Diversity, Equity and Inclusion at the OIC

The insurance market in our state is made up of many different products designed to meet a wide range of needs for Washington residents. When insurance is too expensive, unfair or discriminatory, it affects almost everyone living in the state. To ensure all insurance customers in Washington receive the coverage they need at a fair price, we are committed to hiring a diverse group of regulators that reflect the populations they serve.

We serve and employ everyone and foster an inclusive environment that supports:

  • gender identity or expression
  • race
  • sex
  • religion
  • Age
  • Marital status
  • national origin
  • Veteran Status: Disabled, Vietnam-era, recently separated, or other protected veteran status
  • Disability: physical, verbal, visual, auditory, cognitive or neurological

At the Washington State Office of the Insurance Commissioner (OIC), we strive to create an environment of mutual respect, inclusion and equal opportunity.

Promoting diversity, equity and inclusion at the OIC

A government agency that actively promotes Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) among its workforce is both more reflective of the population it serves and better equipped to meet their needs. At the Office of the Insurance Commissioner, we have adopted these as the reinforcing principles of our organization. Here are some of OIC’s DEI achievements to date and some of the ways we are building more diversity, equity and inclusion every day.

Our employees have set up an internal DEI council

At OIC, we recognize that hiring a diverse workforce and serving a diverse population is simply not enough. It’s about more than that, so we created an internal DEI council to find better ways to steer our agency’s efforts. Our DEI Council meets regularly to discuss how to turn differences into strengths, to ensure the policies we promote are equitable, and to find better ways to honor all of the diverse walks of life that our Co-workers and those we serve are coming.

Our employees are well represented in the state’s economic development groups

Many important DEI talks take place in the state government’s Business Resource Groups. Business Resource Groups (ofm.wa.gov) are government employees who meet to network, share ideas, and discuss common interests. Our employees are enthusiastic about making their voices, perspectives and experiences available to groups such as:

  • ANHPI (Asian, Hawaiian and Pacific Islander Indians)
  • RAIN (Rainbow Alliance Inclusion Network for LGBTQ+)
  • VERG (Veteran Staff Resource Group)
  • DIN (Disabled Inclusion Network)
  • BUILD (Blacks United in Leadership and Diversity)
  • ICSEW (Interagency Committee of State Employed Women)
  • LLN (Latin Leadership Network)
  • WIN (Washington Immigrant Network)

The OIC is an award-winning DEI leader among government agencies

A diverse, equitable and inclusive workforce is fostered by the environment that leadership creates. In 2020, Commissioner Kreidler accepted one of three Outstanding Agency awards from the business resource group Rainbow Alliance Inclusion Network (RAIN). The OIC was recognized for “Creating a safe, diverse, and inclusive workplace for LGBTQ+ employees, allies, and customers in Washington State.”

We are learning more and more about DEI

Whether it’s training our employees on how to better serve people with disabilities, updating our legal systems to be gender-neutral, or reflecting on how some communities may be disproportionately affected by insurance laws, we strengthen the diversity, equity and inclusion of ours every day Agency. But despite the progress we’ve made, we also know the importance of listening and always trying to learn more.

As the OIC’s commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion continues, we continue to help make the insurance market in Washington more accessible and fair for all.

About Ellen Lewandowski

Check Also

Enter DC’s choice: wages for tipped workers, campaigning broadly

Comment on this story comment Election Day is unlikely to bring drastic changes to Washington …