QBE supports neurodivergent employees in insurance industry

QBE supports neurodivergent employees in insurance industry

 October 26, 2023

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QBE European Operations knows that diversity and inclusion drive progress and innovation across the insurance industry. As part of this focus for QBE, the company collaborates with GAIN (Group for Autism, Insurance, Investment & Neurodiversity), an industry body whose mission is to generate industry-wide improvements in the employment prospects and working experiences of neurodiverse people within the insurance industry, investment, and further areas of financial services. 

GAIN is driving change in the financial services industry’s approach to inclusion, and QBE partners with GAIN as an industry transformer.

"Diversity and inclusion have been professional buzzwords for the last decade, and it’s true that in recent years the financial services industry – and insurance in particular – has experienced a broadly positive shift. But while mid-term progressive trends demonstrate the insurance industry’s growing commitment to the need and benefits of fostering a diverse environment, the upward trend is not always consistent," comments QBE People Director for Inclusion & Wellbeing, Nikki Lees.

Based on QBE's knowledge that greater D&I will elevate innovation, decision-making, risk management and personal wellbeing, QBE’s approach looks at experiences and outcomes across the full range of diversity characteristics including sex, race/ethnicity, LGBTIQ+ identification, disability, and neurodiversity.

"For us, it’s not just about being represented or counted, but about a sense of belonging. This works not only as a building block of inclusion but also because people who feel they belong are more likely to thrive at work, move into an innovative mindset, and stay with us at QBE," explains Nikki. "This year we launched a refreshed set of inclusion targets, that focus on achieving and maintaining an equal sense of belonging across all these diversity characteristics, measured annually using QBE survey data. This focuses on gender, race/ethnicity, sexual orientation and disability (including neurodiversity), with a target to achieve less than 5% variance in our employee survey results when asking the question 'Do you feel a sense of belonging at QBE?'."

QBE joins GAIN’s Design Thinking Workshops to collaborate with external organisations and identify key challenges in the workplace regarding neurodivergence, to create effective long-lasting solutions that QBE can take back to its organisation. "Working together means we can further build on QBE’s culture around neurodiversity to identify areas where we can implement more accessible and inclusive processes," says Nikki.

“Experience tells us that the insurance, investment, and related financial services industry can benefit greatly from the skills that neurodiverse individuals often excel in,” says a spokesperson from GAIN. “Skills such as a methodical approach to tasks, a strong attention to detail [and] alternative creative thinking, as well as looking at situations from a different perspective.”

Building an inclusive culture

QBE shares GAIN’s mission to champion neurodiversity in the insurance industry and bring the same focus to representation as other diversity characteristics.

"Neurodiversity is an important part of a fully inclusive organisation, and QBE's partnership with GAIN is improving the support it has available for neurodiverse employees," explains Nikki. "Alongside practical alternatives offered to enable all employees to work and live to their full potential (from flexible and/or hybrid working, to the provision of quiet spaces and specialist equipment) we’ve also completed the GAIN benchmarking exercise, built out our Neurodivergence Action Plan, provided neurodiversity and inclusion resources in dedicated employee sessions, and continue to foster a culture of acceptance and respect for all employees. As part of our Neurodivergence Action Plan we aim to actively encourage more conversations around neurodivergence, while equipping leaders and managers with the confidence to support neurodiverse employees. Additionally, we will place extra focus building resources on the reasonable adjustments and how to access them, and further address cultural perceptions in the workplace about neurodiversity and the working environment."

QBE is an inclusive employer 

QBE values neurodiversity in the workplace. 

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