Last updated on April 21, 2014 at 9:29 EDT

Women In Insurance Still Battle Leadership Challenges

September 20, 2011

CHICAGO, Sept. 20, 2011 /PRNewswire/ — (http://www.myprgenie.com) — Women working in the insurance industry continue to fight challenges that affect their professional development, according to the Women in Insurance Leadership Insight Report, a new research study released today at the Insurance Networking News Women in Insurance Leadership Forum in National Harbor, Md. The study, produced by INN in partnership with the Association for Professional Insurance Women (APIW), explores attitudes about and uncovers areas of opportunity for the insurance industry’s female executive corps.

Targeting senior-level women in the field, INN and APIW analyzed responses on issues ranging from specific business challenges to networking, mentorship, workplace diversity, professional development opportunities, and the top leadership tenets required for professional growth. The analysis draws on 180 qualified respondents, of which 89% were women with more than 20 years of experience in large insurance firms, primarily focused on property and casualty insurance.

Key findings of the Women in Insurance Leadership Insight Report include the following:

  • A full 41% of respondents report that 5% or less of senior leadership roles in their organizations are filled by women.
  • Little preparation is provided by these organizations for women to advance: Only 7% of respondents said their firms offered such programs specifically for women, while 54% report having non-gender specific professional development programs.
  • Although relationship-building and networking ranked high among respondents’ interests, its application in practice is mixed. Only 9% of respondents report having been mentored within the last 12 months, while close to half report mentoring others, and 42% report not being in any mentoring relationship.

“This data offers a new window on women’s professional development in an industry primarily comprised of men,” says Pat Speer, INN’s editor in chief and chair of the Women in Insurance Leadership Forum. “The groundbreaking perspective it delivers on the constraints women face in advancing will help organizations make informed choices about corporate-led initiatives for women in the future.”

The Forum is part of INN’s growing Women in Insurance Leadership Program, now in its 6th year. At the forum, INN introduced a formal mentorship program, recognizing its first candidate for sponsorship, Saraya Hyder, a student of management information systems and risk management and insurance at Temple University’s Fox School of Business. “Our survey results clearly identify women’s desire to ‘pay it forward’ by providing mentorship and networking as pathways to leadership,” says Speer, “and we are pleased to support Saraya throughout the year with industry information and connections to help her forge that path.”

INN also recognized 10 influential women at the Forum — six honorees and four notable achievers — who have positively affected critical processes and outcomes within the IT and business environments of their organizations.

For a copy of the Women in Insurance Leadership Insight Report, access the following link: http://www.insurancenetworking.com/white_papers/-28847-1.html. For more information, contact Editor in Chief, Pat Speer, Insurance Networking News, 312-777-1376, or patricia.speer@SourceMedia.com.

About SourceMedia

SourceMedia, an Investcorp company, is a diversified business to business media company serving the financial industry and the related fields of professional services and technology. SourceMedia offers its clients and subscribers professional publications and online information services, industry-standard data applications, and in-depth seminars and conferences.

About Insurance Networking News

Insurance Networking News is a trusted source for information on how technology is being implemented to support insurers’ strategic business objectives, providing insightful analysis of the technology innovations utilized to automate critical processes. Insurance Networking News is written to help senior insurance executives obtain mission-critical information on resolving industry challenges.

About the Association of Professional Insurance Women

The Association of Professional Insurance Women is a non-profit organization dedicated to the advancement of professional insurance women that provides women in the insurance industry with opportunities for professional development and assistance in advancing their careers.

News Release Contact:
Pat Speer
Editor in Chief
Insurance Networking News

Corporate Contact:
Ying Wong
Vice President
Human Resources

SOURCE SourceMedia

Source: PR Newswire