Botello believes that investing internal resources in diversity, equity and inclusion initiatives can have a profound impact on business operations at the micro and macro levels.
“I think our industry will be committed to this endeavor, not just because of the social justice movements, but because it’s the right thing to do and there’s a business reason for diversity and inclusion,” Botello said. “I firmly believe that more equal teams create value for customers and companies alike.”
While it can sometimes be difficult to establish and maintain an inclusive work culture that benefits a company and its employees, she said, “It has proven to be a worthwhile endeavor.
“Here at Marsh, we’re trying to create that environment,” Botello said. “And of course it’s not perfect, and we don’t strive for perfection. We know that sometimes we get things wrong, but we want to make people feel like they shouldn’t be afraid of making mistakes.”
For Botello, DE&I is “everything about learning and being brave”.
“Marsh and McLennan have been around for 150 years, but it’s our responsibility to shape progress for the next century,” Botello said.
Creation of a balanced workplace
The insurance space has traditionally been a male-dominated field that breaking into it can be intimidating, especially for women. The lack of female professionals in all areas of a company, especially in managerial positions, can deter potential talent who may not envision advancement.
“We need to focus on top-level representation to ensure you make change from the top down,” Botello said. “We also need to train colleagues to better understand what their biases are, to really create equity and inclusion in processes like hiring and promotion.”
There is also the question of how to make working in an insurance company attractive to women and ultimately attract them to the field.
“We’re certainly dealing with stiff competition from other professions that seem more attractive, whether it’s teaching or engineering or economics,” Botello said. “You never really hear that a young woman wants to be an insurance executive at a young age, and that’s something we really need to address in order to create meaningful change.”
Outreach programs are an option to show how rewarding and stimulating a career in this field can be with real growth opportunities. It’s also imperative that in times of career changes due to COVID and cheaper telecommuting, a company really needs to instill a sense of appreciation from its employees who might be able to look elsewhere.
“I find it fascinating to examine this topic in depth to find meaningful solutions,” said Botello.
Thinking about memorable initiatives
Botello felt compelled to use her position as a DE&I specialist to create significant change and opportunity for individuals who may feel neglected by the professional industry. Ultimately, while there are many systemic issues for diverse BIPOC and LGBTQIA+ individuals, as well as women, Botello prides herself on her commitment to addressing and righting these longstanding injustices in any way she can.
Throughout her time at Marsh, Botello has been very proud of her involvement in Leading the Change. Founded in 2020, the company has pledged $5 million over three years to support select organizations advancing equality for the Black community and to match the impact for colleagues empowered through a double- Matching program donate to racial justice organizations.
“We have also taken concrete actions to advance racial justice, including establishing a global network of black peers and a racial advisory council,” she said.
One of the organizations she supported was Gideon’s Promise, which works to transform the criminal justice system by building a movement of public defenders to bring equal justice to marginalized communities.
“The funds we provide will be used to support a program called PIPED, which stands for Public Interest Professionals Expanding Diversity,” Botello said. “It was designed to build stronger relationships between the legal system and marginalized communities, while providing fellowships for public defenders.”
“This is one of the greatest challenges facing the American criminal justice system [system],” she added. “There’s a lot of work and not a lot of well-trained public defenders. So we’re trying to fix that through this partnership.”
The company has also supported the Better Chance initiative, which provides opportunities for middle and high school students to help them gain a place in competitive educational institutions.
“The funding we are providing will directly help over 2,000 students each year by building important career platforms while connecting them with employers who are seeking more diverse talent and want to promote equity in our communities,” said Botello. “I think supporting our communities through life’s diverse challenges is more important than ever, which will then foster responsible business structures to ensure diversity, equity and inclusion are available to all.”