The importance of female leadership in European insurance



Worldwide Girls’s Day, celebrated on 8 March, is a chance to think about a world that’s extra gender various, equitable and inclusive. The most recent statistics recommend the insurance coverage trade is making progress, having already reached a balanced workforce in some nations[1]. Nevertheless, girls are nonetheless advancing lower than males to decision-making positions. I consider it is a perennial problem that we have to look at and deal with. It’s nicely documented that advancing girls to management roles will help organizations to be extra progressive and better performing. On this collection, I’ll present a snapshot of feminine management illustration within the insurance coverage trade in Europe and converse to the feminine leaders redefining the established order.

Feminine management illustration in insurance coverage – the place Europe stands

In its newest Gender Range Index report, European Girls on Boards (EWOB), a not-for-profit consortium of organizations advocating for gender stability on company boards and corporations’ prime administration in Europe, ranked monetary companies and insurance coverage as second among the many sectors represented. Nevertheless, the research finds that the divergence between sectors isn’t as vital as that between nations, illustrating that the difficulty of gender equality in management is extra affected by cultural and idiosyncratic causes than by the options of an financial sector alone.

In its February 2021 research, Swiss Reshows that though the insurance coverage trade has made progress within the final decade, girls are nonetheless considerably under-represented in government positions. Primarily based on a pattern of about 400 insurers and 29 reinsurance corporations from the world’s 12 largest insurance coverage markets accounting for 71 % of the worldwide insurance coverage premiums, the research discovered that girls solely made up a couple of quarter of (re)insurance coverage corporations’ government roles, 10 % of CEOs, and eight % of board members globally. [2]

Nation-wise, the research reveals that superior markets are inclined to have extra gender-diverse C-suites, with a mean of 30 % girls in C-level government positions, in comparison with 13% in rising markets. In Europe, France had the very best ratio of girls in government positions, with 41% – additionally topping the worldwide rating -, adopted by Italy (26%), the UK (24%), and Germany (19%). These figures are considerably decrease when contemplating the share of girls as CEO or as board chairpersons.

The research additionally discovered that the share of girls in government positions remains to be far decrease than girls’s share within the total trade sector workforce.

Making a tradition of gender equality

Accenture’s When she rises, all of us rise report in 2018 recognized 40 private and cultural components which are statistically vital to affect girls’s development within the office, spanning situations selling a various management group that units, shares and measures equality targets brazenly (Management); insurance policies and practices which are family-friendly, help each genders and are bias-free in attracting and retaining individuals (Motion); and an setting that trusts workers, respects people and presents freedom to be inventive and to coach and work flexibly (Empowerment). The analysis discovered that in organizations the place these components are extra generally discovered, girls are 35 % extra more likely to advance to supervisor degree and past, and nearly 4 occasions extra more likely to advance to senior supervisor/director degree and past. The presence of those components was additionally discovered to be vital in narrowing the pay hole.

Gender equality impacts efficiency

Giving girls equal alternatives is a matter of precept however can also be an clever strategic play. Analysis reveals that creating a various office setting could make organizations extra progressive and better performing.

The Swiss Re analysis discovered {that a} larger ratio of girls in management positions in (re)insurance coverage corporations correlates with larger firm profitability. The information within the research confirmed that (re)insurers with the very best share of girls as executives or board members outperformed these with the bottom share of leaders by 3-4 proportion factors in ROE. This discovering was in step with different monetary companies sectors and with earlier research exhibiting that gender variety can also be positively correlated with each profitability and worth creation. By way of Swiss Re’s panel knowledge regression evaluation, the research additionally discovered {that a} 10 % enhance within the share of girls on the C-suite or board is related to 1-2 proportion factors larger ROE efficiency than the trade common and that including not less than one lady to an all-man C-suite or board is related to a 3-5 proportion level enhance in ROE above the trade common.

Accenture’s Equality = Innovation report in 2019 additionally discovered {that a} tradition of equality is a strong multiplier of innovation and progress. The analysis confirmed that workers’ innovation mindset is six occasions larger in essentially the most equal cultures than within the least equal ones. Certainly, for each 10 % enchancment in cultural components, the innovation mindset will increase by 10.6 %. This modification is underpinned by all culture-of-equality pillars, however the empowerment components are those with the strongest influence. Accenture’s The Hidden Worth of Tradition Makers analysis from 2020 additionally discovered that these organizations which are extra dedicated to constructing extra equal cultures report their gross sales are two occasions larger and their income are thrice larger than these which are behind the curve.

Tradition begins with management

Accenture’s 2018 analysis discovered that there are nearly thrice extra girls on the quick monitor – girls who usually attain supervisor degree inside 5 years and lead their feminine peer group when it comes to development within the office – in organizations with not less than one feminine senior chief (23 %) than in organizations through which all senior leaders are male (8 %). Moreover, the research discovered girls are capable of advance into management positions quicker in organizations the place management components are extra widespread.

Nevertheless, there’s nonetheless a spot between what the C-suite and employers take into consideration the work setting of their corporations versus the notion of workers. Accenture’s 2020 research discovered that whereas two-thirds of leaders (68 %) really feel they create empowering environments—through which workers may be themselves, elevate issues and innovate with out worry of failure— simply one-third (36 %) of workers agree. Different research have proven that feeling extra included can enhance productiveness whereas having the ambition to succeed in management is vital to advancing in a corporation. [3]

European leaders want to focus on notion gaps and create environments through which girls are supported in pursuing management roles.

In conclusion

Whereas some insurers in Europe are taking steps to deal with gender inequality in prime management, there are nonetheless areas the place feminine illustration must be pushed. On this collection, I’ll look into insights from feminine insurance coverage leaders and discover how the insurance coverage trade wants to maneuver ahead to help girls in advancing of their skilled careers inside insurance coverage.

About Accenture

Accenture is a world skilled companies firm with main capabilities in digital, cloud and safety. Combining unmatched expertise and specialised abilities throughout greater than 40 industries, we provide Technique and Consulting, Interactive, Technology and Operations companies — all powered by the world’s largest community of Superior Technology and Clever Operations facilities. Our 674,000 individuals ship on the promise of expertise and human ingenuity day-after-day, serving purchasers in additional than 120 nations. We embrace the ability of change to create worth and shared success for our purchasers, individuals, shareholders, companions and communities. Go to us at

[1] Million girls mentors’ girls in insurance coverage initiative
[2] Swiss Re Institute (February 2021) – Gender Range within the re/insurance coverage trade: for a sustainable future
[3] Jim Harter and  Annamarie Mann – The Proper Tradition: Not Simply About Worker Satisfaction – Gallup (April 2017)

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Disclaimer: This content material is supplied for normal data functions and isn’t supposed for use instead of session with our skilled advisors.


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