Increasing Student AwarenessPromoting the actuarial profession to all individuals December 2018/January 2019
Since its inception in 2015, the Inclusion and Diversity Committee (IDC) has worked to uphold the Society of Actuaries (SOA) Diversity and Inclusion Statement:
The SOA best fulfills its mission when it is diverse and inclusive of all individuals. Openness to and acceptance of diverse perspectives, cultures and backgrounds helps to attract the best talent and ensures the overall inclusivity of the actuarial profession.
The SOA welcomes the membership and participation of all individuals, regardless of race, ethnicity, religion, age, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, disability, or national origin.
In 2017, the SOA, the Casualty Actuarial Society (CAS) and the International Association of Black Actuaries (IABA) collaborated on a joint research project. Findings emphasized the importance of promoting early awareness of the actuarial profession among minority high school students, parents and teachers.
Key research findings indicate:
- Lack of awareness and late awareness about the actuarial pathway are the largest barriers for underrepresented students, including African-Americans and Latinos.
- Minority students and their major networks, including family and teachers, lack contact with actuaries.
- Inadequate academic preparation can leave minority candidates less prepared for exams.
With those findings at the forefront, the IDC has identified two major strategic initiatives for 2019 and beyond:
- Improve awareness of the actuarial profession and financial support, especially in the 12-to-20-year-old age group.
- Increase awareness of the availability of exam reimbursement, scholarship, academic and network support to underrepresented students, parents and teachers.
To achieve these initiatives, the IDC and other groups will oversee an awareness campaign about the actuarial profession for U.S. students, their parents, teachers, counselors and other educational influencers. Expansion of the CAS/SOA–sponsored High School Actuarial Day is also on the docket, as is continued marketing and support of The Actuarial Foundation’s Math Motivators tutoring program. The IDC is also charged with the responsibility to lead an interorganizational working group to assess a financial support system for students who qualify.
The SOA will report on the progress of these initiatives in upcoming publications and on SOA.org. For more information and to stay up-to-date, visit bit.ly/SOADiversity.
Copyright © 2018 by the Society of Actuaries, Schaumburg, Illinois.