October 18th, 2023

The BIBA Pod
The BIBA Pod
Series 2- Episode 3- Unity in Diversity

In this episode Sarah is joined by Baljinder Mahil, Axa, and Enam Islam, Jenzah Consulting Ltd, to explore how insurance is more inclusive than ever before. Both Bal and Enam are passionate members of iCAN, a Lloyds partner network, encouraging cultural diversity industry wide. They also discuss the future of the industry and how Enam works with schools in Manchester to make insurance a career option for school leavers. Listen to their experiences, enthusiasm and advice.


Quotes of the Episode

“We have different partner networks that focus on different cultures and different events. I think we need to do that to a certain extent and we’ve been doing that really well for the last two, three years. I’ve definitely seen an uptake in events internally and externally within our sector. I think where we can really unlock more change is the intersectionality. So if we join these things together, that’s not just different protected characteristics, but also the different ethnic groups, we’ll be able to have almost like a multiplied effect. We’ll be looking at those similarities. Because there are similarities there, even though we have our differences. We’re more the same than we are different and I think that’s how we will unlock the next changes in the in the industry. I think that’s how we’ll showcase that diversity and inclusion.” Baljinder Mahil, Axa XL


“What is it that we want for the next generation? When I look at my children, when I look at my nieces and nephews or the young children that I mentor, is what do I want them to achieve? And more importantly, what is it they want to achieve? They want stability, they want the opportunity to travel, they want to become technical experts, they want to earn a lot of money. Insurance can cater to that in many ways, it’s about showing them that perspective of insurance. Where it’s not the call centre, sitting at a desk but travelling around, meeting people like yourself, doing podcasts, or attending the Gen Z conference. I took 50 students from local colleges to The BIBA Conference and the feedback I got was, ‘it was amazing’, ‘it was so innovative’, ‘there was so many interesting things going on’. It’s that perception that we need to change. I think that is probably the overarching strategy and everything else is action points.” Enam Islam, Jenzah Consulting Ltd


Key Takeaways 

How they joined the industry and the experiences they have had.

Cultural differences that you might not consider in the workplace.

The industry is more diverse that it used to be and internal company groups like the one Bal set up at Axa and external ones like iCAN are showcasing this.

Changing the perception of insurance is critical to encouraging young people to join- it isn’t boring!

About the guests

Bal has had a number of varied and interesting roles spanning the technology and insurance industry. Her depth of knowledge across data and systems has delivered positive outcomes for both the business and ultimately the client and brokers. In January 2020 Bal was appointed Head of Distribution Operations and supports the Data, Strategy and Governance across the distribution channels. She also co-founded and co-chairs Rise, the first multi-cultural network group at AXA XL, focused on the development and inclusion of historically underrepresented racial and ethnic groups. It’s support led to the company publishing their first Ethnicity Pay Gap Report in 2021. Bal was named in the Empower Top 100 Ethnic Minority Executive Role Model list in 2022.

Director of Jenzah Consulting Ltd, with more than 15 years of experience in the Insurance and Reinsurance industry. Enam has a strong desire to promote diversity and inclusivity, particularly for individuals from a BAME background. Apart from his professional achievements, Enam holds the position of Chairman for a local youth organisation, where he plays a crucial role in guiding and empowering young people to reach their full potential. Additionally, he serves as an Enterprise Ambassador for his local council, actively encouraging entrepreneurship and business growth within the community. With his extensive mentoring experience, Enam has made a significant impact by providing valuable guidance and support to aspiring professionals.


About the Host

Sarah Myerscough is the Sales and Marketing Director of Boston Tullis Group. The founder of The Insurance Brokers Podcast, she brings a wealth of experience and a fresh perspective on communication in the insurance sector. Boston Tullis works with insurance professionals to build effective communication both internally and externally through podcasting, event reporting, videography, and internal communications facilitation.