Women's representation in insurance and reinsurance leadership positions is improving, however, development is slow. According to Swiss Re Institute research, women made up around a fifth of re/insurance business executives in 2019 and only 10% of CEOs.
As a result, insurers are missing out on crucial sources of talent since there are fewer women in high positions. We've highlighted a number of actions leaders can take to support women as they move through the talent pipeline and into more senior leadership roles.
Create formal and informal sponsorship opportunities
Insurance businesses should establish official sponsorship programs to help women progress by creating a larger set of networks that may help find and promote talent more equally across the organisation.
1) Establish informal social network groups to help women and other diverse leaders advance
2) Implement structures to enable sponsorship programs
3) Hold leaders accountable for for ensuring talented women in the organisation are sponsored
4) Partner up talent with mentors within the organisation for support
5) Utilise your voice as a leader to promote sponsorship across the business
Address unconscious bias at a deeper level
Insurers who are serious about eliminating unconscious bias don't simply require their executives to attend a couple hours of diversity and inclusion training. Instead, these carriers consider where unconscious bias may present in all aspects of a business
1) Evaluate the places where bias might be in play
2) Create job descriptions that appeal to more diverse talent
3) Proactively address unconscious bias during the hiring process
4) Utilise advanced analytics to identify bias in feedback and appraisals
5) Identify areas for improvement in communication and language within the organisation