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Efforts to Diversify the Actuarial Profession

By Paul Johnson

November 8, 2021

Our actuarial program’s efforts to further diversify the actuarial profession have continued to evolve since the last newsletter. Three students from other universities virtually attended the Act Sci 300 class (the review class for CAS/SOA Exam 1/P) either last summer or this current semester. Also, our relationships with the International Association of Black Actuaries (IABA), the Organization of Latino Actuaries (OLA), and about a dozen Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) have strengthened. We are hopeful that more of their students will enroll in our classes, including a new virtual class (coined “Act Sci 101”) to introduce students to analytics used in actuarial science, case studies, and various career pathways in the spring 2022 semester. Additionally, we have met with some students exploring actuarial careers at a couple of the schools and hope to develop a regular schedule to connect with students. We are looking to partner with corporations to help support this initiative.

We have continued our tutoring efforts as part of the Actuarial Foundation’s Math Motivators program. This semester, more than a dozen UW-Madison actuarial students are virtually tutoring middle school students in math. The middle school students are located in Wisconsin, Minnesota, and Illinois. Our plan is to continue the middle school tutoring program into future semesters, potentially implementing both in-person and virtual modes.

There are a couple of additional video developments. We have created a series of awareness videos featuring a diverse group of current and former UW-Madison actuarial students. These videos involve the students not only discussing the role of an actuary and desired actuarial skills, but also address diversity and inclusion through topics such as microaggressions and allyship. We plan to make these videos available online in the near future as part of our outreach efforts. In addition, we have a set of videos that will be used for the new Act Sci 101 class that we intend to edit for outreach purposes. 

Though there is always more work to do, we are continuing to progress in a good direction to diversity the profession. If you are interested in these efforts or have any questions, please contact Risk and Insurance faculty Paul Johnson.