National African American Insurance Association Recommends Greater Black Participation

National African American Insurance Association Recommends Greater Black Participation


Photo by Dylan Sauerwein on Unsplash

The percentage of Black employees in the insurance workforce was 12.4 percent in 2019, an increase from 9.0 percent in 2010, according to independent research and industry studies firm S&P Global Marketplace. While there has been a slight boost in Black representation in the industry, the National African American Insurance Association (NAAIA) says firms still need to be addressed in the U.S. insurance market, which is one of the largest in the world.

Insurance premiums written in the U.S. as of 2020 reached over one trillion U.S. dollars, according to Statista

The NAAIA was organized to create a network among people of color and others employed in or affiliated with the insurance industry, according to the website. The association has 21 chapters, with more to come.

The NAAIA released a study, The Journey of African-American Insurance Professionals, at the Annual Conference & Empowerment Summit at the end of September.

The study found that issues such as unconscious bias, nepotism, and favoritism in the hiring process, or a lack of networking connections are causes for underrepresentation. Yet, the study noted there are ways to increase diversity, according to a press release from the NAAIA.

The study, conducted in collaboration by the NAAIA and Marsh, also gave recommendations on how to increase diversity in five steps.

Marsh, a subsidiary of Marsh McLennan, is a global professional services firm with operations in insurance brokering and risk management.

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Among the recommendations:

  1. Establish relationships: Insurance firms should look outside of conventional recruiting on college campuses, employers but also develop relationships with key faculty members, business and community leaders, and other influential persons who can introduce potential candidates.
  2. Tap into talent pools: Talent pools such as African American professional groups like the National African American Insurance Association, Executive Leadership Council, National Black MBA Association, and National Association of Black Accountants can help with recruitment.
  3. Leadership commitment essential: Senior leadership must not only be committed to diversity, but they have to be engaged in the process. If the leadership promotes diversity it will be part of the culture.
  4. ERGs are key: Develop and sponsor Employee Resource Groups (ERGs). ERGs are groups of employees who join in their workplace based on shared characteristics or life experiences. They can help companies develop diversity recruitment strategies.
  5. Build informational pipelines: These pipelines should inform prospective hires of the significant opportunities within the industry. This involves mentoring, coaching, and sponsoring potential recruits.

Photo by Dylan Sauerwein on Unsplash, https://unsplash.com/@rawdyl?utm_source=unsplash&utm_medium=referral&utm_content=creditCopyText