The UK's insurance and long-term savings industry has made progress boosting female representation at senior levels over the last two years, figures from the Association of British Insurers (ABI) reveal.
The data shows that women now hold 29% of board roles in the sector – up from 25% in 2019 – and 24% of executive level positions.
However, the ABI warned that progress is still too slow, and announced that it will be launching a flexible working campaign this year to encourage more women to apply for senior roles.
“Much more needs to be done to improve diversity more widely,” said Yvonne Braun, director of long-term savings and protection at the ABI. “We need to redouble our efforts to create equality of opportunity in our industry.”
The latest figures also indicate that Black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) employees now make up 10% of entry level positions.
However, this drops to just 2% at executive and board levels, highlighting the ongoing difficulties that the insurance and long-term savings sector has promoting diversity at senior positions.
This comes after the Pensions and Lifetime Savings Association (PLSA) found that the vast majority of pension schemes believe that greater diversity of workers improves decision-making and helps attract and retain talent.
Age, gender and social background were seen to be better represented in the industry, while disability and ethnicity are perceived to be least well represented, with many not well represented at all.
Julian Mund, PLSA chief executive, said: “The pensions industry recognises that it needs to do much more to improve diversity and inclusion and are positive about the benefits for schemes and members of doing so – but there’s a long way still to go.”
“It’s vital that pension schemes have the right people in place throughout the organisation and to do that you need a wide range of skills, backgrounds and outlooks to ensure all members interests are at the heart of decision-making processes.”
Image credit: iStock
Author: Chris Seekings