There is no reward in predicting the blindingly obvious.
It’s a bit like when you back the favourite in a four-horse race – the odds-on pricing doesn’t produce returns that are worth getting out of bed for. The satisfaction of being right is hardly worth the remote risk of losing your stake to a freak outcome.
So it is with the diversity and inclusion (D&I) debate.
Back in the autumn of 2017 when the Weinstein scandal was breaking and the #MeToo movement controlled social media we made the most spectacularly obvious prediction.
We said the ripples of that tsunami were bound to wash up in our quiet corner of financial services sooner or later.
Now that the wave has broken on our shores (after adding insurance’s customary 18-month time lag), none of us is feeling any satisfaction. As negative stories of London market culture find their way onto the front pages of tabloid and broadsheet alike, we will definitely not be lining up to say I told you so.
Back then we said something else that was completely obvious – that strong leadership would be key to navigating the necessary culture change and getting through any crisis of confidence that ensued from the breaking of a scandal or scandals.
That is what we have had in the shape of strong messaging and unequivocal actions from Lloyd’s CEO John Neal. Thankfully these have been given equal prominence by the same press that ran the allegations.
We are journalists and at risk of once again revealing the utterly obvious, our job is to write about what is happening.
Since late 2017 we have naturally majored on the theme of D&I because it was a major issue and threat.
Some of you have said we have done this too much. With hindsight and given the severity of the negative global coverage the sector has received on the subject in the past two months we have probably got the balance about right.
But now is the time when you must have your say.
One of Neal’s action points has been to launch a culture survey for anyone who works in connection with the Lloyd’s market.
Whilst the intention is for the survey to be the most comprehensive of its kind anywhere, it did occur to me that the same middle-aged white guys who quietly lobby me to downgrade our D&I coverage are the just type of people who will never take part in such a survey.
Then when it is published they will quietly dismiss its findings as biased.
They are utterly wrong to do so.
I have read through the questionnaire – it is incredibly comprehensive and just the sort of thing to tease out what the interviewee really thinks, even the sort of attitudes they hold unconsciously.
And whilst there are sections on harassment and discrimination, it is far broader-reaching than that.
This survey is going to uncover far more wide-reaching insights on attitudes on trust in the wisdom and integrity of our leadership, good management and the core cultures of the businesses in which we work.
These are matters that affect all of us in our daily lives, our job satisfaction and our common prospects as a marketplace.
And this absolutely includes our salt-of-the-earth majority middle-aged white guys, some of whom have understandably been feeling a little bruised and confused of late.
I can only commend the survey to you all. You all have a duty to participate – the future direction of the market depends on it painting the most accurate picture possible.