It’s time to talk about senior women in insurance and reinsurance. That was my thought after seeing a statistic was posted on Twitter the other day stating that 62% of Canada’s P&C industry’s workforce was female in 2012 (thanks to @xuber for the post).
And of this figure 36% of what is classed in the survey as senior/executive were women. Interesting post – and much higher numbers than I would have thought.
Change at the top – but is one change enough?
With Inga Beale taking up the helm at Lloyd’s of London, I thought it might be time to gather some other stats on women in this global market.
Via a Xuber blog on Inga’s appointment, I found Joseph’s University of Insurance Industry Demographics had a study published on December 31, 2012. It is a US study, but does not break down by geography where the sample was taken from – I’m assuming the US. It is based on 100 companies – 91 publicly traded and 9 mutual companies.
How many women are in senior posts in insurance and reinsurance?
The study shows that women hold:
- 12% of board seats
- 6% of top executive positions (CEO, CFO, COO)
- 8% of the named inside officers
To most of us, it is a bit a the statement of the bleedin’ obvious – customer-facing companies have more gender diversity, there are few women at the top, slightly more on boards…
What is interesting in the study is that while executive leaders were aware of the gender diversity problems, they were both surprised and disappointed at the current status. They were also interested in working towards a solution.
What does Swiss Re say about women in leadership?
Swiss Re has an interesting article on their Women in Leadership Roles Forum on their website. It says that one theme that emerged from the forum is that the insurance industry is moving too slowly when it comes to elevating women to leadership roles.
And it quotes Mike McGavick, CEO of XL Capital: “I stand before you worried,” he said. “Against the pace of change, our pace is just too damn slow.”
Well. Inga is in at Lloyd’s. Barbarra Merry is out at Hardy. Sue Langely is now CEO for the UK Financial Investment Organisation. Liz Mitchell is still President and CEO of Platinum Underwriters. Women are making their way up (and even out of) the food chain. Let’s see who is next – and see if we can work out how many women there are in reinsurance and insurance.
What happened at the recent first meeting of 100 Women in Reinsurance?
On another note, last week Rein4ce held the first meeting of 100 Women in Reinsurance in London at Dion in Leadehall St, and had an excellent turn out with women and men from all ranks and sectors of the market (The group has nearly 800 members on LinkedIn).
Underwriters, managers, brokers, marketing people, lawyers and the media all turned up. The women, and a more than a handful of supportive men, were enthusiastic about the group becoming more formal, to help network and educate.
One of the questions that keeps coming up, time and time again, is how women can get on to the very male-heavy boards that dominate in insurance and reinsurance markets – so we will look at addressing this difficult issue in one of the next meetings.
In all about 50 people showed up. And the companies I have noted down included:(in alphabetical order): AIG, Advisen, Allianz Global Corporate and Speciality, AM Best , Amellior, Aon Benfield, Belvedere Meade, Charles Taylor, Cooper Gay, Drinker Biddle, Guy Carpenter, Holman Fenwick Willan, Insurance Day, Insurance Insider, Intelligent Insurer, Isis Consulting, Goldberg Segalla, , Lloyd’s, Moore Stephens, Moralee Associates, Reactions, Thornton Tomasetti, Xchanging and Xuber, and Zurich.
I know I have missed a few out – let me know and I’ll add them!