Commentary on Diversity
SOUTHEASTERN ACTUARIES CONFERENCE COMMENTARY ON DIVERSITY
At the Southeastern Actuaries Conference, we live by the motto "Be Part of Something that Counts". Over time, that motto has meant many different things, primarily around establishing a community of actuarial professionals who get together during the year to share experiences, spend time with family and friends, learn some technical and leadership skills, and meet our continuing education requirements. It also extends at times into other community areas, such as our scholarship program and our outreach efforts to schools and universities.
As a part of our role in the community, we at the SEAC stand against prejudice in all forms. We are committed to diversity, equality, and inclusion that reflects the diverse perspectives, cultures, lifestyles and backgrounds of our members and the profession we represent. Article 2 of our organizing document notes that the "purpose of this Conference shall be to promote friendship amount its members and to foster and promote the practice of actuarial science." While this statement does not explicitly address the need to recognize, appreciate and honor the diversity of our membership and to look for inclusion of all interested individuals, we cannot live up to this purpose or achieve our motto if our members or other stakeholders do not feel respected and safe or are not sure that they have a voice which is heard.
As the world around us continues to evolve and adapt to the new environment brought on by COVID and other broad cultural pressures, we need to commit to inclusion and diversity in our organization and communities. We need to engage in difficult conversations to make progress, while always remaining respectful and empathetic to each other. We each are reacting to change in our own way, so let's be open to challenging discussions and not dismissive of reactions which may be different than our own. As we continue to interact moving forward, let's look for ways where we can proactively seek opportunities to benefit from our varied experiences and grow not just as actuaries, but as people. We look forward to the chance to do that together, and as an Executive Committee, we welcome any ideas from membership on how we can do that most effectively.