Introducing the new Diversity and Inclusion Working Group

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The Institute has established a new Working Group to help implement the Diversity and Inclusion Strategy endorsed by the Institute’s Council at its June 2017 meeting. 

The new strategy is a response to the changing working environment and increasingly diverse backgrounds of actuaries. It will help the Institute build and maintain effective relationships with members and other stakeholders, and improve its decision-making processes. Research and studies show that diversity and inclusion policies enhance an organisation’s financial performance and reputation.

An important long-term objective of the strategy is that the change in member demographics should be reflected in the member representation on key Institute bodies and activities. This in-line with current business best practice. 

The strategy takes account of the three diversity pillars: culture, age and gender which best reflect the Institute’s membership.  

  • Culture: 38% of our members speak at least one Asian language - (Fellows 25%, Associates 41% and students 54%.) 23% of members have an Asian surname and 13% live in Asia.
  • Age: 55% of members are younger than 34.
  • Gender: 33% of members are female (Fellows 36%, Associates 17%, Students 43%, Accredited 1% and Affiliates 3%). The Institute is above the 30% ‘critical mass ‘level in regards to female representation, at which diversity becomes more effective.  Females constitute 25% of the membership of Practice and Council Committees, 20% of the Convenors of Practice and Council Committees, 57% of Young Actuaries Program Organising Committees, and one-third of Council.

The objective of this working group is to assist with implementing the activities and outcomes around the three goals articulated in the Diversity and Inclusion Strategy.

Goal 1

Create a diverse and inclusive environment.
This sets the foundations for the Institute to build an inclusive culture where all members and HQ staff are valued and recognised for their unique qualities, ideas, experiences, voices and perspectives.  The environment will empower members to make their mark.

Goal 2

Ensure committees and working groups represent the membership
The Institute will establish aspirational targets for HQ as well as for representation on committees and other volunteer groups.  These targets will reflect the demographics of our membership and the business environment in which our members work.

Goal 3

Promote the benefits of diversity within the profession.
The Institute will promote the Diversity and inclusion strategy and plan to increase awareness.

Members of the Working Group:

Trang Duncanson is a Partner at Deloitte and Chief Editor of Actuaries Digital. Trang has a keen interest in diversity and inclusion, particularly how we can leverage the latest in thought-leadership into this space to enhance the leadership capabilities of actuaries, and to help to bring the best out of the teams we lead. She has presented previously on the topic of diversity to the Sydney Young Actuaries Program and continues to take an active interest in this topic across its many dimensions, particularly with a focus on culture and its potential implications to the future of actuaries as leaders within organisations.

Declan Moore is the Chief Underwriting Officer, QBE Australia & New Zealand. Declan’ previous role in QBE was a global one and he has been based both in Europe and Australia.  He has seen first-hand the benefits of having a diverse and inclusive society and workplace.  Declan’s ambition is that the Institute’s working group will become redundant, but until then he intends to be an enthusiastic advocate of the Institute’s diversity and inclusion initiative.

Angela McLaughlin (Tatarow) is Head of Actuarial, Information at MLC Insurance. Angela is a mother of two, and currently transitioning back to work part-time after maternity leave. She has 16 years’ experience in the life insurance industry, most recently at MLC in a variety of roles within Risk and Actuarial Services, Angela is especially keen to be involved in this group to demonstrate (and continue to learn!) how the concepts of flexibility and part-time can work successfully across all levels of an organisation.

Andrew Tang is the Head of Distribution Strategy at Manulife Asia. Covering 10 markets across Asia in his current role, Andrew has first-hand experience in collaborating across cultures and witness first-hand the value that diversity brings to both businesses outcomes and individual development. Previously Andrew was a management consultant who lived in Hong Kong but advised clients across Asia, as well as Australia, UK and South Africa. In joining the working group Andrew hopes to draw on his own experience working across geographic locations as well as in different roles to help broaden actuaries' perspectives to engage increasingly diverse groups in their careers. Andrew believes in everyone having the same access to opportunities irrespective of who they are. We all have an obligation to create an environment that allows this equal access. More broadly, diversity drives the pooling of wisdom from different backgrounds, experiences and beliefs to make the collective whole greater than the sum of its parts. Far too often we underleverage this potential; why should we be missing out on opportunities to better our society?

Elizabeth Martin (Liz) currently works at KPMG as an Associate Director. Liz has spent most of her career in actuarial consulting, working in Australia, Asia and the UK.  “One of the most rewarding aspects of my role has been mentoring and development of teams. I’m a huge supporter of the Institute’s diversity and Inclusion initiative as I strongly believe in the benefits of diverse teams, and in having diversity in role models in the profession. During my time working in London I saw first-hand the benefits of being part of a team with different backgrounds and experiences, which makes work life more interesting and results in broader solutions to problems when everyone can draw on their own unique perspectives.”

Ashish Ahluwalia is a Principal of Finity Consulting, with a focus on general insurance and data analytics. Ashish is interested in this initiative as he is a younger member of the profession from South Asian descent who spends an increasing amount of time working outside traditional actuarial areas, with teams made up of more diverse skillsets (software developers, database engineers, statisticians, data scientists, marketing professionals, etc.) Ashish looks forward to applying learnings from his experiences to support the Institute’s diversity and inclusion initiative and also to learn about things he can apply to his own work life.

Helena McGeorge recently started with Deloitte’s Actuaries & Consultants practice as a graduate, She is keen to get involved with the Institute’s diversity and inclusion plan to help contribute to shaping the future of the actuarial profession, one which she hopes will offer her an inspiring and rewarding career.

Katrina McFadyen is Head of Communications and Marketing at the Actuaries Institute and Chief Editor (HQ) of Actuaries Digital. Having been involved with the profession since 2002 Katrina strongly supports the Institute's focus on diversity and inclusion, empowering members to make their mark and strengthen brand 'Actuary'.

Lily Meszaros is the Committee & Volunteer Engagement Manager at the Institute and is a firm believer that diversity drives innovation and growth.  Lily looks forward to exploring this further with the Working Group as the implementation plan is rolled out.

The Institute President, Jenny Lyon supports this initiative.

The Working Group welcomes feedback on the new strategy, so please get in touch via email to the Institute or by phone +61 (0) 2 9239 6121.  Look out for further updates on Actuaries Digital as the initiatives are rolled out.

CPD Actuaries Institute Members can claim two CPD points for every hour of reading articles on Actuaries Digital.

About the author

Lily Meszaros

Lily is the Committee and Engagement Manager at the Actuaries Institute. Lily has a passion for driving successful volunteer engagement programs that provide a positive and engaging experience for volunteers as well as achieving the strategic goals for the organisation. Lily also enjoys connecting with people who believe in making a difference. Outside work, Lily is passionate about improving the lives of orphans and disadvantaged children through the work of her charity ROAR.

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