Closing the Gap: Addressing Diversity Disparities in Insurance Leadership » NAAIA Foundation » Supporting African Americans in the Insurance Industry


Closing the Gap: Addressing Diversity Disparities in Insurance Leadership

One of the major challenges facing the insurance industry this decade is to develop a more diverse workforce and future company leadership. Gender and racial diversity are particularly important for global companies that must deal with a broad range of consumers. Here are strategies for insurance managers to help achieve greater diversity.

Pay Attention to Demographics

The first step toward industry diversification is for insurance leaders to study demographic statistics in their communities. Executives should be aware of their team’s backgrounds so that they can work on improving diversification where it is needed. Today only a small minority of senior insurance executives are women or of color, according to a recent McKinsey study.

About 2.8 million people worked for the insurance industry in 2021, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). In terms of gender, 59 percent were women. Caucasian was the top ethnicity at around 78 percent. African Americans represented just 13.2 percent of the workforce, while nearly 12 percent was Hispanic or Latino and 6.4 percent was Asian. Clearly, there is more room for diversity within insurance business culture.

Emphasize Equal Opportunity

An organization’s communication with staff members and job applicants should clearly promote equal opportunity. Placing signs around the workplace that remind employees they work for an equal opportunity employer helps create a more trusting and loyal atmosphere. Team leaders should study diversity gaps and set goals to overcome them.

Invest in Machine Learning Technology

Machine learning technology adds objectivity to a system for recruiting talent. It can scan a wide selection of data and produce reports on potential solutions to diversity gaps. Investing in software that screens job applicants has helped many organizations speed up the hiring process, while making it more fair.


Insurance professionals can play important roles in building more diverse teams of agents and future leaders. It’s imperative for leaders to take the initiative for implementing a more diverse industry, which helps a firm’s public image.

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