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2021 Status Updates on Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

May 2021

I want to share updates on the Society of Actuaries’ (SOA’s) ongoing efforts on diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI). There is much to do to increase awareness of the profession and to reduce barriers of entry and barriers to credentilization, especially for underrepresented populations. We are determined to help foster a more inclusive and diverse environment in the U.S. and elsewhere around the world for our members, candidates and customers wherever they live.

The SOA’s DEI initiative, and the work of our DEI Committee (DEIC) go hand in hand with our Long-Term Growth Strategy – as both look to the profession’s future. The following are DEI initiative updates:

  • Published benchmark data on the racial, ethnic, and gender diversity. On March 30, the SOA published our first Diversity Report, providing demographic data of our members, volunteers, and candidates. These data measure our current status from which we can report on our future progress and develop goals that support increasing diversity representation in the profession. We are still missing data from many of our members, and I ask you to help us by providing your demographic information. We want our future reports to be more representative of our full membership, which is why we need you to step up. Please submit your demographic information today to support these efforts.
  • Foster professional development opportunities for members on DEI topics. While the SOA has long had DEI programming and ally receptions, this programming is now part of the long-term planning for all major meetings. We have three DEI events planned for the June virtual SOA 2021 Health Meeting and a session scheduled for the SOA 2021 Life Meeting.
  • Update members and candidates. We dedicated the April issue of The Actuary to DEI and #CelebrateDiversityMonth.
  • Train staff and volunteers on DEI elements. We are designing and implementing new training for staff, SOA Board and key volunteers, as part of our commitment.
  • Focus research activities on issues of racial disparities. We have nine research projects underway and seven requests for proposals currently open. On April 13, we launched a survey on the impact of COVID-19 on actuarial careers to gauge the impact of COVID-19 on the careers of actuaries and candidates.
  • Demonstrate leadership commitment. The SOA staff participated in the CEO Action’s Day of Understanding on April 22, to have complex conversations about diversity and inclusion. SOA CEO Greg Heidrich interviewed two Black leaders, Jeffrey Johnson, FSA, MAAA, Associate Vice President and Actuary at the John Hancock Life Insurance Company, and Michelle Mills Clement, FASAE, CAE, RCE, the Chief Executive Officer of the Chicago Association of REALTORS®, about their careers as diverse professionals. Greg mentioned to me how staff gained many new insights from hearing these leaders’ personal perspectives and experiences. In Greg’s words, “this was a valuable and, at times, emotional and moving conversation that helped all of us better understand each other and how we can serve as allies and supporters in the work of creating a diverse and welcoming profession and staff culture.”

We welcome your comments, suggestions, and questions about these activities, and I look forward to providing continued reports on this important work. Reach us through membercomms@soa.org and our social media platforms.  And visit the SOA DEI website.

Sincerely,

Roy Goldman, Ph.D., FSA, MAAA, CERA
President
Society of Actuaries