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.

Great Day for WLN in Seattle

On August 4 the PLUS Foundation’s Women’s Leadership Network came to Seattle for networking and a panel discussion on The Business Case for Diversity/Tools for Long Term Profitability (click to download slides). 

It was a great event on a beautiful day, and it appears everyone in attendance had an enjoyable time. Check out the photos below, and consider attending one of our upcoming WLN events on October 5 – either New York City or San Francisco.

D&I in Action at the 2014 PLUS Conference

As we all regroup from yet another successful PLUS Conference, I wanted to reflect on one of my favorite moments from this year’s event.  As you all know, we were fortunate enough to have Dr. Neil deGrasse Tyson – the renowned astrophysicist, cosmologist, author, and science communicator – address our group at our Thursday luncheon.  I hope you got to see it.  I have been coming to the PLUS Conference for 17 years now, and I thought it was one of the best presentations we’ve ever had – entertaining, engaging, relevant and extremely thought-provoking.

Even better, at the suggestion of PLUS’s newly formed Diversity & Inclusion Committee, we extended an invitation to UNLV’s Multicultural Program for Engineering to send some of their students to the luncheon, which they eagerly accepted.  I was fortunate enough to be sitting next to some of the UNLV students during Dr. Tyson’s presentation, and I had as much fun watching the students watch Dr. Tyson as I did watching the presentation itself.  They were absolutely hanging on every word, relishing all the little “science-y” inside jokes.  To me, this was just another shining example of all the amazing things that PLUS can do, not only within our own industry but for the community at large.

Our D&I Committee continues to look for new ways to bring diversity and inclusion to the forefront of everything PLUS does.  If you have thoughts or ideas or would like to get involved, please don’t hesitate to contact me or the PLUS staff.

Leib Dodell is a member of the PLUS Board of Trustees and co-chair of the Diversity & Inclusion Committee.