How ESG Can Help Insurance Companies Attract and Retain Talent

By Erin Gattoni | Published July 14, 2023

Environmental, social and governance (ESG) issues are becoming increasingly important for businesses across all sectors, including insurance. ESG is not only about managing risks and meeting regulatory requirements but also about creating value. One of the key benefits of ESG is its impact on talent acquisition and retention, which is critical for the insurance industry.


Insurance is a people-driven business that relies on the skills, expertise and engagement of its workforce. However, attracting and retaining talent can be challenging for the industry, including the skills gap and the changing expectations of employees. According to a recent report by PwC, 55% of global insurers cited talent acquisition and retention challenges as one of the biggest risks that could prevent companies from achieving growth goals.


ESG can help insurance companies address this challenge by enhancing employer brand, aligning values with their employees and offering meaningful opportunities for development and impact. Here are some ways that ESG can spur talent acquisition and retention in the insurance industry:


Enhancing employer brand: ESG can help insurance companies differentiate themselves from their competitors and appeal to potential candidates who are looking for purpose-driven employers. According to a BCG survey, almost 70% of New Zealand employees say it is important or very important for organizations to focus on ESG activities, and social factors were the top three contributors to employee pride and purpose. In another study by BCG, it was found that companies with a strong sense of purpose outperform the market by 10% on average. ESG builds trust and reputation with customers, partners and regulators, which can positively influence  employee pride and loyalty.


Aligning values with employees: ESG can help insurance companies create a culture that resonates with their employees' beliefs and aspirations. Employees want to work for companies that share their values and care about the issues that matter to them, such as climate change, diversity, equity and inclusion, social justice and ethical conduct. According to a PwC survey of consumers and employees, 86% of employees prefer to work for companies whose beliefs align with their own. ESG can also help insurance companies foster a sense of belonging and engagement among employees, which can improve their productivity and performance.


Offering meaningful opportunities: ESG can help insurance companies provide their employees with opportunities to learn, grow and make a difference. Employees want to work for companies that invest in their development, challenge them with interesting projects and empower them to contribute to positive social and environmental outcomes. Employees want to work for a company that provides them with a chance to make an impact through ESG initiatives. ESG can also help companies attract diverse talent from different backgrounds, perspectives and experiences, which can enhance innovation and creativity.


CNA is leveraging ESG to attract and retain talent, and we published our first ESG report in 2022, highlighting our commitment to creating a more sustainable and equitable future for policyholders, partners, employees and communities. We have implemented various initiatives to support ESG goals, such as:


  • Enhancing our diversity, equity and inclusion strategy and programs
  • Supporting STEM education and career development for underrepresented groups
  • Investing in disaster preparedness and recovery efforts
  • Utilizing Risk Control in helping clients become more resilient and promoting the transition to sustainable construction
  • Promoting ethical conduct and governance practices


By integrating ESG into our strategy, culture and operations, CNA has been able to demonstrate its values and purpose to its current and potential employees and stakeholders. ESG is not only a responsibility but also an opportunity for insurance companies to attract and retain talent.

In Canada, products and/or services described are provided by Continental Casualty Company, a CNA property/casualty insurance company. The information is intended to present a general overview for illustrative purposes only. Read CNA’s General Disclaimer.

Erin Gattoni
Senior Vice President, Human Resources and Operations

Erin is responsible for the overall strategic direction and management of Human Resources, Operations and Underwriting Governance in Canada, in support of the company's strategic plan.


Erin joined CNA in 2019 as Vice President, Human Resources with responsibilities for the strategic management of Human Resources across Canada and has been a strong and collaborative partner and leader in the business successfully leading and/or supporting a number of key strategic projects in furtherance of our business growth and change initiatives.


She joined CNA from Chubb where she was AVP, Senior HR Business Partner for Canada and AVP, Talent & Development for North America.  Erin has over 18 years of industry experience and has held roles of increasing responsibility both within HR and Underwriting with Canada, Bermuda and the US.


She has a Bachelor of Science, SSP Honours, Life Science from Queen’s University and holds a Chartered Insurance Professional designation from the Insurance Institute of Canada. Erin is part of the Starlight Insurance Campaign Leadership Committee and DiveIN Canada, run through Inclusion@Lloyds, which is a global movement in the insurance sector to support the development of inclusive workplace cultures.


She is also an active fundraiser/volunteer with the Canadian Cancer Society, Daily Bread Food Bank, Ronald McDonald House, SickKids Hospital and the Insurance Institute of Canada.