In an industry where 82% of female employees say gender equality still exists in the workplace
, female insurance professionals suddenly have a new role model to look to in shattering the glass ceiling. Insurance veteran Inga Beale will lead Lloyd’s of London as its first female chief executive officer in the global carrier’s 325-year history, Lloyd’s announced Monday.
Beale will succeed Richard Ward, who is leaving Lloyd’s to work as chairman of the Amsterdam-based Brit
Insurance Holdings B.V.
Beale has more than 30 years of experience in insurance and reinsurance, and was previously group chief executive of Lloyd’s managing agency Canopius
Group Ltd. She also held several roles with Zurich
and Converium Ltd.
John Nelson, chairman of Lloyd’s, expressed his excitement at Beale’s appointment.
“Her CEO experience, underwriting background, international experience and operational skills, together with her knowledge of the Lloyd’s market, make Inga the ideal chief executive for Lloyd’s,” Nelson said.
Beale said she plans to increase Lloyd’s market saturation during her tenure as CEO.
“Lloyd’s is already an international leader, but this unique market has an extraordinary opportunity to increase its footprint and cement its position as the global hub for specialist insurance and reinsurance,” Beale said.
Lloyd’s of London was formed in 1688, but Beale will be the carrier’s first female CEO. She joins one of a handful in the insurance industry, where just 6% of top executive positions are held by women, according to a Saint Joseph’s University study.
Indeed, things are difficult for women across the industry. A recent 24/7 Wall Street analysis
noted that women working full-time as independent or captive insurance agents earned just $641 per week in 2012—just 62.5% of men’s $1,026 in weekly income.
The pay gap is especially disturbing considering that women held about half the jobs in the agent and broker sector, 24/7 Wall Street noted.