How Lloyd’s is responding to the current crisis and staying connected
The Brokerage and Lloyd’s have worked in partnership for nearly twenty years to provide young Londoners with the chance to explore London’s insurance sector through Lloyd’s Community Programme. As part of the programme, Lloyd’s Responsible Business department work with insurance firms across the market who host workshops and masterclasses, mentor students and offer paid internship opportunities to young people. These programmes not only provide invaluable opportunities to young people, but are also extremely beneficial to the insurance firms themselves. Companies are able to provide their employees with meaningful, skills-based volunteering opportunities whilst also gaining access to a talent pool of diverse young people.
Here, Jo Taylor, Responsible Business Manager discusses how Lloyd’s is reacting to the coronavirus crisis and maintaining a focus on social mobility.
How are you and Lloyd’s working differently in light of the changes due to coronavirus?
Lloyd’s underwriting room in London is closed for the time being but the market remains open; Lloyd’s staff globally are working from home until further notice in light of the coronavirus. This means more agile, flexible working across the Corporation of Lloyd’s, more virtual meetings and different ways of working to ensure everyone stays connected, engaged and able to do their job properly. Teams are being kept updated virtually and those with children and caring responsibilities and those in isolation are being supported as we can. The Responsible Business team is changing its approach to address the immediate needs of the communities we work with; to encourage the Lloyd’s market to support local food banks, give blood locally, volunteer virtually and help those most in need.
How has Lloyd’s dealt with previous global crises?
Responding to global crises is at the heart of what Lloyd’s and the market does – existing to pay out claims, helping those in times of need and when disasters strike. However, the coronavirus pandemic has such a significant global reach that it will make the sector think about how it operates and how it can best respond. The Corporation of Lloyd’s has an active business continuity team that have prepared for scenarios like this and who are driving Lloyd’s response and strategy for navigating through this difficult time. Their preparation means that we have been able to respond and adapt to the ever-changing situation quickly.
How is Lloyd’s maintaining a focus on social mobility?
Lloyd’s is continuing to hire for the business, but we have quickly adapted our recruitment processes. For example, the apprenticeship, internship and graduate programmes at Lloyd’s have all moved to a completely virtual assessment centre, with online interviews, tasks and group activities. Lloyd’s Community Programme (our market wide volunteering initiative aiming to help young people achieve their potential) is still in operation, with a range of mentoring opportunities, work placements and workshops – but their format will become more virtual to reach volunteers and young people.
Why is social mobility important to you and Lloyd’s?
Social mobility should be important to every company for so many reasons. Giving access to opportunities in our sector to people from diverse backgrounds means that we widen our talent pool, and it provides us with access to untapped talent which we might otherwise lose to other companies or sectors. We know that having socio-economically diverse teams increases performance, brings new ideas and voices to the table, and gives greater customer insight, as well as attracting a wider client base. On a personal level, equality of access to opportunities is something I care about, as your background should not determine your future.
What advice would you give to young people who are interested in a career in insurance?
Anyone who works in the Lloyd’s market will tell you that they didn’t know much about the sector until they started working here, and everyone who works in the market is so passionate about insurance! So, a key piece of advice would be to ask questions and be curious. Don’t be afraid to say that you don’t understand something (the Lloyd’s market is complex), people will always want to share their knowledge with you. Be inquisitive, ask The Brokerage to introduce you to candidates who work in the sector now, set up a LinkedIn profile and follow the companies you are interested in working for, to learn more about their business and understand what it means to work there.