The insurance industry’s D&I festival kicks off today with mental health, gender equality and racial inclusion high on the agenda 

Cricketing legend Sir Andrew Strauss will launch discussions around mental health for Dive In 2021, as research reveals it should be top of the agenda for the global insurance industry next year.

Asked on what topics should be tackled as a priority in the global insurance sector, 11,000 attendees identified mental health (67 per cent), gender equality (45 per cent) and racial inclusion (42 per cent). 

Dive In is the insurance industry’s biggest diversity and inclusion (D&I) festival, which kicks off today and runs until the 23 September. 

Jason Groves, chair of Dive In and global director of media relations at Marsh, said: “Following an extremely challenging 18 months, it is unsurprising that mental health has been pushed firmly up the agenda across all regions of the world.”

”The results of the survey represent a rallying call for organisations to put in place measures to support colleagues from all backgrounds and circumstances, especially as they begin returning to the office.”

“With over 145 events covering almost every aspect of diversity and inclusion, and 15 alone on mental health, we will have a range of assets and practical tips to help individuals and organisations to do just this.”

Speakers for this year’s festival include former prime minister of Denmark, Helle Thorning-Schmidt, who will discuss her experience of active allyship throughout her career.

In the UK, multi-award-winning director, writer, actor and transgender activist Jake Graf will talk about LGBT+ parenting and presenter, actress and disability activist Samantha Renke will discuss how to become more disability confident.

In Jordan, Palestinian film director Najwa Najjar will discuss her journey in becoming a successful director in a male-dominated industry.

Dominic Christian, chair of Inclusion@Lloyd’s and global chairman of reinsurance solutions at Aon UK, adds: “Dive In has grown far beyond its roots to become a global diversity and inclusion movement. 

”Now in its seventh year, it’s incredible to see that the festival is still gaining new audiences across the world, facilitated by the hybrid festival format. We are delighted to welcome a string of high-profile speakers who will help us deliver our message and drive this year’s theme of active allyship.”