Author: Larry Phillips
In my role I not only help our nonprofit clients with their risk management and insurance needs, but our team also enables these social service clients to work with diverse suppliers who better represent the broader communities that they serve and operate in.
I am fortunate as well to co-lead Gallagher Connect Partners, a national network of approximately 50 minority, woman, veteran-owned and other diverse certified insurance firms that were strategically selected based on their unique specializations, shared values and proven ability to best serve our clients' risk management, insurance and supplier diversity needs. Gallagher Connect Partners brings expanded thought leadership, innovative solutions and expertise to our nonprofit clients to help protect their assets and ensure that they are able to carry out their mission. Through Gallagher Connect Partners, we are dedicated to establishing meaningful, deliberate and inclusive relationships with our diverse trading partners by sharing our resources and intellectual capital and by increasing their impact and fulfilling mission.
I am fortunate to work in a company with a culture that puts equity and all of its aspects front and center. Personally, I have a passion for supporting nonprofits and the Gallagher Connect Partners, which stems from being a recipient of an education-based nonprofit in Chicago, IL. The program provides residential and scholarship opportunities to grade school and high school students who may not have the family or financial stability to excel academically and really consider college as a viable option.
Considering that my own neighborhood growing up was notorious for senseless violence, daily shootouts and immense amounts of drug activity, this nonprofit served as a safe haven that shielded me from all of the negative influences and replaced it with a nurturing, caring environment. Benefiting from this alternative placement I was able to secure a full scholarship to the University of Wisconsin-Madison, find a career at Gallagher and change the trajectory of my life. As a way of giving back, I have served as the president of the junior board for the past five years and continue to be active in the scholars' lives.
Today's social justice movement and tense climate has prompted many nonprofits to review their inclusion and diversity strategies. In striving to do more and do better, many organizations are placing higher targets on spend with diverse suppliers while also tackling the lack of diversity at the board level. Despite the fact that most chief executives agree that diversity is important, roughly 80% of nonprofit board members are white. Through Gallagher Connect Partners, Gallagher also supports our nonprofit clients with growing and improving their diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) strategies.
We understand that inclusion and diversity leads to better business outcomes, but as nonprofit former executive Vu Le noted in his blog, "If your board is not representative of the community you claim to serve, then you are furthering the injustice you seek to fight." Gallagher's DEI consultants help our nonprofit clients stay true to their respective missions and create an inclusion and diversity framework that leads to greater impact for communities.