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Guest blog: She's back

Amanda Blanc, CEO, AXA Commercial Lines and Personal Intermediary Amanda Blanc, CEO, AXA Commercial Lines and Personal Intermediary

Much is made in the press about female representation in financial services and the accepted view is that there are not enough women working in this sector. And this is compelling argument but I don’t think it tells the whole story. At AXA, we see a roughly 50/50 split between male and female employees at entry level and above but that pattern is not replicated as the roles become more senior.

We don’t have clear indicators of why this might be which is why we are putting our full support behind She’s Back. This attempt to understand why many women leave careers in finance and don’t return is quite an undertaking and one that should be supported by everyone in finance, not just women but our male colleagues as well.

Because it is vital that we have an understanding of this leakage of talent and do everything we can to stem the flow. This is not simply preventing the flow of women from our workforce because it is the right thing to do. There are cold, hard business benefits that should be compelling us to tackle the issue.

It is vital that we have an understanding of this leakage of talent and do everything we can to stem the flow.

To state the obvious, our customer base is diversified and if we are going to successfully align ourselves to that, we need to ensure that our own working population reflects that, across the pay grade. This alignment with our customers is crucial if we are going to make any headway in tackling the trust issue that finance is struggling with, particularly insurance.

In addition, by allowing women to slip through the net of progression, we are wasting a huge amount of money that has been spent on training and development. Why are we not up in arms at this waste? For an industry that is very good a tracking and stemming leakage, we are woefully underperforming in this respect.

And finally, and perhaps most importantly, as organisations, we are sitting back and watching this pattern of women dropping out of financial services and denying ourselves access to a whole pool of talent that, let’s face it, we sorely need.

When you look at it like this, from a pure business perspective, it makes absolutely no sense that we have not attempted to tackle this issue before. Which is why She’s Back has AXA’s full support in its attempts to understand the motivations (or lack thereof) for women to re-enter the workforce following a break.

Amanda Blanc, is CEO of AXA Commercial Lines and Personal Intermediary.


Last updated 29/06/2016