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Leading the charge for gender equality

Targeted action

Half of ABI members have an executive development programme for women

Championing women

3/4 of ABI members work with organisations to support women in the workplace

1 in 5

Board members are women

Financial services are not traditionally known for its diversity, but the insurance and long-term savings industry is taking targeted action to drive meaningful change and lead the charge for gender equality. ABI data shows that our sector doesn't have a problem attracting female talent – in fact, more women than ever are joining insurance, but when you get to the top, only 1 in 5 senior roles are held by women. To achieve gender parity, the ABI and its members are taking targeted action to turn the dial.

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Taking coordinated action

The ABI and 45 of its members are Women in Finance Charter signatories. The Charter is a joint initiative between HM Treasury and financial services to increase the number of women in senior management. The 2019 Annual Review of the Charter found that the insurance signatories achieved the biggest increase in the number of women in senior management.

The ABI was the first trade association to sign the Women in Finance Charter and committed to a 45 / 55% female to male gender split across management positions by 20 June 2019 - an achievement it was proud to meet early.

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Agend-setting research

parental-earnings-impact.pngIn 2018, the ABI published its agenda-setting research 'Tackling the gender seniority gap'. The report found that while the insurance and long-term savings industry does a good job of attracting women, the proportion of female employees falls by 60% between entry and senior level. 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 work part-time, but once you work reduced hours, it is harder to progress.

To tackle the gender seniority gap and to make it easier for part-time employees to climb the career ladder, the ABI will be delivering the first, industrywide job share portal. Some roles can only be done full time, and job sharing enables people who want or need to work part-time to progress their careers.

Driving meaningful change

The insurance and long-term savings industry is taking targeted action to drive meaningful change for women in our sector. Over 3/4 of ABI members have an executive development programme which prioritises gender balance. For example, the ABI's award-winning executive development programme 'Future Leaders'. Future Leaders is for senior industry leaders in our membership. It exposes delegates to legislators, regulators and CEOs to help equip them with the skills and experience they need to lead insurance and long-term savings companies. The ABI aims for 50/50 gender balance among the programme delegates, and we are proud that the 2020 Alumni cohort has 24 men and 27 women, representing 29 different member firms.

Elsewhere, as part of the "HeForShe" campaign – which promotes gender equality – ABI Director General, Huw Evans, pledged to mentor two women from the ABI's young professionals programme and the ABI's award-winning Future Leaders executive development programme every year.

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