We are the voice of insurance and long-term savings | Contact us

Women in Finance Charter

Data from the ABI Talent and Diversity collection highlights the urgent need for the industry to better support more women into senior roles. We are proud to see our members engage with the Women in Finance initiative, setting targets under the charter and taking action to move the dial.

The ABI is signatory itself, alongside 45 ABI member firms and we champion the benefits of the charter to help drive change across the industry. 

Find out more about the Women in Finance Charter

2019 Women In Finance Charter Update

The ABI signed up to the Women in Finance Charter commitments as part of the first cohort of signatories in July 2016. We set ourselves a headline target of achieving at least a 45% / 55% female to male gender split across management positions by 30 June 2019 and we also set some supplementary targets to support the achievement of this goal.

Since we signed up to the charter, we have successfully moved the dial in relation to female representation from our starting point in September 2016 of 41.2%. Last September we were delighted to report that we had achieved our 45% target early and at that point 48.57% of our leaders were female. As of September 2019 there has been some movement in our staff population, most notably the departure of one of our female Executive leaders. The current female representation within management positions is sitting at 44.45% which, whilst slightly lower than 2018, is still broadly in line with the goal we set ourselves.

As a small organisation, a small number of staffing changes have the potential to make a significant difference to our results. We remain firmly committed to attracting, nurturing and retaining the very best talent and delivering the work set out in our internal Inclusion Strategy launched in 2018. An important part of this is ensuring we continue to have a focus on the gender balance within the management population and our longer-term aspiration continues to be to have a 50% / 50% gender split within this group.

Over the past year we have continued our efforts to focus on gender balance and when conducting a number of internal processes, we have continued to be mindful of this when taking decisions. We are pleased to have continued our focus on internal promotion, having promoted two female colleagues internally within the management population over the past 12 months (out of 5 promotions internally). In addition, we have delivered a tailored mentoring event for our female pipeline talent and have also continued to take a supportive approach to flexible working, with 100% of requests being approved over the past 12 months.

Building a modern and diverse industry 

The gender balance within the insurance industry is exactly split 50 / 50 across all levels, but despite this only 21% of executive and 21% of board positions are held by women. Take a look at our full industry statistics here. 

 “Direct Line Group is a firm believer that having a diverse organisation is intrinsically linked to greater productivity and performance, increased innovation as well as better customer understanding. However, we also recognise that further engagement and action is needed across financial services if we are truly going to change the status quo. The Women in Finance Charter is a great mechanism to move diversity and inclusion up the boardroom agenda and we are very proud to be working alongside Government and the wider sector to drive this initiative forward." 

- Paul Geddes Chief Executive Officer Direct Line Group Deputy Chair, ABI Board

44 ABI members who have signed the Women and Finance Charter:

1.    Ageas UK

2.    Allianz

3.    Aviva

4.    AXA

5.    B&CE Holdings Limited

6.    BlackRock

7.    Collinson Group

8.    Columbia Threadneedle Investments

9.    Covea Insurance

10. Direct Line Group

11. Ecclesiastical Insurance

12. Esure

13. Fidelity International UK

14. HSBC UK (life)

15. Invesco

16. Just group

17. Lloyds Banking Group

18. LV=

19. MetLife UK

20. National House Building Council

21. Old Mututal

22. Phoenix group

23. Prudential

24. QBE

25. ReAssure

26. Royal London

27. RSA

28. Schroders

29. Standard Life Aberdeen

30. The Co-operative Bank

31. Unum

32. Wesleyan Assurance Society

33. XL Catlin

34. Zurich Insurance

35. Floodre

36. Pensionbee

37. The Co-operative Bank

38. Admiral

39. Hargreaves Landsdown

40. J.P. Morgan (life)

41. Tesco Underwriting

42. Hasting Direct

43. NFU Mutual

44. LV= General Insurance

45. Vitality

“We are determined to improve on our gender balance. We have a sound basis for progress to date but we are committed to doing more. It’s crucial that the industry should recruit and promote women as a commercial strategy, not a box-ticking exercise. Financial services firms need women in leadership positions because overwhelming evidence has shown that diversity of thought improves performance.”

- Martin Gilbert Co-Chief Executive Standard Life Aberdeen

“We truly believe that there is a real benefit in doing it and doing it well…. this becomes a game changer for us, something that means that we can really look into our customer base and understand them more deeply, because our own organisation represents, more deeply, male and female.”

- Amanda Blanc, CEO, Zurich EMEA, ABI Chair