This month marks the turn of our sessional year, with the AGM, our change of president and new Council appointments. It’s a time for looking back and looking forward, as well as an important checkpoint, demonstrating our accountability to our members.
Those of us involved with the IFoA are simply its custodians, and aim to support a thriving, influential, rewarding profession. We are mindful that this career can be for everyone. As a small profession, we are also in competition with other sectors to ensure we attract talented people, whoever they are and wherever they come from.
We are committed to improving DEI in our community. This challenge is not unique to our profession, and if not addressed, could be a major disadvantage for key sectors and employers in the ‘war for talent’. At the beginning of 2021 I was asked to join a UK government-commissioned taskforce led by the City of London Corporation (bit.ly/CoL_diversity). This aims to improve socio-economic diversity at senior levels in UK ﬁnancial and professional services. UK financial services and professions can feel exclusive – if one of your parents is a lawyer, you are 17 times more likely to follow them than someone who is not in that position. For many, these professions can feel like a different language or country, and their careers progress more slowly than the careers of those who feel more comfortable.
Recently, the taskforce invited UK-based IFoA members to take part in a short survey, and more than 1,000 of you did so, accounting for 23% of responses. The results will be used to help develop a sector-wide baseline to track progress and support action, and we will follow through with our key employer relationships to complement their own initiatives or help them put this issue higher up their company’s agenda. The high response rate from our community was encouraging.
Finally, I would like to thank Louise for her leadership and support during the past couple of years. She was part of my selection panel when I was interviewed to be CEO and was one of the reasons I was keen to join. Her support and counsel has been invaluable.
Stephen Mann is the chief executive of the Institute and Faculty of Actuaries