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2020 US Insurance Awards: Liberty Mutual Insurance Co., Diversity & Inclusion Initiative of the Year

Debra Lacy

Sometimes the best way to improve communication and understanding is to see on a big screen what works and what doesn’t.

Such is the thinking behind Liberty Mutual Insurance Co.’s “Inclusion in Action” video series, which aims to raise inclusion awareness through short skits that portray real-life scenarios, according to Debra Lacy, Houston-based assistant director, diversity and inclusion for Liberty Mutual.  

 Viewed by more than 35,000 Liberty Mutual employees since the 2018 launch, and now part of new employee onboarding, the nine videos address principles at the core of Liberty Mutual’s diversity and inclusion program. These include: be trustworthy; try on other peoples’ viewpoints; practice self-focus; it’s OK to disagree; and it’s not OK to blame, shame or attack yourself or others. 

The “Inclusion in Action” program won the Business Insurance 2020 U.S. Insurance Award for Diversity and inclusion Initiative of the Year.

While other diversity and inclusion video series are widely available, Liberty Mutual “wanted to have something that was specific to our guidelines for inclusion,” Ms. Lacy said. 

The insurer worked with an outside firm to determine several principles to focus on and then created its own series of six- to nine-minute videos, which it is now offering to other companies at tiered pricing.  

In one example — in addressing the principle of “be trustworthy” — an employee shares with a colleague that he is engaged to marry his boyfriend. The colleague then tells an entire office, which the man later says violated trust, as he would have liked to share his news. 

The “Inclusion in Action” program includes follow-up activities, such as topics for discussion. 

The series “really does create conversations and communication that can break down walls,” Ms. Lacy said. “When you look at where we are today in America it is that much more important for people to step up and give their perspective and step back when it’s appropriate ... to see things from (another’s) point of view. It’s important to be able to disagree but not blame or shame people.” 

“People relate to the videos,” she said. 


• American International Group Inc. — AIG’s Accelerated Leadership Development Program offers a six-month efficacy training program for mid-level high potential and high performing talent from underrepresented groups, including employees from ethnic minority groups. 

• Hub International Ltd. — The Hub Women’s Network offers tools, resources and educational programming to foster the professional development of women in the organization and the industry.

• Selective Insurance Group — Selective’s diversity and inclusion focus includes the Women’s Agency Leadership and Women at Work initiatives, which include conferences to provide opportunities for female agents to network, share ideas and participate in high-impact training sessions. 

• The Jenkins Agency Inc. — The minority-owned company recently launched a scholarship program for Black college students studying risk management and insurance or showing an interest in the industry, providing financial support for travel to risk management and insurance conferences and/or study abroad.


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