New Research Says Insurance Industry Lacks Gender Diversity
Source Newsroom: Saint Joseph's University
Newswise — PHILADELPHIA (June 14, 2013) – According to market research from Saint Joseph's University, gender diversity is lacking across all leadership levels within the insurance industry. Primary author Mike Angelina, executive director of Saint Joseph's Academy of Risk Management and Insurance, is hopeful his findings will call on businesses to address gender inequality, saying employing females in leadership roles will lead to a more diverse workforce and potentially better represent the underlying customer demographics.
While employment of women in the insurance industry is high, Angelina says they remain poorly represented in top positions. To conduct his market research, Angelina analyzed publicly available data of 100 companies, including 91 publicly traded and nine mutual companies. His results showed 12.6 percent of women in insurance hold board of director positions, 8 percent are named inside officers, and only 6 percent hold top c-suite positions.
Angelina says his findings are not unique to the insurance industry, and reflect a national trend. Decades after the Equal Pay Act, the full-time gender pay gap remains at over 10 percent. Despite the success of some prominent women, there is continuing under-representation in positions of leadership — women hold only 4 percent of the Fortune 500 CEO positions.
In reaction to his findings, Angelina says insurance executives are both surprised and disappointed in the current status. "There was a general awareness of the lack of gender diversity but most executives felt strides had been made in this area," says Angelina. "This research will hopefully give the industry the data they need to work toward a sustainable solution, in which many executives are very interested in taking part."
Angelina's research will be presented at the Women in Insurance Global Conference in New York City on June 14.
A copy of the presentation is available on the SJU website: http://www.sju.edu/int/academics/hsb/special/armi/thoughtleadership.html