ABI: Women underrepresented in top insurance jobs

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Only 21% of executive and board positions in the insurance industry are held by women, new Association of British Insurers (ABI) research has found.

The ABI’s study, based on data covering more than 82,000 members of staff, found that four in five insurers do have diversity strategies in place, but only one in five top jobs are held by women.

Huw Evans, director general of the ABI, said: “Warm words and good intentions are not enough when it comes to addressing a lack of diversity within the insurance and long-term savings industry. Although there is a gender balance across our sector as a whole, four out of five executive and board roles are held by men.”

He added: “The ABI’s new research demonstrates that most firms are not just talking about change but are taking practical steps to make a difference, whether that is for LGBT+ staff or those from ethnic minorities. Investment in training and use of executive sponsors is high but more firms need to invest in returnship programmes to help new parents back to work.”

“I know from my own conversations with industry leaders that there is a great determination at the very top of our member firms to tackle this issue. The ABI will continue to do all it can to support this change including conducting this research regularly so the sector can benchmark progress.”

Among the ABI’s other findings:

  • 78% of companies have a diversity and inclusion strategy, with 74% having an executive sponsor for diversity and inclusion.
  • 73% of firms have an executive or management development programme that prioritises good gender balance, while 56% have a development programme targeting those that may be underrepresented.
  • 78% of companies have already provided unconscious bias training for staff.
  • For parents, 33% of firms have a returnship programme to help them with their return to work.
  • The sector’s current workforce is found to be 16% black, Asian or from an ethnic minority, compared with 14% in the general UK working age population.
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Mark Dugdale is the editor of Claims Media. Mark welcomes articles, letters or feedback from readers and can be reached via mark.dugdale@barkerbrooks.co.uk