Category: Industry News, Insurance, gender network, gender biased, gender inequality, senior women
Lloyd’s – one of the world’s foremost insurance brands is leading the way with their diversity and inclusion strategies. They are also one of the few insurance firms with a female CEO.
Women in the Insurance Industry
While there have been improvements in recent years, the insurance industry still faces a significant gender divide. With PwC stating that women only hold 19% of senior level positions, 14% of board seats and 2% of CEO roles in financial services leadership positions.
How Lloyd’s is addressing the gender divide
Lloyds appointed its first female CEO, Inga Beale in its 327-year history in January 2014. Beale was instrumental in setting up and championing the Inclusion at Lloyds programme to monitor and drive inclusion across the Lloyd’s market.
Lloyd’s work in diversity and inclusion (D&I) involves raising awareness of D&I, sharing best practice and promoting role models. The company’s commitment to D&I stems from the top-down and is a commitment that they take very seriously. Some of Lloyd’s D&I work includes:
- “Dive In” – a global festival of diversity and inclusion in insurance
- Publication of a practical, Diversity and Inclusion 5 step guide
- Market-wide research and report on D&I initiatives and practices called Holding up the Mirror
- A D&I scorecard template which provides guidance on measuring and reporting diversity and inclusivity progress
In an interview with Insurance Business Enya He, the regional director for south central U.S region at Lloyd’s said:
“Today, what I see is so much more awareness of inclusion and diversity”, pointing to the number of female executives in Beale’s team as a great example of gender diversity at the top.
“Lloyd’s has the strongest brand, without a doubt, the brand always matters, but it’s the people who make a difference.”
During her career, Enya has seen a shift in attitudes towards women in the insurance industry, particularly those in senior positions. Nowadays there are more women pushing forward with their careers in insurance and finding that they are able to climb the ladder in ways that were not available to them in the past.
There are groups such as the Insurance Industry Charitable Foundation (IICF), and the Women’s Insurance Networking Group (WING) – both of which Enya is involved with. These groups help to support women in the insurance industry through raising awareness of the issues faced and the gender divide that still exists today. They also organise events and are a platform for professionals to share their skills and knowledge.
There are also groups such as everywoman, that champions the advancement of women and WISE, which enables and energises people in business, industry and education to increase the success of women in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM).
However, despite the various initiatives that are in place, there is still a significant gender divide in the industry and a long way to go to improve this. Enya explained to Insurance Business:
“Overall we are in the minority. We’re still a white, male-dominated environment. That’s just a fact.”
When asked how the industry and its key players can keep the momentum going? Enya said:
“For one, it has to come from the top. We are trying to do grassroots efforts such as WING… but unless we have men in the room, listening to us, understanding each other, it won’t happen. We need their buy-in, we need their support.”
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