It’s not just the work that our people do that’s important – what they contribute to our culture is just as valuable. To celebrate and promote diversity and inclusion across the business, we launched our LV= Equals network earlier this year.
LV= Equals was formed in February 2017 and is a multicultural diversity and inclusion network focused on respecting, valuing and celebrating people’s individualities and promoting equal opportunities and prospects for everyone. It currently has 276 members and attracts new members every week. Rodney Assock, Operations Director, GI Direct, joined the LV= Equals steering committee in March and meets monthly to progress initiatives that support the overall aims of the network. He helped organise the multi-cultural celebration day in May and is looking forward to building and promoting more events and activities to build on this in the future.
“Diversity and inclusion is quite simply about embracing the fact that everyone is different in their own way and that everyone should respect this, regardless of their own personal beliefs or preferences,” says Rodney. “LV= has always been great at doing culture and that’s important to me. LV= Equals means I can play my part in how we do things around here, which is immensely rewarding.”
Embrace and appreciate
Rodney joined the network because he was keen to be part of something where people can turn to in order to learn about and contribute to being part of a multi-cultural organisation whatever their colour, creed or geographical roots are.
“It’s important for companies like ours to focus on diversity and inclusion. We provide insurance to people from all walks of life so we should embrace and appreciate that our own people are different too. Our culture has been a driving force behind our success over the years. Developing our culture further to have a genuine drive for diversity and inclusion can only make us stronger still.”
In May, the network held their first event – a multicultural day - to raise awareness and recognise the many different cultures across LV=. Rodney explains that the company invited people to dress to celebrate their culture and ran competitions for the best dressed across all sites. People also brought in food typically eaten in their culture for others to sample and prize quizzes were held to see how much people knew about different religions and cultures.
“We also shared facts and figures about our own LV= demographics and compared them to the local and national averages, asking people to give us feedback and to share ideas and suggestions to improve things,” says Rodney.
Inspiring and educating
Some of the ideas the network have come up with so far and are taking forward include more training and awareness around unconscious bias, reviewing recruitment processes and approaches and sharing profile stories about individuals. Rodney also explains that the network hopes to get various internal and external speakers in to inspire, educate and inform with their own personal experiences.