Industry body surveys women in insurance

by Maryvonne Gray 12 Nov 2014

Industry body surveys women in insurance

Experiences of gender bias are being sought by the Australian and New Zealand Institute of Insurance and Finance (ANZIIF) which is surveying women working in the insurance industry in a bid to improve career development of females in the future.

Questions they are asking include:
  1. Have you had to work harder than a male counterpart to prove yourself?
  2. Have you earned less than a male colleague in the same job?
  3. Have you been expected to take minutes because of your gender and not your role?
While there have been other initiatives by ANZIIF’s Women’s Council aimed specifically at women, such as the Women Succeeding in Business series and the LinkedIn group Women in Insurance, there is a scarcity of data on issues affecting females.

Kerrie Challenor, deputy chair of the Women’s Council and RBI commercial portfolio, pricing and underwriting manager at IAG, said many issues raised were only anecdotal so this was a way to have something concrete to deal with.

“The women’s council was set up to promote engagement and the exchange of knowledge and expertise between women across the industry.

“Through this survey we will be able to dive into the issues women in our industry face and be better placed to work together to provide relevant opportunities to support their career development.”

Challenor said the timing of the survey was particularly topical, coinciding with research from Australia’s Curtin University which showed significant increases in the wealth gap between men and women over the past decade and sex discrminination commissioner Elizabeth Broderick being named the 2014 Woman of Influence.

“Over the last few years there have been other surveys to gain the views of women in business and the challenges they face. However they have been more generic and not specific to the insurance industry.
“Our members told us that the industry needs to understand their issues in more depth,” she said.

An ANZIIF spokesperson said there had been a really big response from New Zealand women already.

Female ANZIIF members wanting to take the survey can contact the Institute on +61 3 9613 7280 or email customerservice@theinstitute.com.au

Non-members are invited to join the ANZIIF Women in Insurance LinkedIn group to contribute to the dialogue.