Atlas Magazine April 2015

Women and the rush to insurance

Slowly but surely, women are asserting their rights, gaining positions that were traditionally occupied by men. As a result of an ongoing struggle, the conquest of the labor market by women has challenged the very foundation of the patriarchal model that separates the private sphere reserved for women from the public sphere monopolized by men.

Insurance, like any other tertiary sector, is at the core of this development where women are getting more and more numerous, not hesitating to take power when the opportunity arises. Hence, on January 1, 2014, Inga Beale became Lloyd’s London first woman CEO, 325 years after the establishment of the most prestigious insurance institution.

Women's representation in insurance, however, presents a rather mixed picture in terms of country, business and power.

Female employment in the insurance industry is highest in Europe where women often account for 55% and 60% of the workforce with nearly 50% occupying management positions.

In terms of business and within companies, some positions are more "male" while others are more "female". Thus, women are underrepresented in the areas of IT, expertise, technical control, and reinsurance underwriting. They remain, nonetheless, very present in human resources and in legal and communication functions.

While women all over the world continue to progress in the acquisition of managerial status, they remain somewhat hardly connected to power. Already present in very low numbers as general managers, women are almost absent from the boards of directors, the last bastions of male resistance.

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