Editor's Note

AR in Real Life

I know that Actuarial Review touches on matters beyond the actuarial profession, but this issue in particular illustrates quite a lot of the risks of living in this all-too-real world.

As the new coronavirus COVID-19 threatens to become a pandemic, this year’s cold and flu season is far from ordinary. Because AR is a bimonthly publication, a subject like COVID-19 would usually be too much of a fast-moving story for us to cover. Only the 24-hour news cycle can keep up. Instead, we decided to focus on how the disease will affect the business of insurance. As this story unfolds, keep washing your hands, cough into the crook of your arm and stay home if you’re sick. The flu may still be a more dangerous prospect than COVID-19.*

In more real-life news, soon people in the U.S. will decide who will lead the country — first choosing party nominees and then president. Jon Evans’s column sets up a puzzle on voter polling that results in stolen data and the violent and damaging repercussions of that theft.  This scenario seems fantastical — at least I hope it is — but the puzzle challenges solvers to find a safe solution to the possibility of such a data hack.

Back to work life, I don’t have personal experience of this, but I have known people who would like to hunt down their predecessors and tell them just how they feel about the messes they left behind. Our “Ethical Issues” column features a genteel protagonist who patiently questions a defensive actuary about the project he worked on before her.

Everyday Celebrations and Awareness

Special times throughout the year focus our attention on various groups and their histories or their causes. February and March are African-American History Month and Women’s History Month, respectively. Latino History Month runs mid-September through mid-October. January is National Volunteer Blood Donor Month and February is Insurance Careers Month. There are also special days, too many to list and some too frivolous to mention, that ask people to pay attention to all kinds of things: Π, pets, grandparents and the Earth.

But all these activities don’t have to be relegated to official days and months. Take Insurance Careers Month as an example. CAS University Liaisons don’t just limit themselves to February; they work all through the school year bringing their knowledge of the actuarial profession to potential new members. You can do outreach to students you know — your kids, your friend’s kids, your kids’ friends.

Every day can be a time to celebrate different cultures or to make people aware of your profession or any of the things that you care about.

A Final Note

AR welcomes first-time contributor Kudakwashe Chibanda, who has written our cover story on diversity and inclusion in hiring practices. Ms. Chibanda began her first year as a CAS Board Director in November 2019. The cover story also ties in an introduction to Gamma Iota Sigma, the college academic fraternity that promotes careers in insurance, risk management and actuarial science. We’ve also included some information on the Organization of Latin Actuaries and the International Association of Black Actuaries. All of these organizations offer volunteer opportunities for CAS members — no special month or days are necessary to participate.

* For current information on COVID-19, visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention www.cdc.gov and the World Health Organization www.who.int.