More than 70% of women in insurance believe the industry is making progress toward gender equality and, for the second year in a row, over two-thirds think their company is working to promote gender diversity, according to a new survey from the Insurance Industry Charitable Foundation.
After the IICF Women in Insurance Global Conference, which brought together 650 insurance professionals, senior executive speakers, and CEOs to discuss how the industry can increase gender diversity in the workplace, the foundation polled attendees on the current reality of gender diversity and its evolution across the insurance industry.
Almost half of attendees agree that their company is working to promote gender diversity with another 19% strongly agreeing, but 24.5% disagreed, and 7.1% disagreed strongly. Biases in advancement (51%) and lack of opportunities for professional advancement (24.6%) remain the biggest barriers for women seeking leadership positions in their companies, respondents said. The industry may be making some progress on those issues, however, as the percentage of women who named “biases in advancement” and “lack of opportunities for professional advancement” as the chief barriers fell to 68% from 76% last year.
Disaster management officials from Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) member economies have voiced support for the introduction of financial incentives to spur emergency preparedness among businesses in the Asia-Pacific as the risk of shocks to trade and growth rises in the world’s most natural disaster hit region.
An incentives-based approach was backed by officials over mandatory measures during a public-private sector meeting in Bangkok to promote business continuity planning. Focus is on lifting the low adoption rate by small and medium enterprises which account for more than 97% of businesses, 60% of GDP and over half of employment in APEC economies, and are an emerging yet vulnerable driver of cross-border production and supply chains.
“Small businesses play a significant and growing role in the international production and trade of goods, particularly as suppliers of component parts and equipment for larger manufacturers, but their disaster risk exposure remains disproportionately high,” explained Dr Li Wei-sen, Co-Chair of the APEC Emergency Preparedness Working Group, which oversees member cooperation on related issues.
“The knock-on effects of small business disruptions or shutdowns can be substantial given the increasingly globalised nature of production and trade, as earthquakes, floods and other natural disasters in the Asia-Pacific have shown. The adoption of business continuity plans by small and medium enterprises is critical to mitigating the disaster threat within the sector and to the global economy but their recognition of this need and action to address it is often lacking.”
APEC economies are hit by more 70% of the world’s natural disasters and suffered US$68 billion annually in related costs from 2003 to 2013. But just 13% of small and medium enterprises in the region have business continuity plans in place which involve raising disaster risk awareness, identifying vulnerabilities and organizing teams to address them. This gap leaves the sector more susceptible to business disruptions, financial losses and bankruptcy.
“Possible financial incentives to encourage small and medium enterprises to adopt business continuity plans include tax cuts, reduced insurance costs and lower interest rates to help them overcome the initial investment of setting up their plans,” said Natori Kiyoshi, who is also Co-Chair of the APEC Emergency Preparedness Working Group. “There is no one-size-fits-all approach given variations in economic and financial conditions among the region’s economies.”
Have you noticed that you almost never hear about “green computing” anymore? It was all the rage a few years ago, but now, it seems, the topic draws about as much attention as a Palm Pilot. I don’t pretend to know exactly why that is, but my hunch is that IT professionals have so much to deal with in their quest to improve the efficiency of their operations, issues with labels that conjure up touchy-feely images of tree huggers and “Save the Planet” stickers simply don’t rise to a level that makes it on to a lot of IT department radars.
The irony, of course, is that, when you think about it, “green computing” and efficient operations are inseparable. Whether or not you call it something that makes for a good bumper sticker, it’s all about efficient enterprise facilities management.
Enterprise facilities management, or EFM, was the topic of my recent email interview with Paul Morgan, vice president and general manager of the Global Workplace Solutions (GWS) unit of Johnson Controls in Milwaukee. GWS is a provider of outsourced EFM services, and I thought it would be helpful to start off by clarifying how GWS defines EFM. Morgan prefaced his definition by noting that the facilities management industry and the business needs of building owners and occupiers continue to evolve.
John Ball, MBCI, describes how taking business continuity training in-house can pay dividends for public sector organizations.
I would like to take a few moments to consider how most organizations, particularly the public sector, approach the training of business continuity, and offer up a low cost, continuous improvement model to push that training further into the organization.
Generally speaking many public sector organizations develop or employ one expert, who is trained to a recognised standard and responsible for business continuity across the organization. In some cases business continuity is combined with emergency planning and risk under the title of ‘resilience manager’. Personally I think that putting three jobs into one is not ideal, however I understand that organizations have to ‘cut their cloth’ according to the pressures they face.
Whatever the setup, and depending on the budget, the business continuity programme will be delivered via a project team, a single manager, or a manager guiding a number of business continuity representatives (in addition to the day job) that receive training as they go along. These are all tried and tested processes, the result of which sees us where we are today. Many organizations aspire to align with ISO 22301 and, consequently, the business continuity programme is driven along those lines.
It is important that business continuity managers should be trained to a high level of expertise. This is a necessary, yet expensive process, but brings with it a measurable return on investment in the form of continued service delivery.
The US National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) has named experts in business continuity planning and the post-disaster recovery of telecommunication networks to serve as NIST Disaster Resilience Fellows.
George B. Huff Jr., founder and director of The Continuity Project, Alexandria, Va., and Steve Poupos, AT&T’s director of technology operations, will assist NIST as it finalizes its Community Resilience Planning Guide for Buildings and Infrastructure. They also will contribute to follow-on efforts to support US counties, cities and towns in implementing the guide.
Issued in April, 2015, as a draft for public review, the planning guide lays out a flexible approach that communities can adapt and use to set priorities, allocate resources, and take actions that will help them to withstand and bounce back from the shocks and stresses of extreme weather and other hazards. NIST plans to issue the initial version in September, 2105. The guide will be updated periodically.
Disaster management officials from APEC member economies have voiced support for the introduction of financial incentives to encourage businesses in the Asia-Pacific region to develop business continuity plans.
An incentives-based approach was backed by officials over mandatory measures during a recent public-private sector meeting in Bangkok to promote business continuity planning. The focus will be on lifting the low adoption rate by small and medium enterprises which account for more than 97 percent of businesses, 60 percent of GDP and over half of employment in APEC economies, and are an emerging yet vulnerable driver of cross-border production and supply chains.
“Small businesses play a significant and growing role in the international production and trade of goods, particularly as suppliers of component parts and equipment for larger manufacturers, but their disaster risk exposure remains disproportionately high,” explained Dr Li Wei-sen, co-chair of the APEC Emergency Preparedness Working Group, which oversees member cooperation on related issues.
Thousands of controversial .sucks domains emerged from their sunrise period on Sunday 21st June and became available to the general public. But just 20 percent of the UK’s top brands have snapped them up, leaving the rest in danger from online trolls , according to domain name registrar 34SP.com. 80 percent of the leading 100 UK brands are yet to register the top level domains (TLDs) that pose a reputational threat.
Vodafone, Barclays, ASDA, and ASOS are some of the more cautious UK brands to purchase the controversial domains released by Canadian domain registrar, Vox Populi, before they fell into the wrong hands. Vodafone, Barclays, Lloyds, and Nationwide have gone as far as to splash out on .sucks domains under a variety of versions of their brand terms or well-known phrases.
US brands were vocal when preregistering the domains whilst they were in their sunrise period and only available to trademarked holders, with Taylor Swift, Kevin Spacey, and Microsoft all saying they’d bought them. And a similar response was anticipated by 34SP.com for UK brands once the TLDs were available to the general public.
New Ponemon research, highlighting that UK businesses are unable to determine the risk to 58 percent of the confidential data stored in the cloud and 28 percent of the sensitive information held on premise, has been published.
The study, supported by Informatica Corporation, explored how UK organizations are approaching data security, and reveals that businesses are failing to identify sensitive or confidential information.
Less than half (45 percent) have a common process in place for discovering and classifying the sensitive or confidential data on premise and only a quarter have a process in place for data in the cloud.
As information continues to proliferate, not knowing where sensitive or confidential data resides is one of the biggest concerns for 55 percent of IT and IT security practitioners.
WASHINGTON — The Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court ruled late Monday that the National Security Agency may temporarily resume its once-secret program that systematically collects records of Americans’ domestic phone calls in bulk.
But the American Civil Liberties Union said Tuesday that it would ask the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, which had ruled that the surveillance program was illegal, to issue an injunction to halt the program, setting up a potential conflict between the two courts.
The program lapsed on June 1, when a law on which it was based, Section 215 of the USA Patriot Act, expired. Congress revived that provision on June 2 with a bill called the USA Freedom Act, which said the provision could not be used for bulk collection after six months.
The six-month period was intended to give intelligence agencies time to move to a new system in which the phone records — which include information like phone numbers and the duration of calls but not the contents of conversations — would stay in the hands of phone companies. Under those rules, the agency would still be able to gain access to the records to analyze links between callers and suspected terrorists.
Over the past few years, there has been skyrocketing growth in the use of social media to get the word out during emergency situations. From fires to disease outbreaks to police shootings, more and more people turn to Twitter, Facebook or other social media sites to get the latest updates on incidents from reliable sources and "friends."
Earlier this year, Emergency Management magazine ran a story titled: Can You Make Disaster Information Go Viral? In that piece, new efforts were highlighted to improve the reliability of emergency communications using social media during man-made and natural disasters.
I applaud these social media efforts, and this emergency management communications trend has been a very good thing up to this point. But dark clouds are on the horizon. And soon, maybe you'll need to hold-off on that retweet.