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Reflections on iCAN’s achievements throughout 2023 | Insurance Business UK

Groundbreaking moments and significant steps – 2023 had it all

Reflections on iCAN's achievements throughout 2023


By Kishan Mangat

After six years of incredible growth, I am still amazed by how iCAN continues to flourish, disrupt and challenge today’s market.  I want to use my last column of 2023 to review the progress iCAN has made and to hopefully entice more of my colleagues in the market to join iCAN’s ever-expanding network.

Sponsor and Partner organisations

iCAN’s growth in 2023 was underscored by the significant expansion in sponsorships, with over 30+ organisations (both brokers and carriers) across the UK market committing to iCAN’s mission of helping those from multicultural and international backgrounds to advance their careers in the market.

I believe together we can make a real change at all career levels by creating a more diverse insurance market which is reflective of today’s society and prevailing attitudes.  Through establishing a robust network of sponsors and supporters representing the entire spectrum of the insurance industry, iCAN’s primary objective is to promote a culture of inclusivity for all of those working in today’s market.

Our sponsors and partners are not just passive donors, they genuinely push us to deliver bigger and better results and, in return, we help them shape their corporate diversity strategies to attract and retain the best talent in today’s insurance market.

The launch of iCAN’s Birmingham and Manchester Regional iCAN Hubs

The Spring of 2023 saw iCAN take a significant step in membership growth from 3,500 to 7,000 members across the market, as well as furthering our strategy to increase our visibility on a national level by launching Regional Hubs in both Birmingham and Manchester. 

The iCAN team successfully ran four amazing events in Birmingham, ranging from panel discussions and workshops to speed networking events, catered exclusively for our members in the Midlands.  These events not only provided valuable insights and networking opportunities but also showcased iCAN’s ability to expand regionally. 

In December, we successfully launched iCAN’s Manchester hub encouraging colleagues from the north of the country to connect. The expansion into new regions signifies iCAN’s commitment to reaching and positively impacting diverse communities throughout the UK,  thereby fostering a culture of inclusion which is no longer just London-centric.

iCAN’s Elevate Gen Z Career Conference

Friday 8 September 2023 was a pinnacle moment for iCAN as we held our first-ever careers conference tailored specifically for those in the early stages of their careers in insurance. 

The iCAN Elevate Career Conference saw over 300 insurance colleagues from the ages of 18 – 25 attend an all-day career conference where 12 keynote speakers discussed a range of topics such as how to use your inner creativity to boost your personal and professional life, key skills for successful networking and how to confidently ask for a pay rise. 

The feedback from attendees was overwhelmingly positive as many of our ‘Gen Z’ members were grateful for the spotlight to be placed firmly on them and signified iCAN’s commitment to supporting a demographic of people who felt they were being overlooked by today’s market. 

This milestone publication, launched in celebration of our 6th anniversary, featured inspiring stories of 60 transformative figures shaping the insurance industry today.

“60 Role Models for 6 Years” is part of iCAN’s ongoing commitment to inspiring the younger generation by showcasing the wealth of talent and opportunities that abound in the insurance sector.

By sharing these unique stories, we hope to energise emerging industry professionals and encourage them to envision and realise their potential in this exciting field. And we got to celebrate some very special individuals in doing so.

iCAN’s ESEA Community (iCAN’s East Asian and South East Asian community group)

The start of 2023 heralded a ground-breaking moment for the UK insurance industry as iCAN hosted its first traditional Lion Dance, welcoming the Year of the Rabbit in grand style.

This event not only marked a cultural milestone but also inspired the launch of iCAN’s first dedicated community for people of East and Southeast Asian heritage.  We did not stop there either, in September the Mid-Autumn Festival (celebrated in many parts of East Asia) organised by iCAN was a major highlight, featuring stand-up comedy, networking opportunities and chef-made mooncakes!

This event became the talk of the town, emphasising iCAN’s commitment to championing and celebrating diverse cultural traditions.

iCAN’s expansion across the UK, its commitment to several diverse events (55 in 2023) and increased support from sponsors and members demonstrate its growing influence and effectiveness in promoting diversity, equity and inclusion in the insurance industry.

2024 will see iCAN continuing to focus on its three core programmes: INspire – our initiatives all about mentoring and training, iCAN Apply – our recruitment initiative and jobs board and iCAN Connect – our work with corporate firms, including our network of Employee Resource Groups (ERGs). These are all programmes that I would encourage you and your other colleagues to get involved in!

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