From: Captive International
Studies show diverse organizations are more innovative and outperform their peers by 15 percent. We explore how CICA’s Amplify Women initiative is creating strong networks and making a difference in the captive insurance industry.
As the captive insurance industry seeks to address looming labor shortages, there is one perennial imbalance that needs to be tackled: women are outnumbered by men, especially in senior roles. The reasons for this are complex, and CICA’s Amplify Women initiative seeks to address all of them, tackling the problem at its roots.
“The insurance industry is recognizing the disparities in hierarchy within the industry—you see a lot of women in the middle management roles but at the C-suite level, that’s where there’s a dramatic drop-off,” says Anjanette Fowler, managing director and senior vice president, Insurance & Specialized Industries Group, PNC Institutional Asset Management and Amplify Women Committee chair. “That’s not to say that in the captive insurance industry we don’t have some amazing women at the top—we do, but not enough.”
Fowler believes that societal factors can contribute to this imbalance, with women’s expectations shaped by the traditional roles they often still play.
Having diversity in the industry fosters creativity and high performance.”ANNE MARIE TOWLE, HYLANT
“As women we look at the world and our roles and responsibilities a little bit differently; we become so accustomed to playing these supporting roles, and not feeling confident enough to speak up and step into the limelight,” she says.
“One of the things that attracted me to Amplify Women was that it put me in a circle of trust with other people I can step out of my comfort zone with and not be self-conscious about asking a question. One of Amplify Women’s goals is to help foster and build that muscle of confidence and comfort level with stepping into our competencies and expertise.”
The benefits of women at the top
Anne Marie Towle, global captive solutions leader at brokerage and risk management firm Hylant and an Amplify Women founding member, believes that having more women at the top brings valuable perspectives to the decision-making process.
“Men and women differ in the way they lead, communicate, and deliver,” she says. “The ability to bring these differences to the table and collaborate is important to our industry for sustainability and innovation.
“Differing viewpoints are positive in any industry and I believe in the captives industry women can help consult and manage very efficiently with risk managers, chief financial officers, treasurers and others who are involved in captive programs. Having diversity in the industry fosters creativity and high performance.”
Fowler agrees, saying that women bring a different perspective and a different approach to risk, perhaps with a natural focus on protection.
“Those differences in how we see the world and its potential problems, and how we engage with the world, bring immeasurable value to some of the key decisions that are being made in the risk management world,” she says.