Covéa Insurance signs Race at Work Charter and steps up efforts to tackle workplace equality

29th October 2020

Covéa Insurance is delighted to announce it has signed the Race at Work Charter with chief executive, James Reader, becoming the firm’s Executive Sponsor for Race.

The Race at Work Charter aims to tackle barriers to recruitment and progression that ethnic minority employees face. Developed in partnership with Business in the Community (BITC)*, the Charter sets out 5 key principles and actions for signatories. These are: appointing an Executive Sponsor for race; capturing data and publicising progress; ensuring zero tolerance of harassment and bullying; making equality in the workplace the responsibility of all leaders and managers; and, finally, taking action that supports ethnic minority career progression.

Speaking about the Charter, James Reader, Covéa Insurance CEO says “Signing the Race at Work Charter is an important step for Covéa Insurance. It’s a clear demonstration of our commitment to take the steps necessary to ensure that everyone in our organisation, no matter their race or ethnicity, is treated with respect and has equality of opportunity. Creating a truly inclusive culture will be critical to our future success and there is absolutely no place in Covéa for racism or discrimination in any form. As the company’s Executive Sponsor for Race, I will ensure that we do what it takes to deliver real and lasting change.”

In addition to becoming a signatory to the Race at Work Charter, the company this week launched its own internal networking group with the objective to increase support for its BAME employees, ‘Inspiring Colour at Covéa’. The launch was announced at a company-wide live virtual event celebrating Black History Month, where James Reader explained why he believed stronger action on tackling racism in the workplace was needed and took questions from employees.

Covéa Insurance Head of HR & Reward and Inspiring Colour at Covéa lead, Karyn Strickland, comments:

“We’ve had to really rethink this issue. Although diversity and inclusion was already strongly embedded within the culture of Covéa, recent events have been so shocking that we decided we needed to reconsider whether we were doing enough to promote racial equality and what more we could do. Signing the charter and introducing our new networking group to support the BAME community at Covéa marks the start of an important new phase on our journey towards increased racial understanding and harmony, and I am delighted we have our CEO, James Reader’s full support in this.”

*BITC Race at Work Charter website: https://www.bitc.org.uk/race/

 

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About Covéa Insurance

Covea Insurance Plc is the UK underwriting business of leading French mutual insurance group Covéa, who are number 1 for property and liability insurance in France, generating over 16.6 billion Euros in premiums in 2020.   

Covéa Insurance looks after the insurance needs of over 2 million policyholders; delivering financial reassurance through its Standard & Poor’s ‘AA- stable’ rating, as a guaranteed subsidiary of Covéa. 

The company offers motor, household, protection, pet, mid and high net worth insurance and a range of commercial insurance products, through a range of distribution channels.

Employing over 1900 people, Covéa Insurance has a strong people and service ethos.  It holds ServiceMark accreditation with Distinction for its Personal Lines operation and its Commercial & HNW Claims teams, as well as Chartered Insurer status for its Commercial business.  Covéa Insurance is signatory to the HM Treasury Women in Finance Charter and the insurance Inclusivity Pledge and has been named one of the top 75 employers in West Yorkshire & the Humber.

Recently, Covéa Insurance won the General Insurer of the Year award at the British Insurance Awards 2021. It was named as the Best Place to Work in Digital (Large Organisations) at the Digital Technology Leaders Awards and as the Best Employer at the Yorkshire Financial Awards.  They were also recipients of the Best Insurer title at the British Claims Awards, High Net Worth Product of the Year Award at the Insurance Times Awards, the Staff Empowerment Award at the Diversity & Inclusion in Insurance Awards.

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