Black Lloyd’s of London staff distrust leaders

Business

Fewer than half Black Lloyd’s of London staff believe senior leaders in the insurance market create opportunities for everyone and only two-thirds think they mean what they say, the market’s second annual culture survey showed on Monday.

Seventy-four percent of overall respondents felt senior leaders created opportunities for all, according to the survey conducted in response to criticism in recent years of lack of diversity at Lloyd’s, which employs nearly 50,000 people in underwriting and broking firms.

The number seeing equal opportunities offered by top management dropped to 63-64% for Asian and mixed ethnic groups, and 46% for employees who identified as Black or Black British.

Sixty-nine percent of Black/Black British employees felt senior leaders mean what they say, compared to 82% of all survey respondents.

Lloyd’s said in a statement that improving the experience of Black and minority ethnic staff was a “top priority”. It will set ethnicity targets in the second quarter of 2021.

Lloyd’s, which last year apologised for the 330-year old market’s “shameful” role in the 18th and 19th century Atlantic slave trade, is also seeking an archivist whose tasks will include researching artifacts related to the African and Caribbean history of slavery and abolition, according to an advertisement on the company’s website.

Women’s perceptions of the culture at Lloyd’s has improved more markedly than men’s, though they remain less positive than men overall, the survey showed. Lloyd’s has set a short-term target of 35% of leadership positions to be held by women by Dec 31, 2023.

In a market with a reputation for heavy drinking, only 13% of survey respondents had seen excessive alcohol consumption in the past 12 months, compared with 24% in the previous survey. The Lloyd’s underwriting floor was shut for several months last year due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The survey was conducted between Sept. 29 and Nov. 1 2020 and received 6,171 responses.