Magazine article Risk Management

Diversity in Risk Management Education: For Employers Trying to Create a More Diverse Workforce, Focusing Recruitment Efforts on Schools That Get High Marks for Their Diversity May Be the Best Strategy

Magazine article Risk Management

Diversity in Risk Management Education: For Employers Trying to Create a More Diverse Workforce, Focusing Recruitment Efforts on Schools That Get High Marks for Their Diversity May Be the Best Strategy

Article excerpt

Companies involved in risk management and insurance have sought to increase the diversity of their workforce for a number of years. Yet sustained progress in promoting ethnic diversity through management training programs has been elusive. Using Equal Employment Opportunity Commission data, the U.S. Government Accountability Office provided testimony to Congress on the overall trends in management-level diversity and diversity initiatives from 1993 to 2008 across the financial services industry, including insurance. They found that diversity in senior positions remains limited. Hispanics, for example, only held 3% of senior management positions--well below their overall percentage (16.9%) of the U.S. population.

One source rich in diverse candidates, however, at least for entry-level positions, are some of the universities offering collegiate programs in risk management and insurance (RMI). By using objective measures to identify those RMI programs with the greatest commitment to and success in providing opportunities for a diverse student body, companies looking to fill intern or career positions might find a more efficient way to reach their long-term diversity goals.

In the first part of this analysis, we consulted the directories of university RMI programs available from the American Risk and Insurance Association, International Risk Management Institute, and the Western Risk and Insurance Association to compile a list of schools. This list was winnowed down to the schools that were included on at least one of three measures of diversity: Higher Education Excellence in Diversity (HEED) Award recipients, the Winds of Change list of the top zoo colleges for Native Americans, and the Department of Education's list of Hispanic-serving institutions (HSI).

The HEED Award, sponsored by INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine, is open to all colleges and universities throughout the United States. Educational institutions are measured on their level of achievement and intensity of commitment to expanding diversity and inclusion on campus through various initiatives, outreach and programs. Student recruitment, retention and completion, and hiring practices for faculty and staff are also considered. Representatives of Potomac Publishing, Inc., publisher of INSIGHT Into Diversity, evaluate applications with assistance from RPA Inc., an executive recruitment firm specializing in higher education.

Published quarterly by the American Indian Science and Engineering Society, Winds of Change is a nationally distributed magazine that focuses on career and educational advancement for Native Americans, with an emphasis on science, technology, engineering and mathematics. Every year, Winds of Change releases a special top zoo college issue that has become a crucial resource for students and college recruiters. Two primary parameters used by Winds of Change editors to select the schools are community and retention. They mainly focus on schools with either more than 40 Native American undergraduates or 2% of the student body, and those that award more than five or six baccalaureate degrees annually. Information was compiled from the U.S. Department of Education and from Petersen's Guides Inc. Data gathered include percentages of Native American students and graduates, as well as specific academic, financial and support programs for Native Americans.

Hispanic-serving institutions are designated as part of a federal program designed to support colleges or universities in the United States assisting first-generation, mostly low-income Hispanic students. Institutions defined as HSIs by the Department of Education receive grants that are used for faculty development, curriculum development, renovation of instructional facilities, joint use of facilities, academic tutoring, counseling programs and student support services.

HSIs are particularly important because Hispanics represent the fastest-growing segment of the U. …

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