Pursuing Better Together with Mark Lomas
As the Dive In festival nears, we speak with Mark Lomas, who oversees market-wide efforts to improve diversity and inclusion at Lloyd’s.
Positive change is happening in terms of diversity, equity and inclusion across the Lloyd’s market — it just needs to accelerate, says Mark Lomas.
In his role as Head of Culture at Lloyd’s of London, Mark is responsible for diversity, equity and inclusion (DE&I), employee engagement and wellbeing; and ensuring compliance with principle 13 of Lloyd’s Oversight Framework, which focuses on the elements needed to create an inclusive, diverse, high-performance culture.
Mark has been with Lloyd’s since January 2022, after a career of more than 15 years of delivering on DE&I projects for organisations including HS2, the BBC and the Law Society.
As he explains during the discussion, a high value must be placed on data to identify what needs to be fixed and to monitor progress in building a more inclusive workforce.
“If you don’t have data, at best, you’re working off observation — at worst, you’re working off anecdote, or personal experience,” Mark says. “Data is hugely important as it allows you to target effort where it’s needed most.
“At a granular level, it can help you understand how you change your approach to be more effective. An evidence-led approach is incredibly important as it enables much faster progress.”
What the data is telling him now is that market participants are moving gradually in the right direction. Women occupy 32% of leadership roles, according to the latest survey of the market’s 48,000-strong workforce. Ethnic minority representation at all levels is increasing, with the rate of improvement in these areas having increased to about 2% or more annually.
Culture surveys have also shown the Lloyd’s market becoming more inclusive of the LGBTQ+ population. However, some areas, such as disabilities, need more attention, Mark says.
Close to 40% of firms conduct outreach to schools or universities, reflecting efforts to expand the talent pool. “We can see that recruitment, talent and succession practices are improving, maybe too slowly for my liking,” he says. “Momentum is building. It’s about picking up that pace of change.”
Dive In, the annual three-day festival to engage the insurance industry on DE&I, takes place on 26 to 28 September. Launched by Lloyd’s in 2015, it has grown into an international event that involves about 35,000 participants from nearly 40 countries. Mark describes Dive In as “the Glastonbury for D&I” and argues that its impact must go beyond raising awareness.
“We don’t want Dive In to just be three days during the year, where we have a brilliant conversation and then we go back to our day jobs,” Mark says. “We want Dive In to become the talent brand for the Lloyd’s market. We’re looking to evolve, so it stays extremely relevant for the next 10 years.”
Among the efforts to create lasting impact, Dive In will launch six months of reverse mentoring sessions, connecting talent with leaders from across the Lloyd’s market, after the festival concludes.
The theme of this year’s festival is “Unlocking innovation: the power of inclusion”. Mark believes that many employers are embracing DE&I as a business benefit, particularly in terms of access to talent and the ability to develop relevant products.
“When you don’t have enough skills coming into a particular market, the cost of those skills increases,” Mark says. “It’s about the sustainability of the Lloyd’s market. And as we move to a world, which is far more digital and complex, and risks are more interrelated globally, we need talent that reflects that, because that’s how product innovation happens.”
Lloyd’s’ collaborative approach to DE&I for the greater good exemplifies pursuing better together, Mark says.
“A variety of companies understand that this is a ‘we win’ area,” Mark says. “As a market, we do better if we’re working together, pursuing some of these aims in a collaborative way. It means that progress happens faster. And because of that progress, we all benefit.”
About Arch Insurance International Podcasts
During our Pursuing Better Together series, we’ll hear from luminaries both inside and outside of the insurance industry about how they have “pursued better” within their chosen professions.