As part of our commitment to advancing diversity and inclusion (D&I), Arch introduced six company-wide employee networks in 2021. One of them is Arch’s Women and Allies Employee Network (AWAN).
Vision and Mission
The group’s vision is to support Arch’s goal of achieving gender balance in leadership roles over time through a combination of targeted actions focused on networking, mentoring and ally engagement. The group’s mission is to drive career advancement for women at Arch.
“AWAN is a support group dedicated to advancing women’s careers at Arch by listening to the concerns and aligning the right resources and sponsors to attract, retain and promote Arch women,” says Stephanie Dunstan, Regional Vice President for National Accounts Casualty and one of the network’s U.S.-based Co-Chairs.
The network, according to AWAN Co-Chair Barbara Rizzi, aims to recognize the value and promote the advancement of women at Arch through a series of initiatives — from educational talks and networking events, to encouraging sponsoring and mentoring, and promoting allyship. Barbara, who leads Arch Insurance International’s Claims for Third Party Lines out of the U.K., also says that employee networks are an essential tool for implementing D&I policies in any organization. “The network aims to create a fair, equal and transparent workplace where every employee can thrive,” she says.
For Nicolas Papadopoulo, President of Arch Capital Group Ltd., CEO of Arch Worldwide Insurance Group and Executive Sponsor of the Women and Allies Employee Network, Arch’s embrace of D&I isn’t just the right thing to do — it also gives the company a strategic advantage.
“A workforce that is representative of the demographics of the communities we live in is key to be able to get all of the point of views,” says Nicolas. “It’s critical to be able to come up with the best decision for the company.”
Empowering and Encouraging
Stephanie finds it empowering to see Arch invest in tools that create a space for employees to feel listened to, encouraged and supported.
“Arch is obviously aware of the improvements that are needed, hence why they formed the network,” she says. “We understand that change doesn’t happen overnight, but we are heading in the right direction.”
Barbara agrees, saying that they are seeing positive changes. “Compared to, say, 10 years ago, recognition to gender equality is now a priority which is garnering the attention it deserves,” she says, adding that she hopes one day, there will be no need to talk about gender equality. “As individuals, we all have the same rights and responsibilities irrespective of gender.”
It is also Stephanie’s wish for all individuals to be treated equally and respectfully.
“They often say that if you spend a few moments with someone, you will likely discover at least one thing in common,” she says. “Reach out and connect with someone you don’t know. Each one help one!”