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What's New: News Release

SFAA Holds Groundbreaking Diversity Summit

Thursday, May 09, 2013  

FOR RELEASE ON MAY 8, 2013

Contact: Stephanie Robichaux
Phone: (202) 778-3629
E-mail: srobichaux@surety.org

The Surety & Fidelity Association of America Holds Groundbreaking Diversity Summit

MAY 8, 2013, WASHINGTON, D.C.—As part of its Annual Meeting activities, The Surety & Fidelity Association of America (SFAA) held its first ever Diversity Summit (Summit). SFAA’s purpose in planning this full-day event was to re-affirm, at the most senior levels of SFAA member companies, the industry’s commitment to diversity and to get participants’ input on a long-range industry diversity plan. "We are excited about kicking off an industry-wide plan and working with our member companies to formulate a long-term diversity plan for the surety and fidelity industry. This is an opportunity to optimize the process for recruiting women and minorities to become part of the surety and fidelity industry and to mentor and promote those diverse individuals who already are part of the industry,” says Lynn Schubert, SFAA President.

The Summit included panel discussions by select SFAA Chief Bonding Officers (CBOs) on the business case for diversity and by various company representatives on diversity "best practices.” Afternoon break-out sessions allowed participants—diverse underwriting and claims professionals who have been in the industry for at least three years and are involved or wish to become involved in diversity initiatives in their respective companies—to interact with presenters and discuss employee resource groups, mentoring, and industry recruitment, promotion, and retention. "What we are seeing is senior leadership in the industry showing commitment to a long-term diversity plan, but the development of the strategy will come from the ground up as company executives engage and support their staff in this effort,” says Ed Hubbard, Account Executive Officer for Travelers Bond & Construction Services.

Attendees left the Summit with new ideas to proactively address the challenge of enhancing diversity in the surety/fidelity industry. The Summit also enabled SFAA to launch a process of identifying not only diverse professionals seeking mentors, but also those who may serve as such mentors.

Summit participants now have a game plan and next steps to implement diversity initiatives within the industry and their specific companies. Over the course of the next year, SFAA will implement an outreach and industry promotion strategy and document diversity "best practices” and industry initiatives as well as development guidelines and protocols for SFAA member companies to use in establishing in-house diversity efforts. A new Diversity Page and blog on the SFAA website will encourage networking and communication about diversity issues among surety/fidelity professionals.

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The Surety & Fidelity Association of America (SFAA) is a trade association of more than 450 insurance companies that write the vast majority of surety and fidelity bonds in the U.S., is a licensed rating or advisory organization in all states, including the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico, and is designated by state insurance departments as a statistical agent for the reporting of surety and fidelity insurance.


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