Gender diversity in the insurance industry: for a sustainable future
In this blog we review the publication of Swiss Re Institute based on research on the role of women in the re/ insurance industry.
For the original document go to https://alsum.co/wp-content/uploads/2021/02/swissre-institute-expertise-publication-gender-diversity.pdf
While the presence of women in leadership positions in the insurance and reinsurance industry is improving, progress is still slow. Research from the Swiss Re Institute finds that women accounted for about a fifth of insurance/reinsurance company executives in 2019 and only 10% of CEOs. Similarly, it is the insurance brokers who have increased the proportion of women most and reinsurers who have increased the representation of women on company boards the most during the last decade.
Gender diversity offers reinsurance companies an opportunity to strengthen governance, profitability and long-term sustainability. This research found that a more diverse senior leadership team in gender is associated with superior profit in return on capital (ROE) in re/insurance companies. The benefits are strongest in those reinsurers who add one or more women to a male-only leadership team.
A focus on gender diversity is vital at a time when the COVID-19 pandemic is reversing the progress made in gender equality. The crisis is increasing women’s vulnerability to job losses, stress and infections, among others. The drive to be more representative of the communities in which they operate is urgent and the pressure comes from many stakeholders. While it may not be easy for insurers to quickly meet the challenging goals set by governments and regulators, this analysis indicates that it offers compelling rewards.
Re/ insurance companies can strengthen their gender diversity strategies to increase women’s participation in executive boards and teams. A successful approach includes quantifiable gender-specific recruitment and promotion targets, support for women with career aspirations at all levels, including tools such as executive development programs for women that help create a portfolio of future leaders. Companies can also expand flexible employment policies that allow all employees to balance work and family life. The combination of these tools can create gender-diverse businesses that attract and retain women in leadership positions and are sustainable in the long term.
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