PLUS Foundation President on Diversity and Inclusion: Part 1

Earlier this year the PLUS Foundation pivoted toward a new mission to support Tomorrow’s Professional Liability Workforce.  The change in mission was critical to support the ongoing services that the PLUS organization provides to its members.  When the Foundation Board of Directors began this process in late 2019, we focused on the future needs of companies and members of PLUS.  We determined that the greatest need was shaping the future workforce of the insurance, reinsurance and law firms that were our members.  We believe that the companies and firms that are able to attract the best, most diverse employees are going to be the winning organizations of tomorrow.  For this reason, a strong part of the Foundation mission is focused on programming and partnerships that put diversity and inclusion at the forefront.

The PLUS Foundation already had a head start on this mission with the successful Women’s Leadership Network (WLN) program as a model.  The Foundation has partnered with the PLUS Chapters to offer 60 successful WLN events since 2009 that have created opportunities for 3,000 women to network and learn from their peers and female leaders. Additionally, a WLN Scholarship was launched in 2019 to provide funding to recipients for leadership development programs, and mentorship and leadership opportunities made available through PLUS and the PLUS Foundation.

As we looked at the overall PLUS organization the timing seemed right to move the Leadership And Mentorship Program (LAMP) under the stewardship of the PLUS Foundation.  Since 2016 this successful program has provided leadership and mentoring opportunities to 48 members of the PLUS community who will then bring their diversity of skills, life experiences, and backgrounds back to PLUS, the Foundation, and their companies in leadership roles.

These two core programs, WLN and LAMP, will be the cornerstone of the Foundation’s mission going forward.  We are also looking to partner with organizations that are focused on Diversity, Inclusion and shaping tomorrow’s workforce in order to effectively leverage our assets and skill set.  We believe that the Foundation’s success will be broadly measured by what Tomorrow’s Professional Liability Workforce looks like.  We look forward to a time where our mission will need to change again because we will no longer need to focus on being Diverse or Inclusive because that is what we have become.

Lynn Halper, PLUS Foundation President