“You can’t be what you can’t see,” said Marian Wright Edelman, the founder and president emerita of the Children’s Defense Fund (CDF), reflecting upon the topic of representation and role models. Representation is evidence of the equality of opportunities and an outcome of a strong belief in diversity and inclusion. Diversity, equal opportunities, and inclusion shouldn’t merely be words on a page, but drivers that help create a more balanced society capable of developing new values that lead to progress. In the financial results announcement published in November 2021, Allianz’s CEO Oliver Bäte declared that the company had just completed its best third-quarter ever, with strong performance across all of its business segments. Three weeks later, at the Capital Markets Day, he explained that 30 percent of Allianz Group operating profit is now managed by women, making it clear that diversity and performance go hand in hand.
That Allianz has prioritized diverse representation is evident in its ongoing leadership appointments. Over the course of 2021, six women were appointed to the CEO positions of various Allianz businesses. We asked four of these newly appointed CEOs to reflect on what it means to them and on why this is important to Allianz. In their responses, it is clear that they understand diversity, including driving gender balance, to be a competitive factor for Allianz and view it through the lens of performance that will lead to better outcomes. It is the collision of diverse views – to paraphrase Clarisse Kopff, CEO and Chairperson of Euler Hermes – that makes a company better. And from this collision, customers, shareholders, employees and applicants will benefit.