Is the Insurance Industry Improving for Women?

Hilary Tuttle


September 1, 2015

women in insurance

More than 70% of women in insurance believe the industry is making progress toward gender equality and, for the second year in a row, over two-thirds think their company is working to promote gender diversity, according to a new survey from the Insurance Industry Charitable Foundation (IICF).

Biases in advancement and lack of opportunities for professional advancement remain the biggest barriers for women seeking leadership positions, respondents said. The industry may be making some progress on those issues, however, as the percentage of women who cited these chief barriers fell to 68% from 76% last year.

But the findings make clear that insurance still lags behind other sectors of the financial services ­industry in its support for women. Only 12% of those surveyed cited insurance as the most supportive of advancing women to senior leadership, compared to accounting (47.8%), banking (26.1%) and investment services (14.1%).

“While there is still progress to be made toward achieving gender equality, the vast majority of survey respondents who have found a positive shift in corporate culture is certainly telling of the strides the insurance industry has made thus far,” said IICF CEO Bill Ross.

Hilary Tuttle is managing editor of Risk Management.