The benefits and challenges of insurance DE&I initiatives


What can the insurance world learn about diversity, equity and inclusion (DE&I) from the National Basketball League? Among other things, says professional basketball player turned psychologist and best-selling author John Amaechi: “Right-minded people should want to eliminate incivility… We should want to eliminate anything that undermines the dignity of a colleague or neighbor.” (Photo: ©freshidea/Adobe Stock)

Earlier in 2021, during one of several recent insurance-industry events rooted in themes around diversity, equity and inclusion (DE&I), moderator Dr. Lee Nunery held up the National Basketball League as an organization where commitment to inclusivity has paid off over roughly three decades.

In the early 1990s, Nunery said, then NBA Commissioner David Stern saw an opportunity to capitalize on the international popularity of the “Dream Team,” or the gold medal winning 1992 U.S. men’s Olympic basketball team that included such sports icons as Magic Johnson, Michael Jordan, Larry Bird, Charles Barkley, Patrick Ewing and Scottie Pippen, among others.



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