I saw with interest that no females were nominated for honorary fellow this year. The IFoA now has 119 honorary fellows dating back to 1977, of which 10 (8%) are female. Honorary fellows are eminent individuals in business, academia and government.
I saw with interest that no females were nominated for honorary fellow this year. The IFoA now has 119 honorary fellows dating back to 1977, of which 10 (8%) are female.
Honorary fellows are eminent individuals in business, academia and government.
A cursory look at the profiles of any of the 119 will highlight their undeniable talent.That said, I find it difficult to believe that there are so few women who could not comfortably fulfil the requirements. It seems we have fallen in to the trap of reverting to a particular type when considering names for this prestigious honour. Further, a good number of nominees are simply actuaries from other non-UK actuarial bodies. While these are undoubtedly outstanding individuals, surely the spirit of the honorary fellowship is not just to rein in all the best actuaries from other societies?
The profession is richer through its interaction with individuals who share expertise in the huge range of topics that impact the work of an actuary, but who approach the topic through a different lens. In this way we can create mutual support, powerful collaborations and new and even disruptive thinking; diversity of thought, if you will. Gender is just one aspect of this.
I have committed to work with the Diversity Advisory Group to identify and nominate female and other diverse individuals for future nominations. I am pleased to say there is general agreement within the profession that more can be done - the Diversity Steering Group and the Policy and Public Affairs Committee have also committed to identify more diverse individuals in future years.
As the process relies on members to put forward nominations, this is not something that can be resolved by committees. As is often the case with the imbalances that exist in society, we all need to play a part. I hope many more will make an effort to embrace the breadth and depth of talent to achieve a more diverse nominations list next year.
Chair of the IFoA Diversity Advisory Group (DAG), bit.ly/CrossPracticeDiversity
21 June 2017