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Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in Insurance (Part 1)

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in Insurance (Part 1)

June 2024 by Josh Jennings
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Much like other business sectors, the insurance industry has undergone significant changes in its approach to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) in recent years. Major civil society movements such as Black Lives Matter (BLM) and #MeToo have brought DEI to the forefront, compelling the industry to re-evaluate its practices. In the UK, initiatives such as the Insurance Women’s Inclusivity Network, the Insurance Cultural Awareness Network, and the ABI Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Blueprint have been instrumental in driving change. However, despite these efforts, the insurance sector still trails behind other industries in DEI leadership.
Read all about gender statistics in the insurance industry in part one of this two-part series.

Current DEI Status in the Insurance Industry

Since 2017, the proportion of insurance organisations with a DEI strategy has steadily increased. More companies are now tracking various diversity characteristics, including LGBTQ+, social mobility, neurodiversity, disability, menopause, age, and faith. This marks a significant step towards creating a more inclusive workplace. Please read on to discover the latest statistics.


Gender-based discrimination and harassment remain prevalent in the insurance sector. Women often face challenges related to pay equity, biases, and stereotypes that limit their potential. These issues are not only unfair but also detrimental to the industry, creating a culture of exclusion and hindering the development of a diverse workforce. A non-supportive workplace culture is ten times more likely to cause employees to quit, and a less engaged and absent workforce can cost UK employers up to £36 billion annually.

  • Female representation in the insurance industry remains relatively stable until the senior management level, where it drops from the mid-forties percentage to 36% and declines further at higher executive levels. In 2023, women accounted for only 36% of executive positions in the finance and insurance industry, despite comprising roughly 60% of the sector's workforce in England. This disparity highlights a significant gap that needs to be addressed to achieve greater gender diversity across the insurance sectors.

  • One of the primary challenges facing women in the insurance industry is the gender pay gap. Recent data reveals that women in the UK insurance industry earn, on average, 27.9% less than men in the same roles. This stark discrepancy underscores that gender equality remains an issue. To address this, insurance companies need to conduct regular pay audits and implement transparent pay structures.

  • Despite these challenges, many insurance companies are taking steps to promote gender diversity and inclusion. Initiatives such as mentorship programs, leadership training, and flexible work arrangements are helping to create a more supportive and equitable environment for women. By addressing these challenges collectively, the industry can ensure that women have equal opportunities to succeed and thrive.

A diverse workforce brings numerous benefits, including increased creativity, better decision-making, and improved performance. Embracing gender diversity contributes to a more equitable and just society, benefiting everyone. As Josh Jennings, Lead Senior Consultant at Finitas, states, "Gender diversity is one of the most important aspects of diversity, and it's something that we should all be striving for in our workplaces, communities, and beyond."

The insurance industry has made significant strides in addressing DEI, driven by societal movements and targeted initiatives. However, there is still much work to be done to create a fair and inclusive workplace. By continuing to promote DEI strategies, addressing the gender pay gap, increasing ethnic representation, supporting LGBTQ+ inclusion, and recognising neurodiversity and disability, the insurance industry can move towards a more diverse and inclusive future. Embracing diversity is not only the right thing to do but also brings substantial benefits to businesses and society as a whole. As Jennings concludes, "We need to break down the stereotypes and biases that hold us back, and embrace the fact that everyone, regardless of gender, deserves to be treated with respect and dignity."

Stay tuned for part-two of this DE&I series!

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