Hiscox's journey toward a more equitable workplace
To inspire others to take action against social and racial injustice, we are sharing our journey as we try to make Hiscox a more inclusive place for people of all backgrounds and push for sustainable change.
There is a lot of work to be done by businesses and organizations like ours, which is why we’ll be continuing to update this list as we develop more initiatives around creating an equitable workplace.
This is our way of helping to ensure that words lead to action and action leads to change.
Hiscox created a new, double matching program whereby employees can donate to a registered 501(c)(3) charitable non-profit and the business will match their donation. In light of recent events, Hiscox has amended the matching program so that the match amount is a minimum of $100, regardless of the size of the employee’s donation. Employees donated to many local Black-owned businesses, including ZenSkin Co., Brown’s BBQ and Soul Food, and Make My Resume Pop.
Mental health resources
The current pandemic and societal unrest can negatively impact mental health. To help, Hiscox offers an Employee Assistance Program (EAP) to assist employees with personal concerns, such as emotional well-being, family and relationship issues, and legal and financial advice. Hiscox employees and their immediate household members can speak with a professional 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
In addition, Hiscox provided virtual mental health awareness training to all employees and managers in June and will be continuing sessions in the future as well.
Supporting Black authors
The Hiscox US Training team created a reading list of Black authors and titles that address the history of racism and stories about the Black experience. Employees were reimbursed if they made a purchase from this list.
Titles included How to Be an Antiracist by Ibram X. Kendi, The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison, and The New Jim Crow by Michelle Alexander.
The Hiscox Pan-African Network (PAEN) supports Black employees and allies in their professional development and advancement at Hiscox. The Network aims to educate and raise cultural awareness amongst employees to facilitate a diverse and inclusive work environment. They also support local community organizations to foster education, equality, and justice where members live through activism and volunteerism.
Recently, PAEN hosted a virtual discussion called “Juneteenth: Where Do We Go From Here?” in honor of the Juneenth holiday. The purpose of the session was to offer a safe space for healthy, needed dialogue regarding recent events, allowing attendees to speak openly about their experiences, learn from others, and ask questions in order to become better allies in the fight for sustainable change. We were joined by speakers Dr. Leroy Nunery II and Dr. Isaiah Pickens.
Hiscox Foundation USA
In collaboration with PAEN, the Hiscox Foundation USA identified organizations that the foundation can offer financial support to help in the fight for racial and social equality. Hiscox donated $100,000 each to the Equal Justice Initiative and the National CARES Mentoring Program.
But we’re not stopping there. Discussions with the Foundation Board continue on how Hiscox can continue to support these types of organizations beyond 2020.
Manager communication training
Hiscox held a Leadership Exploration and Development (L.E.A.D) Forum for managers in June. The session, titled “Communicating with Impact,” included guidance and Q&A for managers to openly discuss ways we can remove the stigma around conversations about race and equality and turn the conversations with employees into meaningful, supportive dialogue.
New advertising initiatives
Historically, brands like Hiscox have reframed societal norms and tolerances based on where they do and don’t spend their advertising dollars. From Hiscox’s standpoint, we want to ensure that we are contributing to society in a way that upholds social and racial justice. Brands need to hold themselves to a higher level of accountability when it comes to making sure they are not perpetuating stereotypes, which is why we signed onto new advertising principals.
The Association of National Advertisers (ANA) Board landed on an agreement that the advertising community must take a stand against racism and for equality. Russ Findlay, Global Chief Marketing Officer, signed this on behalf of Hiscox. Here are some key highlights from what Hiscox has pledged to uphold when it comes to advertising initiatives.
- Achieve representation that reflects our country’s demographics throughout the industry. This means equal representation at every level, equal access, and equal voice.
- We will accelerate the use of AIMM’s #SeeALL campaign to eliminate bias through the accurate portrayal of race, identity, and culture in advertising and media programs.
- We will increase our spending in multicultural marketing so that the investment is commensurate with the representation of the multicultural people we serve.
- We will achieve an equal and equitable creative supply chain through proportionate investment in agencies, broadcasters, suppliers, and producers that are owned or run by Black, Hispanic, Asian, LGBTQ+, and people with disabilities.
- We will double down on cross-industry partnerships to enable a higher degree of engagement with and understanding of diverse communities.
We’ll continue to update this list with new projects to make sure we’re adding value to the conversation and encouraging others to do the same. Our ears are always open to hear from our employees, customers, and business partners on how we can do more and be better.