CareerView Podcast - Diversity & Inclusion

Reading time: 3 mins

Members of the Institute's Diversity and Inclusion Working Group discuss how businesses can create a strategy that includes diversity as a key focus, and facilitates innovation in the workplace.

Ashish Ahluwalia (Principal at Finity Consulting) and Lesley Traverso (Director at Talent Insights and Convenor of the Diversity and Inclusion Working Group - DIWG - at the Actuaries Institute) discuss the Institute's DIWG's initial work.

They also unpack the three main areas that the Institute's Council have endorsed in the Diversity and Inclusion Action Plan as part of the Working Group's strategy for the year including:

1. Creating a diverse and inclusive environment for members and the HQ team.
2. Encouraging committees and working groups to represent the diversity of the Institute's membership.
3. Promoting the benefits of diversity within the profession from an internal and external perspective.

Listen to 'CareerView - Diversity and Inclusion' on Spreaker.

"On organising committees that I've been on, we've had situations where speakers themselves, quite high-level keynote speakers have said that they're not going to be on a panel unless it is diverse" says Lesley Traverso.

Ashish and Lesley also discuss how the Institute can promote larger take-up in the STEM field for women. Ashish quotes a professor from the Australian National University who discussed the 35% female to 65% male split in take-up of actuarial subjects in high school, which is encouraging considering the average 15% female to 85% male take-up that general STEM fields have.

"it leaves us with a huge opportunity or huge challenge to meet, around actually increasing the take-up of STEM subjects across the genders" - Ashish Ahluwalia

Ashish asks a range of questions including:

  • What do you think the Diversity and Inclusion Working Group is trying to achieve?
  • Can a lack of diversity be a major barrier to innovation?
  • What advice do you have for people in navigating tricky situations around diversity?
  • What might we be doing differently in 10 years time?
  • What are the key outcomes you would like the group to have achieved in the next few years?
“We’ve very much moved away from the actuarial team being by itself in the corner of the office, a lot of the clients that I'm talking to now have very much said “this is a team of actuaries, statisticians and other people within their organisations that come together to work on a client inquiry or to work on a particular project and that type of thing” - Lesley Traverso.

Listen in to the podcast to find out more about the Diversity and Inclusion Working Group and read our article on the DIWG's goals and members here.

Download Transcript here.

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About the authors

Lesley Traverso

With over 20 years of experience recruiting Actuaries around the globe, Lesley brings a broad and diverse approach to Actuaries Digital. Lesley has been part of the organising committee for the Actuaries Summit for the past 12 years and is known for her creative ideas and an off-beat sense of humour. Not one for always relaxing quietly, Lesley enjoys the freedom of flying airplanes via her Private Pilot’s license, often upside down!

Ashish Ahluwalia

Ashish is a Principal at Finity and is a leader of Finity’s data analytics practice. He has many years of hands-on experience using advanced analytics techniques to deliver commercial strategies and outcomes for his clients. Ashish is passionate about finding new ways to apply the tools of the actuarial and data science trade, and has a particular interest in building and working with diverse teams in order to develop new and novel decision support tools.

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