in the Boardroom program which offers tools, knowledge and connections aimed at those interested in corporate board roles.
There are no silver bullets in achieving a truly diverse workforce. It involves both a top down and a bottom up approach. We are looking to up-skill in order to achieve diverse hiring best practice and are now rolling out unconscious bias training. We believe that a flexible working philosophy is beneficial but flexible working arrangements need to be defined and executed through a flexible working agreement. In addition, we are evaluating a range of family-friendly benefits that might appeal to a diverse and inclusive workforce.
We are reaching out to other organizations to learn from them and share ideas and Aspen Re is becoming better known in the reinsurance market and beyond in respect of diversity and inclusion.
This is not about fixing women or marginalizing men. Success is rooted in the talent of all our people and diversity and inclusion bring tangible benefits through providing access to a larger talent pool and increasing retention of existing talent.
Early in its history, Aspen articulated its values in “The Aspen Spirit” which forms the backbone of our business and guides our behavior. It encapsulates the set of values we uphold and includes working with integrity and fairness and achieving a diverse workforce within an inclusive culture. Embracing the “Aspen Spirit” is about so much more than words.
Thanks to Heather Goodhew for giving us permission to share this article. The opinions and experiences expressed by the author or subjects do not necessarily reflect those of Women in the Boardroom.