New data from the California Department of Insurance suggests some progress in the department’s push for California’s $409 billion insurance industry to partner more with the diverse small businesses.

The latest results from the California Insurance Diversity Survey for 2021 show insurance companies spent $3.1 billion with California diverse businesses or suppliers.

That is more than double the amount reported in 2020, when data showed insurance company spending on diverse suppliers was $1.5 billion.

California Insurance Commissioner Ricardo Lara, who was decisively reelected to his post last week, said the increase still constitutes a small percentage of insurance companies’ total reported spending.

“The latest data shows progress is being made, but it also sheds light on opportunities for insurance companies to deliver even more on their public commitments to advancing diversity, equity, and inclusion,” Lara stated. “The evolving pandemic coupled with an economic forecast shrouded in uncertainty continues to underscore a critical need for the insurance industry to continue investing in diverse businesses and having corporate leadership that reflects the people who live and work in the most diverse state in the nation. These elements are the cornerstones to accelerating our state’s economic recovery.”

Survey results also showed that diversity within the boardrooms of insurance companies improved slightly. Among the insurance companies that reported to the CDI, women still account for less than a quarter of insurance company boards. In 2020 and 2021, women’s representation in insurance boardrooms showed some improvement, with 22.8% and 23.8%, respectively. And yet, 17% of insurance company boards across both years still reported zero gender diversity, according to the CDI.

At this rate, preliminary CDI analysis estimates it will take up to 50 years to reach gender parity within the boardrooms of insurance companies. Ethnic diversity among insurance boards showed some modest gains among respondents as compared to prior years, 33% in 2020 and 31.3% in 2021.

Representation among board directors who identified as LGBTQ+ experienced only a fractional percentage gain from 0.6% (2020) to 0.7% (2021), the data shows.

Topics
California
Market

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