Diversity & Inclusion Institute conference to feature Second City

A branch of the comedy empire that helped shape American theater for nearly 50 years will use the power of improv to demonstrate the benefits of greater workplace diversity and inclusion during the commercial insurance industry’s Diversity & Inclusion Institute Conference in Chicago this September.

Second City Works, the B2B side of The Second City, the world’s leading comedy theater and school of improvisation, will showcase its groundbreaking Diversity & Inclusion programming at an interactive workshop featuring comedic scenes to educate and inform about diversity, and bring to life the practice of improv to build skills for more inclusive teams.

The Second City Works performance on Wednesday, Sept. 28, is being held in conjunction with Lloyd’s of London’s Dive In–the Festival for Diversity and Inclusion in Insurance, and will be free and open to commercial insurance industry employees throughout the Chicago area.

The paid portion of the two-day conference, which continues on Thursday, Sept. 29, will feature Howard Ross, founder and chief learning officer of Cook Ross Inc., on “Managing in a Time of Fear.” Mr. Ross, an internationally known diversity training expert and author, will help insurance industry executives develop a clear sense of how events of the past few years—including the recent police shootings, homophobia and concerns about immigration–are influencing their employees. They also will learn about the science behind fear so that they can adopt effective intervention strategies.

Eric Alva, the first American soldier wounded during Operation Iraqi Freedom, will address his battle to overcome his injuries and the difficulties he encountered after leaving the military and coming out as gay. From learning to walk with a prosthetic, to his desire to continue his education and obtain his degree, Mr. Alva inspires audiences to persevere by demonstrating how he conquered such obstacles.

Also during the conference, a panel of insurance industry CEOs will discuss the business case for greater diversity and inclusion, publicly pledging to support efforts to foster greater diversity both within their organizations and throughout the industry.

Other sessions will include:

  • D+I considerations in client engagement
  • Insurance regulator focus on driving diversity in the industry
  • Demonstrations of technology designed to facilitate diversity and inclusion.
  • The impact of “covering” at work on employee productivity
  • The latest D&I research conducted by the Institute and in conjunction with the Families & Work Institute
  • Executive Insights – short, inspirational speeches by industry leaders from Ryan Specialty Group, The Hartford, Willis Towers Watson and Zurich

To review the complete agenda and to register for the Absolute Inclusion Conference, visit http://conferences.businessinsurance.com/conference/diversity-inclusion-institute/2016/agenda.

The Absolute Inclusion Leadership Conference is the inaugural event of Business Insurance’s Diversity & Inclusion Institute, which was launched last December to promote and advance diversity and inclusion throughout the commercial insurance industry. For more information about the Institute, visit www.diversityinclusioninstitute.com.

Breaking EPL News!

In Hively v. Ivy Tech Cmty. Coll., 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 13746, **54-56 (7th Cir. July 28, 2016), the Seventh Circuit affirmed the district court’s decision granting defendant’s motion to dismiss the plaintiff’s Title VII sexual orientation claim based on the doctrine of stare decisis – relying on the jurisdiction’s precedent determining that Title VII does not protect against same-sex discrimination.  In doing so, however, the court made clear its reservations, noting the incongruity whereby a same-sex couple can marry legally in the United States on a Saturday and be fired on Monday for having done so.  The court’s conclusion is instructive:

Perhaps the writing is on the wall. It seems unlikely that our society can continue to condone a legal structure in which employees can be fired, harassed, demeaned, singled out for undesirable tasks, paid lower wages, demoted, passed over for promotions, and otherwise discriminated against solely based on who they date, love, or marry. The agency tasked with enforcing Title VII does not condone it … many of the federal courts to consider the matter have stated that they do not condone it … and this court undoubtedly does not condone it…. But writing on the wall is not enough. Until the writing comes in the form of a Supreme Court opinion or new legislation, we must adhere to the writing of our prior precedent, and therefore, the decision of the district court is AFFIRMED.