Volume 5.8 August 2020
Advancing Supplier and Governing Board Diversity
Email us at Diversity@insurance.ca.gov
Email us at Diversity@insurance.ca.gov about any events or updates you'd like to share with the Initiative and our stakeholders!

Deadline for submissions is the 15th of every month.
August 2020 Newsletter Preview
I. What’s New:
  • Welcome from the Insurance Diversity Initiative
IIIn the Community:
  • NAWBO - California - Propel Virtual 2020 Event: Women in Power
III. Dear Congressman John Lewis, Thank You
  • A Tribute to Civil Rights Icon, John Lewis
IV. Spotlight on Diversity: 
  • Supplier Diversity Spotlight: Black Business Month Survey Finds Strong Support for Black-owned Businesses, Greater Advocacy Needed
  • Governing Board Diversity Spotlight: Diversity Wins: Why Inclusion Matters
V. Announcements
  • Save the Dates! 2020 Virtual Insurance Diversity Summit
VI. Upcoming Task Force Meetings:
  • TeleTownhall Meetings with Commissioner Lara
  • Governing Board Diversity Advisory Group Meeting
  • Supplier Diversity Advisory Group Meeting
  • 2020 Virtual Insurance Diversity Summit Planning Meeting
VII. Diversity Events Calendar
  • August/September
Dear Hello,,

Spread the word: August is National Black Business Month! This is a 31-day event to highlight and promote Black businesses in our community. But we encourage you to move beyond 31 days and make a commitment to supporting Black businesses throughout the year.

Since 2011, our Diversity Initiative has remained focused on increasing the industry's procurement from diverse suppliers as a means to advance the economic empowerment of diverse businesses. In 2017, the Department of Insurance's survey results indicated that in California, insurance companies spent $239 million with African American businesses.

As we each continue to do our part to promote underrepresented communities and become forces of positive change, let us remember the powerful and lasting impacts of a man who spent his life with this noble purpose, the late Congressman John Lewis. Congressman Lewis passed away on July 17, 2020 -- and left us as a nation to advance his legacy of social justice activism and equality under the law.

Please join us in welcoming our newest team member, Uzma Rahman. Uzma is an unapologetic lifelong activist, from co-founding the Gay-Straight Alliance at her university to creating an Amnesty International chapter in her Masters program; to working at a human rights pro-bono law firm in law school. The frustrations experienced by clients due to systemic injustices inspired Uzma to apply her passion towards impacting change for underserved communities by working in public policy. Uzma is excited to contribute her extensive talents as a manager to the Diversity Initiative team. 

Also last month, you may have noticed a series of emails regarding public meetings hosted by the Initiative and the Insurance Diversity Task Force. The enactment of SB534 in January 2020 requires the Task Force to be subject to the Bagley-Keene Open Meeting Act. Starting this month, all public notices, links and contact information for the month's upcoming public meetings will be available in the latter portion of this newsletter and online at www.insurance.ca.gov/diversity. We look forward to having you join us!

Be well, 

The Insurance Diversity Initiative Team
National Association of Women Business Owners (NAWBO) - California - Propel 2020 Virtual: Women in Power
On July 29th, 2020, NAWBO - California held their annual Propel event to celebrate the theme of "Women in Power." This year, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the event was held virtually. The full day event was well curated to provide insights in many areas of interest for the attendees. Highlights included:

  • Leadership and hosting by the Insurance Diversity Task Force Member and and NAWBO-California President, Vikita Poindexter,
  • Fireside chat with First Partner Jennifer Siebel Newsom and Secretary for the California Labor and Workforce Development Agency, Julie Su,
  • An "Amplify Your Power" Roundtable discussion including the Diversity Initiative's own Chandara Phanachone,
  • Numerous workshops on building businesses, expanding networks, education on new and pending policy legislation and much more.

Vikita and the rest of the NAWBO-California team did an excellent job quickly adjusting to the current situation while still offering quality programming to all attendees.
Congressman John Lewis lived his life with the level of continued integrity that so few on this planet ever do; he earned the epithet "the conscience of Congress."

Lewis and the history of civil rights live in parallel. He was one of the original 13 Freedom Riders -- Black and white activists who challenged segregated interstate travel in the South in 1961. He helped found the Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee-- the only national civil rights organization led by students at the time. He helped organize the famous March on Washington-- where Dr. King delivered his everlasting "I Have A Dream" speech. Lewis also led and participated in every peaceful protest and demonstration he could.

He was beaten, arrested numerous times, burned with cigarettes, verbally abused, spat on, tormented, and yet, he remained faithful to his cause and peaceful methods. Lewis led one of the most famous marches in history on March 7, 1965. To protest denied voting rights, Lewis marched partway across the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, Alabama and into a herd of state troopers in riot gear. The protesters silently stood their ground; the state troopers responded to their silence with tear gas, clubs, bullwhips, dogs, and barbed wire. Lewis's skull was cracked by a state trooper beating him with a billy club. This protest made a difference because there were cameras and the rest of the nation was shocked to see the reality Black people in America lived daily. Eight days later, then President Lyndon B. Johnson signed the Voting Rights Act into law.

Fast forward 21 years, in 1986, Lewis was elected to Congress. He geographically represented Atlanta, but his constituency spanned underserved people everywhere. Known less for sponsoring major legislation than for his relentless pursuit of justice, his colleagues called him “the conscience of the Congress.”

In Congressman Lewis's quietly powerful words: “When you see something that is not right, not just, not fair, you have a moral obligation to say something, to do something. Our children and their children will ask us, ‘What did you do? What did you say?’ ...we have a mission and a mandate to be on the right side of history.”

Read Congressman Lewis's posthumous letter to the nation (to us). May he rest in power.
Black Business Month Survey Finds Strong Support for Black-owned Businesses, Greater Advocacy Needed
August is National Black Business Month, a time to recognize and celebrate the important contributions from Black-owned businesses. As we approach Black Business Month, more people are looking for ways to support Black communities, and according to a new survey, 75% of Black small businesses have seen an uptick in customers since the beginning of June. While the increase in business has been welcome, particularly in light of the devastating economic impact of COVID-19, the study also reinforced the inequities that Black entrepreneurs continue to face.cooperation and education.

The poll, commissioned by Groupon and the National Black Chamber of Commerce, surveyed more than 400 Black small business owners to better understand the challenges they face, why they decided to become entrepreneurs, how they achieved success and the most important issues they want to see addressed in the 2020 presidential election. Additionally, Groupon is announcing a month-long series of virtual events hosted in partnership with its home state, the state of Illinois, to shine a light on challenges faced and to find ways to support Black-owned businesses across the country.

“We’re thrilled to celebrate Black Business Month as this community has been disproportionately impacted by COVID-19 and traditionally suffers from a lack of access to adequate capital and resources,” said Aaron Cooper, Interim CEO, Groupon. “One of the many ways that we’re translating our support for Black Lives Matter into meaningful action is by highlighting and championing the success of Black-owned businesses and looking for more ways to connect them to our diverse customer base. We hope that everyone will join us in supporting the more than 2 million Black-owned businesses in this country at a time when they need us the most.”

Continue reading the full article.

# # #

Diversity Wins: How Inclusion Matters
For business executives the world over, the COVID-19 pandemic is proving to be one of the greatest leadership tests of their careers. Not only must they protect the health of their employees and customers, they must also navigate far-reaching disruption to their operations, plan for recovery, and prepare to reimagine their business models for the ‘next normal’.

In this challenging context, the task of fostering inclusion and diversity (I&D) could easily take a back seat—and the painstaking progress made by many firms in recent years could be reversed. As this report shows, however, I&D is a powerful enabler of business performance. Companies whose leaders welcome diverse talents and include multiple perspectives are likely to emerge from the crisis stronger. In short: diversity wins, now more than ever.

This report was originally due for release in March 2020, but we put publication on hold as the COVID-19 crisis ensued. Since then, in talking to CEOs, CXOs and CHROs and assessing the radically changed business landscape, we have come to the conclusion that its findings are even more relevant right now.
The report demonstrates that the business case for gender and ethnic diversity in top teams is stronger than ever. Since we first published Why Diversity Matters in 2015, the likelihood of diverse companies outperforming industry peers on profitability has increased significantly. The data also shows that there is a clear divergence in how companies are engaging with I&D. A third of the firms we have tracked over the past five years have significantly improved both gender and ethnic diversity on their executive teams, while the majority have stalled or gone backwards.

We also find that the dynamics around inclusion are a critical differentiator for companies. Our evidence is that an emphasis on representation is not enough; employees need to feel and perceive equality and fairness of opportunity in their workplace. Companies that lead on diversity have taken bold steps to strengthen inclusion.

Continue reading the full report.

# # #

2020 Virtual Insurance Diversity Summit
Mark your calendars for the 2020 Virtual Insurance Diversity Summit taking place on November 12 - 13, 2020. 
As the largest insurance market in the nation with insurers collecting $310 billion in annual premiums, the Virtual Insurance Diversity Summit hosted by the California Department of Insurance is a one-of-a-kind event. The Summit includes a virtual Matchmaking Roundtable, Resource Expo, and engaging webinars led by experts on the topics of race and diversity in the insurance industry, diversity in the boardroom, navigating the insurer procurement pathways, building resilience in business strategies, and much more!
To help make the Summit even more accessible to you, this event is being hosted free of charge and you will be able to join us from your computer or mobile device within the comfort of your home or office. We have more exciting details to follow, so stay tuned!
This new section of the newsletter will house all of the information regarding upcoming Commissioner TeleTownhalls and Insurance Diversity public meetings.
Date and Time: August 12, 2020 - 5:30 - 6:30 p.m. PDT
Event: TeleTownhall with Commissioner Lara, Senator Tom Umberg and Stephanie Nguyen-Yu (Garden Grove Chamber of Commerce)

Date and Time: August 21, 2020 - 3:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m. PDT
Event: TeleTownhall with Commissioner Lara and Assemblymember Adrin Nazarian

Date and Time: August 20, 2020 9:00 a.m. PDT
Event: Insurance Diversity Task Force Governing Board Diversity Advisory Group Meeting
Meeting ID: 146 362 0625 
Meeting Password: TrVEXArX373
Call In Number: 1-888-204-5984 
Call In Access Code: 3577844 

Date and Time: August 20, 2020 1:00 p.m. PDT
Event: Insurance Diversity Task Force Supplier Diversity Advisory Group Meeting 
Meeting ID: 146 406 8877 
Meeting Password: n9nCegVyp77
Call In Number: 1-888-204-5984 
Call In Access Code: 3577844 

Date and Time: August 25, 2020 1:00 p.m. PDT
Event: 2020 Virtual Insurance Diversity Summit Planning Meeting
Meeting ID: 146 879 1112 
Meeting Password: 7Y3JpNjsSW7
Call In Number: 1-888-204-5984 
Call in Access Code: 3577844 

August 13, 2020, 1:00 p.m. - 3:00 p.m. PDT
This event is being held virtually

September 21- 23, 2020
This event is being held virtually.

September 29, 2020
This event is being held virtually.

To submit a request to add your Supplier Diversity or Governing Board Diversity-related event, please contact us at: diversity@insurance.ca.gov.

The Insurance Diversity Initiative was established in 2011 to address diversity issues within California's $310 billion insurance industry. Specifically, these efforts are meant to increase procurement from California’s diverse suppliers, as well as to increase diversity amongst insurer governing boards. To accomplish these goals, the Department conducts outreach, creates partnerships, hosts events, and most importantly, administers surveys to collect and publicly disseminate information about the state of diversity in the insurance industry.
Office of Insurance Commissioner Ricardo Lara
California Department of Insurance
(916) 492-3317