As a former teacher of a Tier 1 school, I am encouraged that the CAS, like many other companies and organizations, has increased their commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion (DE&I) in recent years. Looking at it from the perspective of an actuary, I don’t see any politics involved. Applying first principles from actuarial science, the CAS membership can be considered a sample of the population where the members are from. As with any other credible sample from a dataset, we should test for sample bias. One way is to compare the distribution of known characteristics between the sample and the dataset. That comparison is shown in the infographics and videos published on the CAS DE&I webpage. Since most of us believe the exam process to be unbiased, one has to conclude that there is a bias in the funnel, which is supported by the “Barriers to Entry Study.” The study concludes that there is a lack of awareness among underrepresented groups about actuaries. The good news is that the CAS DE&I initiatives focus on correcting the bias in the funnel. However, the only way to measure effectiveness is to measure the bias. Correcting the bias in the funnel means attracting the talent that we are currently missing out on, which will help make the CAS the best it can possibly be. If you have been energized by the CAS initiatives like I have, I encourage you to get involved by volunteering to help shape the future of the CAS.
—Kyle Bartee, ACAS