Part of the IFoA’s commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) focuses on entry to the profession and the belief that it should be open to everyone. We have made big strides here in the past 30 years but there is still much to do in areas such as socio-economic diversity, and we are only just starting to grapple with areas such as neurodiversity. For these reasons, it is essential that we focus on promoting the profession in schools and universities to ensure we are attracting the top talent from as large a pool as possible.
Since 2020, the IFoA has granted seven new accreditations to universities in China, Malaysia and Sri Lanka, adding to agreements we already had with other universities around the world. In addition, we are targeting not only accredited courses but also wider maths courses in universities that have high proportions of students from key demographics, particularly low socio-economic backgrounds. I’ve spent time visiting some of these universities and the story we have to tell these graduates is highly compelling.
The IFoA is also broadening its school outreach work, with a strong emphasis on reaching backgrounds that are currently underrepresented in the profession. This includes looking at the access students have to learning about what an actuarial career entails. The Count Me In event introduces students and careers advisers to actuarial careers and provides access to employers (bit.ly/PS_news_CountMeIn). As someone who first became aware of the profession at a school careers day in the mid-1980s, I feel particularly passionate about this!
The link between all this and my ongoing wellbeing theme is not hard to see: I consider having a strong DEI culture as essential for wellbeing within professions, as well as our workplaces. That’s why the IFoA is putting so much effort into making the actuarial profession one that is open to everyone.
Matt Saker is the president of the Institute and Faculty of Actuaries