Promoting an inclusive culture

At Swiss Re, we embrace and build a diverse group of people that bring together the best of multiple generations, cultures, skillsets and thinking. We can only unleash the motivation and creativity of our employees if they can be who they are and feel included. An inclusive culture is therefore key to our business success.

Our inclusive culture is one of Swiss Re’s greatest strengths, as confirmed by our employee survey: 81% of our employees agreed that we have an inclusive environment that is open to individual differences (2019: 68%). To further support our inclusion ambitions, we offered employees the opportunity to voluntarily self-identify based on race/ethnicity, sexual orientation and gender identity for the first time in our employee survey in 2020. We first introduced the collection of this sensitive demographic information in the UK, South Africa, the US and Switzerland as a pilot initiative, which was well received by our employees with relatively high levels of consent (between 60%–82%).

Sara Li – New Partnership Manager, Life and Health North Asia, Beijing (photo)

»The different backgrounds and viewpoints of my colleagues inspire me every day.«

Sara Li
New Partnership Manager, Life & Health North Asia, Beijing

Inclusion & Diversity achievements in 2020 included:

  • Gender: For the second time, Swiss Re was included in the Bloomberg Gender Equality Index in 2020.
  • LGBTI+: We equalised leave, gift and insurance benefits where no legal or regulatory barriers exist and improved the external visibility of our activities.
  • Race and ethnicity: We worked with external partners to attract people of different ethnicities to the insurance industry. Internally, we created platforms to improve awareness and facilitate dialogue, such as our “Being Black in America” virtual town hall in June 2020 with around 1 800 participants. Mosaic, our network for racial and ethnic diversity, has launched active chapters in the US, Mexico, South Africa, Switzerland and the UK.

Launching a new Inclusion & Diversity plan

Our approach to Inclusion & Diversity (I&D) evolves as we continue to build our corporate culture. For several years Swiss Re has focused on gender diversity and LGBTI+, and we will continue to invest in these areas. The Black Lives Matter movement, which gained momentum in 2020, generated an intense debate about race and ethnicity, including at Swiss Re. Considering these events, we believe that there is a need to reflect on our progress and the long road ahead for us, and to accelerate our I&D efforts.

The Group Executive Committee (Group EC) agreed on a detailed I&D plan to be executed over the coming years.

The main elements and commitments of the new I&D plan are:

  • Five global I&D focus areas defined: inclusive leadership & culture; gender; LGBTI+; race and ehnicity; mental health.
  • Increasing communication, awareness and transparency
  • Improving I&D data collection in order to drive outcomes
  • Setting clear accountability and goals
  • Putting clear roles and responsibilities in place to execute the strategic plan
  • Reviewing main people processes to ensure they are inclusive

Women in leadership

We use the gender promotion ratio as an internal performance metric. The aim is to ensure that the proportion of women promoted into management and above is at least equal to the proportion of women in the “donor pool”. We recognise that women continue to be underrepresented in our executive and senior management and are committed to monitoring and actively improving on our gender equality metrics. We do so through specific actions, such as our diverse candidate slates and selection panels. We also use a self-service online tool that helps to improve and remove biases from the language used in job descriptions in order to attract more diverse talent. All of our guidelines on recruiting are designed to help managers make fair and unbiased decisions.

Our Group EC has committed to increasing the representation of underrepresented groups in the organisation. Our current focus is on improving gender diversity at senior levels, as well as increasing racial and ethnic diversity in our leadership teams and the employee population.

Women in management positions, Swiss Re Group (in %)





Total employees




Executive/senior management positions*




All management positions**





Executive/senior management positions comprise the management levels of Director/Senior Vice President and upwards.


All management positions refers to Vice President and above.

The figures for 2018 and 2019 have been restated due to the sale of our ReAssure business in the UK.