News Release: HAMILTON, Bermuda – The war on talent is real for the insurance industry and the lack of diversity, inclusion and equity should be a key focus, Soraya Wright, Amazon’s Global Head of Corporate Risk & Claims, told those attending the recently held Bermuda Risk Summit.

Ms Wright, who has more than 30 years of experience managing complex risks of global companies, was speaking with Patrick Tannock, CEO of the Bermuda Insurance Operations, during a keynote conversation titled: ‘Navigating the Dynamic Future of Risk’.

Raising the topic of talent, Mr Tannock noted that in 2015 only 4 percent of millennials had any interest in coming into the industry whereas by 2025, 75 percent of the workforce is going to be of that generation but in the insurance industry only 25 percent of the workforce is under 35.

He said: “We have to be our own best advocate for why insurance is a rewarding career.”

Ms Wright said: “We’re going to have to make insurance exciting and promote the value proposition of professions in this sector. We will have to change some ways we operate. We need to think how can we reinvent ourselves and ways of working to attract talent and keep talent. That means investing in young talent. They are not going to wait around for years to be promoted. How do we create an environment that will be engaging for them, allow them to have a voice, and enabling to advance.”

In terms of diversity, Ms Wright, who pointed out that often she was the only Black woman, and in some cases the only woman in the room at executive meetings, said, “Our ability to communicate with our diverse clients will depend on our diversity. Diversity strategies should be viewed and treated like any other business strategy. We need to think about how we build a diverse talent pool at every level of the organization – from the Boardroom down. The diversity strategies need to be intentional to the business and managed accordingly. This goes back to the war on talent.”

Mr Tannock added: “We have to stop looking at diversity as that thing over there. We need to view diversity as a strategic priority that is innate within our DNA and as critical to our success as any other strategic priority. This must be driven from the Executive suite to ensure that DEI doesn’t become just a catch phrase or tick the box policy, but a principle embedded in the culture that is championed by the leadership and embraced throughout the business.

“It has to be central to what we do and it’s a fact that the companies that have the most diverse people in positions of leadership tend to be the most diverse and the most profitable. It’s not just about identity group representation but customers want to see people who look like them. While I think we have done some work and progress has been made, we still have a long way to go. We have to expand our universe for where we look for talent and when they are in the organization, they need to be supported. It’s not good enough to just hire a bunch of diverse people and expect a payoff. As leaders we must acknowledge and understand that supporting diverse talent within a company is just as critical, if not more, than the initial efforts to attract the talent. Conscious mentorship and sponsorship will be vital to increasing I&D at all levels.”

During the session, Mr Tannock and Ms Wright also discussed the significance of AI in leveraging big data, understanding predictability, and enhancing property capabilities. They stressed the need to prepare for the impact of AI on the industry, including governance, decision-making, and potential biases, while also considering the involvement of IT, HR, and the preservation of company culture. The conversation also covered Bermuda’s value proposition, including its historical culture of innovation, calculated risk, and track record of resilience; the advantages of Bermuda as a place to put capital to work quickly and the importance of speed to market in the current business environment; and the importance of organizations fostering a culture of continuous innovation and transformation, particularly in the face of rapidly evolving risk landscapes.