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Nov 30, 2021

Welcome to RIMScast. Your host is Justin Smulison, Business Content Manager at RIMS, the Risk and Insurance Management Society.


Diversity, equity, and inclusion is a continuous process at RIMS and among its members. The RIMS DE&I Council serves as both a resource and a collaborator with RIMS committees, councils, and members to implement DE&I goals and objectives.


To discuss more on this topic, Justin Smulison is joined today by RIMS DE&I Council Chair, Kevin Thomas, and Vice-Chair, Monica Merrifield! Together, they speak about the state of DE&I initiatives in the risk profession, the work that is still ahead of us, and updates on the progress of the RIMS DE&I Council over the past year.


Key Takeaways:

[:01] About RIMS’ Global Membership.

[:25] About this episode’s topic.

[:33] Upcoming RIMS current virtual offerings.

[1:45] How to register for the 2021 RIMS India Forum and the 2022 RIMS RiskTech Forum.

[2:40] More about today’s episode with special guests, Kevin Thomas and Monica Merrifield.

[3:12] Justin welcomes Kevina and Monica back to the podcast!

[3:20] Kevin elaborates on how DE&I has evolved and the big shifts he has seen from a societal and organizational perspective in 2020‒21 compared to prior years.

[5:13] Monica shares her thoughts on how DE&I has evolved in 2020‒21 and how she sees the hybrid work model evolving in the future.

[7:33] Kevin highlights a key takeaway about DE&I as we move into a hybrid work model.

[8:36] How DE&I is categorized as a risk and why that matters.

[12:08] Kevin highlights an important takeaway on what leadership should do to be more diverse and inclusive.

[13:40] Monica shares her insights on what companies can do to become more diverse and inclusive.

[16:17] All about the RIMS Mobile App, RIMS Buyers Guide, and how to sit on a RIMS committee or council.

[17:44] Kevin shares what the RIMS DE&I Council has learned about executing a DE&I strategy and how this knowledge will information Council activity in the coming year (or two).

[20:50] Monica also shares how the knowledge that the RIMS DE&I has gained over the last year will impact their activity going forward.

[23:23] Kevin and Monica both share their parting words of advice and inspiration with regard to DE&I.

[27:07] Justin thanks Kevin and Monica for joining RIMScast once again and shares some of the links to look out for in this episode’s show notes!


Mentioned in this Episode:

RIMS Events, Education, and Services:

RIMS DE&I Council

“Excellence in Risk Management 2021 Report,” by RIMS & Marsh

Join a RIMS Committee: RIMS members are encouraged to submit an application to sit on a RIMS committee or council. Click on the link with descriptions on the volunteer submission form. The deadline to submit is December 3th.

RIMS India 2021 — Virtual Two-Day Event! December 3rd & 4th — Register Today!

TechRisk/RiskTech | RIMS Virtual Event Jan. 26-27, 2022 — Register Today!


RIMS Buyers Guide

Sponsored RIMScast Episodes:

“A Legacy of Resilience” | Sponsored by J.B. Boda Group

“The Golden Era of Insurance” | Sponsored by The Hartford

“Insurance Investigation Trends Happening Now” | Sponsored by Travelers

“What Could a CRO Do for Your Business?” | Sponsored by Riskonnect

“Hard Reality: A Look at Rising Rates in Property & Excess Casualty” | Sponsored by AXA XL

“Property Valuation Deep Dive” | Sponsored by TÜV SÜD

“Property Loss Control Engineering” | Sponsored by Prudent Insurance Brokers

NEW RIMSCAST VIDEO: “Climate Change and Insurance: A Fireside Chat with Dev Bhutani and Deepak Madan” | Sponsored by Prudent Insurance Brokers Ltd.

Webinars & Virtual Workshops:

Dec. 2, 2021 | “Addressing Today’s Risks and Preparing for the Risks of Tomorrow” | Sponsored by Aon

Contractual Risk Transfer: Dec. 7‒8 — Registration closes Dec. 3rd

Applying and Integrating ERM: Dec 9‒10 – Registration closes Dec 8th

RIMS-CRMP Exam Prep with University of Hartford Dec. 14 & 16. – Register by Dec. 13th

More DE&I on RIMScast:

“Launching DEI Initiatives with Tara Lessard-Webb”

“Pride Month 2021: How Risk Pros Can Protect and Uplift LGBTQ+ Employees”

“Diversity as a Successful Business Division with Rodney Johnson”

“Asian Pacific American Heritage Month 2021”

“Discussing Black History Month and the Risk Profession with Tammy Franklin of Marsh”

“Pride Month with RIMS D&I Council Members, Kevin Thomas, and Victoria Nolan”

“Talking Diversity and ERM at the RIMS ERM Conference 2019”

“The Current State of the Risk Management Profession’s Talent Supply, Future Outlooks, and the Influence of Diversity and Inclusion Programs”

RIMS Publications, Content, and Links:

RIMS Membership — Whether you are a new member or need to transition, be a part of the global risk management community!

RIMS Virtual Workshops

Upcoming RIMS Webinars

On-Demand Webinars

RIMS Advisory Services — Ask a Peer

Risk Management Magazine

Risk Management Monitor

RIMS Coronavirus Information Center

RIMS Risk Leaders Series — New interview with RIMS 2021 Risk Manager of the Year Michael Harrington!

RIMS-Certified Risk Management Professional (RIMS-CRMP)

RIMS-CRMP Stories — New interview featuring RIMS Treasurer Jennifer Santiago!

Spencer Educational Foundation


The Fearless Organization: Creating Psychological Safety in the Workplace for Learning, Innovation, and Growth, by Amy C. Edmonson


Want to Learn More?

Keep up with the podcast on and listen on iTunes.

Have a question or suggestion? Email:


Join the Conversation!

Follow @RIMSorg on Facebook and Twitter, and LinkedIn.


Follow up with Our Guests:

RIMS DE&I Council

Kevin Thomas’ LinkedIn

Monica Merrifield’s LinkedIn


Tweetables (For Social Media Use):


“It takes … some good, solid, inclusive leadership skills and techniques to help foster and create that space where people feel comfortable speaking up.” Monica Merrifield


“Our [RIMS DE&I] Council members are just great … a collection of knowledge, deep insight, [and] lived experiences.” Monica Merrifield


“This [DE&I] work truly does unite us all.” — Monica Merrifield


“You have to put passion into action. … Council members, risk management professionals … you’ve got to get involved [with DE&I].” Kevin Thomas


“When people feel included, good things happen — simply put.” Monica Merrifield


“You’ve got to bring your whole, full, authentic self [to work] no matter who you are [or] where you are … every day.” Kevin Thomas