Assurant on how the ‘follow the sun’ model can increase diversity and inclusion

Women in Tech spoke to Dale Green, Director, Infrastructure Products at Assurant, about its recruitment campaign for Global Infrastructure and Cloud Services (ICS).

remote support

Assurant is a leading global provider of lifestyle and housing solutions that support, protect and connect major consumer purchases. Assurant partners with some of the world’s most recognisable brands, helping them solve their business challenges.

As a result of continued growth, Assurant has selected the UK as the location for a “follow the sun” support team for its global infrastructure. The team will support growth targets as the business continues to expand its customer base, as an extension of the U.S. global technology support team.

Assurant is recruiting Network, Database, Windows and Web hosting engineers to join its global team. Reporting to the Global Director of Infrastructure Products, the team will align with U.S. out of normal operating hours. They will support, design, install/configure, operate and maintain systems hardware, software and related infrastructure, help establish strategy and adoption of new technologies, and provide engineering design and support for infrastructure located in the cloud and in datacentres globally.

Dale, do you think remote working is beneficial for increasing diversity and inclusion?

I think that remote working provides employees the opportunity to create a personal work environment that they’re comfortable in and where they are comfortable being themselves. The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted that we can adjust our work settings, and that we can place our desk where we need it to be, whether that’s in the house, garden or bedroom. We can arrange our desk and adjust the temperature and light to suit our physical and mental needs – all of which are advantages to managing our own personal workspace and environment.

Remote work also provides more flexibility for working parents and caregivers, especially during the pandemic which introduced challenges relating to childcare and other affected responsibilities.

The lack of commute for many people over the last year or so also has created opportunities. Previously, some roles may have been discounted by candidates due to a lack of transportation, special transportation needs, or simply an inability to spend several hours a day commuting. With remote working, these roles are now feasible. This will provide many of us with more time and energy in the day and perhaps empower us to set our own working patterns to better balance our work and home lives.   

What diverse technologies will the team be working on?

Assurant, like many organisations, is utilising public and private cloud technologies and investing in best-in-class systems to facilitate the migration. The “follow the sun” team primarily will support the vast and diverse U.S. infrastructure. The team also will spend some of their time on projects across the globe as we support Assurant’s International business.

How do you think the “follow the sun” model will help drive inclusion?

Initially the “follow the sun” model will improve the working timeline for our colleagues based in the U.S. Assurant’s “follow the sun” team in the UK will be online from 6am GMT which will reduce the need for the U.S team to work on incidents and changes outside of their working hours. The reduction in out of normal operating hours for our U.S. team will provide a better work life balance for our colleagues as well.

Do you plan to expand this model globally if it is successful in the UK?

There is scope to implement a third “follow the sun” team in another region of the globe where the time zone matches our requirement.