HEAD TO HEAD
What’s the key to elevating underrepresented people? How can insurance better promote different races, sexes, ethnicities and other underrepresented groups in the workplace?
Heather Matthews Senior vice president Crawford & Company
President Toronto Insurance Women’s Association
“I believe the key to elevating under represented people – women in particular – in the workplace is to instill confidence in them. Confidence elevates women, as does knowing that their perspective is respected and valued. Everyone needs to understand and appreciate that a wide variety of opinions and viewpoints is critical in the workplace. Give them a voice and believe in and embrace their contributions. Women’s success inspires others to aim higher. I challenge everyone to raise your awareness of who is and is not represented at the table in your organization and create a path to diversity. Awareness is a strong start.”
“This must be an organizational goal actively engaged with from top to bottom. For some organizations, this may involve a significant cultural reset to ensure programs and initiatives are met with the authenticity needed to implement longterm, sustainable change. Within the last decade, the P&C industry has become more inclusive. However, there is still work to be done, especially in relation to middle management and senior leadership roles. The commitment shown toward developing diverse talent pipelines and supporting post-secondary insurance education programs by offering on-the-job training is commendable.”
“At Travelers Canada, gender balance, diversity and inclusion are not just initiatives, they are business imperatives. I am proud to work for a company that aspires to be the leading advocate for women in insurance, committing to raising awareness of insurance as a career for women, providing training for women in the industry, and supporting networking and mentoring for women in insurance. Because our people are our competitive advantage, my focus is to continue building our talent pipeline to attract, develop, mentor and retain the next generation of leaders at all levels of our organization.”
President and CEO Travelers Canada
THE GENDER GAP According to STEMconnector’s latest report on women in insurance, the proportion of female employees in insurance occupations ranges from 46.5% of sales agents – a figure roughly on par with the average across all American industries – to 85% of claims and policy processing clerks. But at the other end of the spectrum, women hold only 11% of named executive officer positions and only 19% of board seats across the industry, despite making up more than 60% of the insurance workforce overall. According to the most recent Future One Agency Universe Study, only 35% of independent agencies are led by a female principal or senior manager. Perhaps most tellingly, as recently as 2016, women in insurance took home only 62 cents for every dollar earned by men.
12/04/2019 4:06:30 AM
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