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SOA CEO Gregory Heidrich signs the CEO Action for Diversity & Inclusion

Schaumburg, IL, Feb. 10, 2021 – The Society of Actuaries (SOA) Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Gregory Heidrich signed the CEO Action for Diversity & InclusionTM pledge as part of the SOA’s strategic initiative to increase diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) in the actuarial profession. The CEO Action pledge will be a platform for the SOA to share the work we are doing on DEI and learn best practices.

The CEO Action for Diversity & Inclusion™ pledge launched on June 12, 2017, when a group of more than 150 CEOs from some of the world’s leading companies signed the pledge and committed to advance diversity and inclusion in the workplace. Today, the CEO Action for Diversity & InclusionTM is the largest CEO-driven pledge of its kind.

With the signing of this pledge we commit to:

  • Continuing to make our workplace and organization a trusting place to have complex, and sometimes difficult, conversations about diversity and inclusion,
  • Implementing and expanding unconscious bias education,
  • Sharing best practices and unsuccessful practices in an effort to learn and help others to learn, and
  • Creating and sharing strategic inclusion and diversity plans with our Board of Directors, which has made this a strategic priority of the SOA.

We also pledge to create accountability systems within our organization to track our own progress and to share regular updates with other organizations who have signed the pledge in order to catalog effective programs and measurement practices. We believe that by sharing and learning with each other, we can strengthen our existing programs and commitments to better serve our members, the actuarial profession, actuarial employers, and society.

 “While we have made progress in our DEI efforts, we committed to this pledge to learn best practices, to cultivate and accelerate an environment at the SOA where all ideas are welcome, and to help empower our staff, leadership, volunteers, members and candidates to have real and impactful discussions about DEI,” explained Heidrich about the motivation to sign the pledge with the CEO Action for Diversity & InclusionTM.

The SOA believes that we best fulfill our mission when we are diverse and inclusive of all individuals. Openness to and acceptance of diverse perspectives, cultures and backgrounds helps to attract the best talent and ensures the overall inclusivity of the actuarial profession. Over the last two decades, the SOA has launched several initiatives to promote diversity and inclusion, and in 2020 we increased our commitment to a more diverse profession and took additional steps including:

  • Training staff and key volunteers on acts of exclusion and unconscious bias,
  • Creating and hiring staff dedicated to DEI initiatives,
  • Leveraging the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Committee (DEIC) that will help define our DEI strategy and actions,
  • Continuing and increasing funding in support of diversity partner organizations and their programs,
  • Retaining DEI consulting services to develop staff and volunteer training programs, assess our education to ensure it is free from unintended bias, and support our strategy development,
  • Compiling baseline diversity demographic data for members and candidates that will be used to set and share goals to ensure both transparency and accountability, and
  • Expanding our exam fee reimbursement program (in partnership with the Casualty Actuarial Society) aimed at encouraging and supporting students from underrepresented groups in the United States and Canada to join the actuarial profession.

“These steps have been important,” said Heidrich “but they are only a beginning. We are working now to identify and develop new actions we can take to make the SOA and the profession a more welcoming place for all. We believe that we can have a greater impact by joining forces with organizations with a strong history of progress in diversity, equity and inclusion, like the CEO Action for Diversity & InclusionTM. “

About the Society of Actuaries

With roots dating back to 1889, the Society of Actuaries (SOA) is the world’s largest actuarial professional organization with more than 32,000 actuaries as members. Through research and education, the SOA’s mission is to advance actuarial knowledge and to enhance the ability of actuaries to provide expert advice and relevant solutions for financial, business and societal challenges. The SOA’s vision is for actuaries to be the leading professionals in the measurement and management of risk.

CEO Action for Diversity & Inclusion

CEO Action for Diversity & Inclusion is the largest CEO-driven business commitment to advance diversity and inclusion within the workplace.  Today, the CEO Action for Diversity & InclusionTM is the largest CEO-driven initiative of its kind, and it is led by a steering committee of CEOs and leaders from Accenture, BCG, Deloitte US, The Executive Leadership Council, EY, General Atlantic, KPMG, New York Life, P&G, and PwC. This commitment is driven by a realization that addressing diversity and inclusion is not a competitive issue, but a societal issue. Recognizing that change starts at the executive level, more than 1,600 CEOs of the world’s leading companies and business organizations, are leveraging their individual and collective voices to advance diversity and inclusion in the workplace.