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Business industry leaders confirm diversity, inclusion, and innovation are key to equitable access to insurance services in Nigeria



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Dive In, the renowned festival promoting diversity, equity, and inclusion (DE&I) in the insurance industry, celebrated its fifth anniversary in Nigeria this year.

Eminent industry leaders and diversity, equity and inclusion (DE&I) experts convened to address the pivotal role of intersectionality in businesses and the need to eradicate biases and foster an inclusive culture across the Nigerian business sector to drive innovation.

(Watch the DiveIn Nigeria Festival On-demand Video Here)

The “Driving Innovation in Insurance” virtual event, sponsored by Aon and held on Tuesday, September 26th, is now available to watch on the Dive In website until the end of October. Notably, the event is CPD certified and recognised by The Chartered Insurance Institute of Nigeria (CIIN) and various global institutes, enabling viewers to earn CPD hours.

The festival, attracting professionals from around the globe, featured notable speakers such as Richard Leftley, a distinguished digital insurance pioneer and consultant at the International Finance Council, Fortunate Anozie, Founder of Unyte Africa, and Adebowale Banjo, Co-founder of The event was moderated by Temi Badru, a lawyer and award-winning public speaker.

Richard Leftley, initiated discussions with his keynote speech. He emphasized the fundamental importance of equity, diversity, and inclusion in developing innovative solutions to bridge the gap for the majority of uninsured Nigerians.

Leftley’s career trajectory, spanning traditional insurance practices to groundbreaking digital solutions, illustrated the necessity of adaptability across diverse demographics to overcome traditional barriers.

Leftley emphasised, “Greater commitment to diversity and inclusion is essential to build a resilient insurance industry, especially in the developing economies. Less than one percent of the Nigerian population buys insurance products. We must leverage technology to birth innovative solutions that bridge the gap for the excluded population.

Fortunate Anozie echoed these sentiments. “It is important for organisations to promote equity, diversity, and inclusion in the workplace.

There must be openness and inclusiveness in the workplace. People in every organisation must see themselves as equal stakeholders. Inclusive innovation is when people can express themselves freely and contribute to ideas and they are not looked down upon even when such ideas don’t fly.”

Adebowale Banjo emphasized the importance of an inclusive work culture where mutual communication and engagement break down barriers and drive innovation.

“We walk through the intersections and ensure the best win-win outcome mutually beneficial to the organisation and our team members is achieved. We always seek to define and understand the responsibilities of both parties and work the best options that are equitable for all.”

Temi Badru charged Nigerian insurance firms to embrace diverse voices to fuel innovation and sector growth. “As we make a case for change in the acceptance of intersecting perspectives, and promote the concept of diversity and inclusion, we will see an era of great change. As such we encourage you to go to your organisations, start conversations, ask questions, and think about the steps you can take to embrace diverse perspectives for a more inclusive workplace and drive innovation and growth.”

Speaking about the success of Dive In Nigeria, Mary Alade, Chief Strategy Officer at Aon Reinsurance Solutions, said, “Aon is proud to be the continued sponsor for Dive In Nigeria. Now in its fifth year, we have covered a range of topics from gender diversity to generational working and mental health. With the global economy undergoing unprecedented changes, the insurance industry needs to adapt rapidly. So, we knew this was the perfect moment for employers to understand and harness the power of Nigeria’s diverse population to enable innovation, provide comprehensive coverage, ensure equitable access to insurance, and drive sector growth. We’ve received excellent feedback so far and hope this event will lead to further conversations within Nigerian and global businesses.”

Dive In, which has seen significant growth since its inception in 2015, continues to bridge geographical gaps by combining virtual and physical events.

The festival addresses a wide range of DE&I topics, including non-visible disabilities, mental health, religious equality, LGBT+ inclusivity, ageism, and social mobility in the workplace. In 2022, it attracted 34,000 attendees from 40 countries to 150 events.

The festival was supported by Global Festival Partners: AIG, Allied World Assurance, Aon, Arch, Aviva, AXA XL, Axis Capital, BMS, Chubb, CNA Hardy, DLA Piper, Everest, Gallagher, Howden, Kennedys, Liberty Mutual, Lloyd’s, Markel, Marsh, Moody’s, Munich Re, RenRe, SCOR, Sompo, Tokio Marine Kiln, Travelers, WTW.