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In the build up to the Digital Claims taking place on 19th March 2019 I spoke Sam White, CEO at Pukka Insurance about digitisation, culture change, and diversity.
I think that like many sectors within the financial services industry, there’s a lot of good people who recognise the need for change and who are trying hard to make the changes necessary for a much more meritocratic working environment. But I think we can all acknowledge that it’s very difficult to change a culture when it’s so inherently embedded. Being aware of the challenges and the serious need for change is a great start but we need a little more action too.
In my mind this is probably the single biggest potential driver of change. But only if executed correctly. By using advanced digital techniques to truly understand the nuances of personalised experiences we should change the focus of how we build products and engage with a variety of different types of customers. The combination of talented humans and correctly implemented state-of-the-art digital tech is crucial to success for me.
I don’t think generally there’s been a massive shift in the approach insurers are using to drive diversity and inclusion - the importance is the momentum we have noticed. I’ve seen some really progressive stuff from people at Covea, and in our own way at Pukka we are trying to approach D&I in a less regimented style. In my experience people will naturally deviate to structures that they are used to and comfortable with so fundamentally I believe that we need to rewrite the rule book on this and that will be the hardest challenge of all.
For me recognisable brands are simply authentic ones, and at Pukka we try to be the values that we have chosen to represent: ethical, transparent, progressive. I think it starts at the inception of your business and then you need to stay true to who you are - you can adapt and evolve your approach without compromising your ethos. Communication plays a vital role too, sticking to clear and consistent messaging is definitely crucial for me. Also being accessible and having an opinion is important. Finally, we also like to foster a fun and open approach in the offices, such a cliche but playing hard and facilitating a health work life balance is very important to your brand identity.
They should be doing a lot that they are doing already and a whole lot more on top. I’m over simplifying here but start by hiring more people based on merit and not bias or experience. Start to champion more female role models across the sector and create environments that work for everyone e.g. tailored more towards working parents.
Sam will be covering these and other issues during her panel discussion session at Digital Claims in March.