International Women’s Day

Friday 8th March is International Women’s Day 2024. We take a look at some key statistics surrounding women in the insurance industry, as well as the views of some of the female voices in FloodFlash.

A brief history of International Women’s Day

The idea of an ‘International Women’s Day’ emerged over 100 years ago in the early 20th Century. After several decades of this day being unofficially celebrated, as well as significant progress in women’s rights, the United Nations marked the Day for the first time in 1977.

Women and insurance

Over the 20th Century, the gender pay gap in the US and UK has improved significantly. However, the US gap has remained relatively stable over the past 20 years. In 2022, women earned an average of 82% of what men earned, according to research by Pew Research Center. The UK gap has continued to decline, albeit more slowly in recent years. In 2023, the gap among full-time employees was 7.7%.

However, the success varies across age, industry, job type and location within the UK and US. In the US, Forbes report that male insurance sales agents earn 55% more than their female counterparts, while men in insurance claims and admin roles earn 35% more. In the UK, the financial and insurance services sector has the highest UK gender pay gap, with men earning 32.2% more than their female counterparts, according to The Fintech Times.

As with many other industries, the gender difference in the insurance sector is most stark when it comes to senior roles. S&P Global reported that in 2020, just over 20% of executives and officers in the US were women at publicly held insurers, and there were just 7 female CEOs across the US insurance sector. In the UK, women make up less than a third of senior executive roles in the industry, and just 7% of CEOs.

However, the industry has made positive steps in recent years, with initiatives, conferences, and awards all aiming to celebrate the work of women in the industry, as well as to encourage new female talent to join.

Women at FloodFlash

To mark IWD, we asked the women of FloodFlash a few questions about their female role models, and their views on gender equality in the industry.

From Michelle Obama to their mum, the team had a full range of female role models. Whether it was an international politician, a fictional protagonist, or a family member, it’s clear there’s no shortage of strong female influences.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, Aviva CEO Dame Amanda Blanc also made the list, with Broker Distribution Manager Ciana Kenny remarking on her success despite repeated misogynistic comments. Ciana is not alone in this view, with Amanda winning the Insurance Times Industry Achiever Award last December.

Dame Amanda Blanc, CEO at Aviva (Source: PwC)

On whether the industry is doing enough to address gender inequality, the responses were unanimous – while the industry is making good strides, ‘we aren’t there yet’. A key theme was the need for a ‘mindset shift’ in the industry that women can make great sales people, managers, and leaders in all areas of the industry.

We look forward to the next few years of continued progress.

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