From: Captive Insurance Times

Industry professionals discuss the reasons why women have not historically held senior level roles in the insurance industry, the importance of mentorship and female role model representation, and what the captive industry is doing to address this disparity

Although just shy of 60 per cent of the workforce within the insurance industry, women remain underrepresented in senior-level roles, according to this year’s annual Current Population Survey, conducted by the US Bureau of Labor Statistics.

In profiling specific occupations in the insurance industry, the survey found that while women tend to dominate clerical and examination roles, there is a significant drop in the number of women in sales and actuarial professions.

One of the reasons behind this disparity is the recurrent “broken rung” at the first step up to managerial roles, as women are promoted at lower rates than men, therefore creating a difficult environment for which a company can lay a foundation for sustained progress at more senior levels.

This is according to a ‘Women in the Workplace’ study conducted by McKinsey & Company in September last year. Spanning all corporate industries in the US, the study found that for every 100 men promoted to manager, only 86 women are promoted.

The study adds that overall gains in representation following the COVID-19 pandemic have not translated into gains for women of colour.

Between entry-level and C-suite, the representation of women of colour drops off by more than 75 per cent.

Without other women to aspire to, many young female professionals are essentially self-selecting out of a career path within insurance before they have really even given it a chance”

Karen Hsi, University of California

In this environment, the Captive Insurance Companies Association (CICA) launched the Amplify Women initiative in 2019, dedicated to providing women with opportunities for education, networking and influence in the captive industry.

The task force works to represent women in educational opportunities, such as speaking at conferences, publishing articles and academic partnerships, as well as promoting visibility by serving on association and industry boards.

Diversity in the workplace inevitably translates into diversity of thought, ideas and approaches — with discussions around diversity, equity and inclusion (DE&I) in the captive industry arguably more dynamic compared to the wider insurance industry, is this reflected in progress?