California Insurance Commissioner encourages greater diversity for insurance company governing boards

(Sacramento, CA – Insurance News 360) – In September, California Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones sent letters to more than 50 California-licensed insurance company chief executives, asking them to increase the diversity of their governing boards. The letter also asked that each company give insight into a diversity policy for their company, or to develop strategy or action plan to enhance that diversity within a specified time frame. The companies that received the request letter were selected due to a lack of female or minority governing board members.

Since 2011, when Jones created the Insurance Diversity Initiative, his efforts have included encouraging insurance companies to seek executives and board members who reflect the changing demographics and diversity within California and the rest of the country. Three years later, he issued a first-in-the-nation survey, the Governing Board Diversity (GBD) Survey.

“Board diversity helps improve corporate accountability and enhance financial performance,” said Commissioner Dave Jones. “I am committed to supporting efforts that expand opportunities for diverse representation on corporate boards. Independent studies continue to demonstrate that enhanced board diversity results in better corporate performance, as well as increased economic opportunities for diverse business communities.”

In March 2018, Commissioner Jones convened the first GBD Summit bringing together insurer CEOs and board members to share challenges and best practices for advancing governing board diversity within the insurance industry. The GBD Summit included presentation of the findings from McKinsey & Company’s latest study, Delivering through Diversity, which underscore the statistically significant link between profitability and diversity on corporate boards. For example, companies in the top quartile for gender diversity were 21 percent more likely to outperform on profitability and companies in the top quartile for ethnic diversity were 33 percent more likely to have industry-leading profitability.

Source: California Department of Insurance.

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