Insurance industry diversity gets a shot in the arm from the California commissioner

California insurance industry diversity

Dave Jones issued a letter urging CEOs to boost the diversity on their governing boards.

California insurance industry diversity just received additional official support through a letter from Commissioner Dave Jones. In his letter, Jones addressed the CEOs of at least fifty insurance companies operating in the state. He urged those CEOs to encourage improved diversity on their governing boards.

The letter underscored the impact a company’s board room diversity has on financial performance.

The insurance industry diversity letter also requested that each insurer either disclose its intentions to form a diversity policy for its governing board, or to come up with an action plan or strategy to encourage improved diversity on its governing board within a specific span of time.

This is hardly the first effort California Insurance Commissioner Jones has made in the name of diversity among insurers. In fact, Jones first created the Insurance Diversity Initiative within the state back in 2011. It urges insurance companies to seek board members and executives who best suit the role as well as who reflect California’s – and the rest of the country’s – changing diversity and demographics.

This was taken a step further in 2014, when Jones issued the Governing Board Diversity (GBD) Survey. This looked into the issue of diversity within existing governing boards among insurance companies.

Jones expressed his confidence in the improvements insurance industry diversity makes to success.

“Board diversity helps improve corporate accountability and enhance financial performance. I am committed to supporting efforts that expand opportunities for diverse representation on corporate boards. Independent studies continue to demonstrate that enhanced board diversity results in better corporate performance, as well as increased economic opportunities for diverse business communities,” said Jones when discussing his initiatives in a recent report.

California insurance industry diversityPushing this effort further, Jones convened the first GBD Summit in March 2018. This brought board members and CEOs together within insurance companies in order to share best practices and challenges to move insurance industry diversity ahead on insurer governing boards. At the summit, the recent findings of a McKinsey & Company study – Delivering Through Diversity – revealed an important link between corporate board diversity and meaningful enhanced profitability. Coming months will now track the progress of the participating companies, offering them resources and tools to further improve their corporate board diversity.

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