We were proud to launch our Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) Strategy (bit.ly/IFoA_DEI) in January. The IFoA and its members have long had a deep, abiding belief in DEI, rooted in our commitment to act in the public interest and for the good of society and to stay true to our purpose to ‘champion and embody the benefits of a globally diverse and inclusive profession’.
Putting DEI at the heart of our organisation isn’t just the moral thing to do – employers also gain from a greater array of talent and a broader perspective on the challenges that their organisations face. And, of course, individuals gain through being able to fulfil their potential; this benefits our profession as we are able to attract and retain talented people from all backgrounds.
During the past year, we have spent time developing our DEI strategy with members and employees who are passionate about seeing improvements and better outcomes for our members, volunteers and employees, and for society at large. Our strategy has three clear principles and commitments:
- We will set ourselves and our members bold and high standards in terms of how we will act as a professional membership body and employer.
- Where we can influence others, we will encourage them to set bold and high standards, and take immediate action if they see anything that undermines them.
- Where we have a voice, we will make that voice heard, actively seeking to collaborate with others and use our influence to achieve a multiplier effect.
For our strategy to be as effective as possible we know that we need to embed it across all aspects of the IFoA. That’s why it cuts across all of our work. As you can read in the strategy, we have ambitious and far-reaching plans for DEI, from how we embed it into entry to the profession, to ensuring that our leadership and culture embraces it.
We hope that you will come with us on this journey. As we also celebrate International Women’s Day this month, former president Marjorie Ngwenya’s words seem particularly apposite: “DEI initiatives may sound like the responsibility of an organisation; however, in order for them to be effective, they require buy-in. Each of us carries a responsibility to create a diverse, equitable and inclusive environment – in our workplaces or elsewhere.”
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