Canada’s insurance industry has undergone a significant shift. Once a male-dominated field, the industry has seen more women taking on increasingly influential roles, from leadership positions to specialized functions in various sectors.
Vinita Jajware-Beatty, president of the Toronto Insurance Women’s Association, shared her insights on this transformation during a recent interview with IBTV.
Jajware-Beatty drew attention to statistics from five years ago that portrayed the average face of insurance as a 42-year-old woman, noting that the industry at that time boasted an encouraging pipeline of female entrants and middle managers, with women making up around 60% of these roles.
She said the real challenge lay in reaching executive leadership positions and securing seats on boards of directors and that the last five years have brought on significant changes in this regard.
“The climate has changed and is rapidly evolving to better support the needs of all equity-seeking groups,” she said, pointing to how changes in Canadian laws have helped open doors to greater equity at the executive level.
Jajware-Beatty also acknowledged the role of the pandemic in reshaping the industry for women, as remote and flexible work arrangements have normalized previously unspoken issues impacting equity-seeking groups, particularly women.
When asked if the Canadian insurance industry has been proactive in offering opportunities to women, Jajware-Beatty said there has been a combination of receptivity and proactive measures born out of necessity.
She said that exit rates within the industry have been so significant that organizations have been incentivized to continue investing in diverse career paths anchored in insurance management programs.
“Displaying the diversity that exists within our industry has been a huge part of conveying a message to the marketplace, to the future talent pool, and to our insureds that the industry and those who work within it are as diverse as the individuals who are seeking and needing coverage,” said Jajware-Beatty.
Learn more about Vinita Jajware-Beatty’s thoughts on the evolving role of women in insurance by watching the full interview.