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Heidi Liddiment is an account director, Auto at Assurant. She talked to us about her current role and the initiatives that have been introduced to advance diversity, equity and inclusion within Assurant.
Heidi Liddiment
Heidi Liddiment
Account Director, Assurant

Women in Banking and Finance caught up with Heidi Liddiment, account director, Auto at Assurant.

Assurant is a leading global business services company that supports, protects and connects major consumer purchases. Assurant partners with some of the world’s most recognisable brands, helping them solve their business challenges that are relevant to their customer base.

Heidi talked to us about her current role and the initiatives that have been introduced to advance diversity, equity and inclusion within Assurant.

Heidi, can you tell us about yourself and your role at Assurant?

I’ve been at Assurant for just over four years now, having joined as a new business development director within the Auto line of business. I was promoted to my current position of account director in 2021. My role involves setting the strategy for my team and overseeing our client relationships with major automotive manufacturer brands. One of the most exciting aspects of my role is to partner with clients as they expand their offering of auto protection and insurance products and services. I’m currently working with a client on their pan-European launch across 20+ countries; it’s great to be partnering with a client at such an exciting chapter of their growth.

How have things changed at Assurant since you joined the company?

I’ve seen a lot of exciting changes since I joined the business. However, what’s been most noticeable to me is the number of women who hold senior positions within Assurant globally; it’s great to be part of a culture that focuses on the retention, growth and development of women and recognises the unique contributions they make to the success of the business.

There’s also been a real focus on Employee Resource Groups (ERG). These are voluntary, employee-led groups made up of people who share a particular characteristic such as gender, ethnicity, religious affiliation, sexual orientation, disability or veteran service, as well as their allies. An ERG aims to foster inclusion and they often result in innovation and collaboration, fundamentally spearheading the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) strategy.

The company recently launched Women@Assurant, an ERG which focuses on supporting women with their personal and professional growth by providing mentorship, leadership development and sponsorship to drive empowerment and engagement; that provides a forum that encourages collaboration, connection, and innovation; and engages leadership to maintain an open environment for ideas and support for the ERG.

What has your experience of working at Assurant been like?

As a business, Assurant continues to grow and evolve — our vision is to be the leading global business services company supporting the advancement of the connected world. The company focuses on developing and implementing innovative products and services for our clients and their customers while creating an inclusive culture with diverse teams. This achieves a great work environment, and it also means people can perform better. This environment has helped me to thrive in my career — even when faced with challenges such as meeting deadlines during busy periods and navigating the development of new products and services.

We know that a company is only as good as its employees, so one of the things that stands out for me is how Assurant managed the COVID-19 pandemic. During this time there was a lot of uncertainty, however, Assurant placed the health and wellbeing of its employees at the core of its decision making. The company ran a number of webinars, understanding that communication is key to having an employee-centric approach. These webinars enabled the leadership team to ensure we knew what was being done to address the safety, health and wellbeing of the Assurant workforce.

Wellbeing and mental health online workshops were also organised for colleagues to join and the business made immediate provision to accommodate working from home so we were able to provide continuous and seamless support to our clients and their customers during this period. This flexible approach has continued as we’ve planned our new ways of working.

Why do you think it’s so important that Assurant has a diverse workforce – particularly for the Auto line of business?

I’ve worked in both finance and insurance in the auto industry, which has traditionally been viewed as a male-dominated environment. However, there has been a significant shift recently as the industry looks to increase its diversity. And this shouldn’t come as a surprise when you consider that 46% of driver’s licences are held by women and women either buy or influence the purchase of 85% of cars!

At Assurant, we aim to mirror the world around us. We have opportunities to celebrate our culture, which is as diverse in perspectives and experiences as the customers we serve. The business recognises that we can drive innovation by using our collective strength while being one of the best places to work. A more diverse, equitable and inclusive culture is really refreshing and enables us to build great partnerships within this sector as a result.

What excites you about the future of DEI at Assurant?

The part that really excites me is how DEI is clearly not a ‘tick the box’ exercise for Assurant. It’s part of the culture, and I really love that. It forms part of everything we do. I recently filled a vacancy in my team and one of the interview questions that was included for candidates was why they felt DEI was such an important part of our business and how they felt it strengthened our capabilities. It was inspiring to hear the candidates’ answers and see how passionate they were about DEI.