It also instigated the Brighton Diversity and Inclusion Forum to raise awareness in the local business community, inviting local employers to a launch event hosted by members of MetLife’s diversity and inclusion committee before lockdown.
In 2019, it had a float in the Brighton Pride event for the second year running, signed up to the Women in Finance Charter, revamped its recruitment advertising to contain a clear diversity and inclusion statement, and started working on ways to support staff across the generational divide, from the very youngest with their specific needs, through to the oldest.
Also in 2019, MetLife engaged Genius Within, a local community interest company that specialises in neurodiversity inclusion services including coaching, training, and assessments.
This helped the company understand the mental health and other neurodiversity needs within its own workforce, which meant it could put in place working adjustments for staff. This has helped individuals thrive in their careers.
At a time when financial services companies have acknowledged there is far more we can do as an industry to improve the mental health and wellbeing of staff, efforts such as this need to be applauded and encouraged.
Thus on a national, regional and local level, the judges felt that MetLife had made significant strides over the past 12 months to improve its diversity and inclusion. This has been evidenced in its local community, among its staff and will reflect in its customer service.
Since the mass protests around the world sparked by the killing of George Floyd in the US, many companies have been thinking more deeply about how their own policies and workplaces need to be changed. The Financial Conduct Authority has already declared it will be looking into diversity and inclusion as part of its supervisory work concerning a company’s culture.
Those companies that shape up and make their workplaces an inclusive and encouraging environment, and who make their products and services meet the needs of all customers from all walks of life, will be on the right side of future regulation.
Once again, well done to all entrants and to MetLife for its 2020 award.