Jan Gooding has left Aviva two years after the insurance brand appointed her as its first global inclusion and diversity director.
Gooding joined the group almost a decade ago as its brand director, overseeing global marketing, brand and customer experience, before making the move to lead its inclusion and diversity strategy in 2016.
Prior to that, she held marketing roles at British Gas and BT.
Speaking to The Drum, Gooding said it was "a big wrench to leave" Aviva but felt the time was right, having put in place a number of initiatives that would "build momentum" and continue without her day-to-day involvement.
Most recently that was the launch of a policy giving employees in the UK, Ireland, France, Singapore, Canada and Italy equal parental leave benefits as well as the establishment of six "internal communities" for its workforce to discuss and promote diversity and inclusion efforts; Aviva Ability, Carers, Balance (gender), Pride (LGBTQ+), Origins (ethnicity), and Generation (age).
“I felt confident that [the diversity and inclusion agenda] would continue because it didn’t rely on me. Through these initiatives, the staff have been engaged from the bottom up. The base has been built,” she said, praising chief people officer Sarah Morris and UK chief Andy Briggs for the "huge commitment" made to the three-year diversity and inclusion strategy.
“I felt I could leave as the framework doesn’t rely on me [now], the people are engaged to keep it going. The commitment remains at the top and there’s no reason it won’t go from strength to strength.”
Gooding will not go to another brand-side role. Instead, she is looking for more board and non-exec level opportunities.
As a long-time advocate of inclusion issues, she will continue in her role as the chair of trustees at Stonewall as well as promoting diversity and inclusion through her work as a member of the executive committee for Women in Advertising and Communications London (Wacl).
She will also continue as chair of the board of Pamco and as president of the Market Research Society.
The Drum has contacted Aviva for confirmation on who will now take on the role.