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Achieving Gender Parity

We are committed to working with our members to achieve gender parity within the insurance and long-term savings industry.

This page sets out our work to achieve greater representation of women within the industry, especially at senior levels, including the Women in Finance Charter, sponsorship of the Women and Work All-Party Parliamentary Group and our Job Share Project.

Tackling the Gender Seniority Gap

In September 2018, we published 'Tackling the Gender Seniority Gap: What works for the insurance and long-term savings industry’. The report addresses two questions: what practical steps will help get more women into senior roles and what interventions make the biggest difference? The dominant reason for the gender seniority gap is the ‘motherhood penalty.’ Women are more likely to take on the bulk of the childcare responsibilities and to work part-time, but once you work reduced hours it is harder to progress. To reduce the seniority gap, the industry needs to make it easier for part-time or formerly part-time employees to advance.

Following recommendations from the report, the ABI is now developing a Making Flexible Work Campaign and Charter, which is aimed at increasing flexible working and reducing the gender seniority gap in the Insurance and Long-Term Savings Sector.

Women in Finance Charter  

The Women in Finance Charter is a Government initiative which commits firms to setting, measuring and reporting against targets to improve the number of women in senior roles. We were the first trade association to sign the Charter in 2016, and 43 of our members are Charter signatories.

We originally set a 3-year target to achieve 45% female representation within our senior management population by 30 June 2019. At that time, we had a fairly broad definition of senior management so that it included our Executive Team and 2 levels below this within the structure. We believed this target provided a good level of stretch from our starting point in 2016 of 36.96% and demonstrated our firm commitment to attract, develop and promote female talent. The ABI was proud to have achieved our 45% target by the first reporting period in September 2017 and broadly maintained this over the next 2 years (48.57% in 2018, 44.45% in 2019).

Now the ABI’s target has expired, we have taken the opportunity to review and refocus this. We have decided to redefine our internal definition of senior management so that this now includes our Executive Team and 1 level below this within our structure. We believe this is a more ambitious and stretching target for us, in particular due to the smaller number of colleagues which fall within the new definition. We have also increased the target itself.

We are therefore pleased to confirm that the ABI’s new WIFC targets are as follows:

Overall target:

Achieve a 50%/50% female to male split across the senior management population of the ABI by 31 December 2022

Supporting targets:

  1. Aim to maintain an over 50% rate of internal promotion into senior management positions.
  2. Request a 50%/50% gender diversity split in long lists provided by recruitment agencies during senior management recruitment processes.
  3. At least 50% of ABI colleagues to return from maternity leave / shared parental leave, and flexible working requests will be considered in line with best practice.
  4. Equal opportunities for training and development are provided to both male and female colleagues, including mentoring.

We are pleased to confirm that when using the new definition of senior management, the ABI’s data as at September 2020 is female representation of 47.36%. Over the past year we have continued to develop our working practices in relation to inclusion, and to nurture our internal talent pipeline and are pleased to confirm one female colleague has recently been promoted into the a senior leadership position.

We are delighted to have made such strong progress since we signed up to the charter in 2016 in relation to gender balanced representation. However, there is always more we can do in relation to this strand of diversity, and also to work to becoming a more inclusive employer overall. We are committed to working towards this both within our organisation and with the insurance sector more broadly.

43 ABI members have signed the Women and Finance Charter

1.     Admiral

2.     Ageas UK

3.     Allianz

4.     Aviva

5.     AXA UK

6.     Blackrock

7.     BUPA


Canada Life

9.     Collinson Group

10.  Columbia Threadneedle Investments

11.  Covea Insurance

12.  Direct 

Line Group

13.  Ecclesiastical Insurance

14.  Esure

15.  Fidelity International UK

16.  Flood Re 

17.  Hargreaves Lansdown

18.  Hasting Direct

19. HSBC UK (life)

20. Invesco Pensions

21. J.P. Morgan (life)

22.  Just group

23.  Lloyds Banking Group

24.  LV=

25.  MetLife UK

26. National House Building Council

27. NFU Mutual

28.  Old Mutual

29.    Pensionbee

30.  Phoenix Group

31. Prudential

32. QBE

33. Quilter

34.  ReAssure

35.  RSA

36.  Royal London

37. Schroders

38.  Tesco Underwriting

39.  The Co-operative Bank

40.  Unum

41. Vitality

42.  Wesleyan Assurance

43.  Zurich Insurance


Future Leaders

Future Leaders, the ABI’s award-winning executive development programme ensures a pipeline of diverse talent in the insurance and long-term savings industry. We are committed to having a programme that represents the customers and society we serve, and in 2019 we had more women than men on the programme. Visit our dedicated Future Leaders section to find out more.

The All-Party Parliamentary Group for Women & Work

The ABI is a sponsor of the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Women & Work. The APPG provides a forum to constructively examine and debate the role that policymakers can play to deliver gender balance within the economy. We helped shape its 2019 report, Inclusivity and Intersectionality Toolkit, which includes reference to our Transparent Parental Leave Initiative.