Diversity and inclusion is a topic gaining momentum in insurance at the moment.
It’s no secret that the industry is traditionally male dominated, but with many companies signing the Women in Finance Charter and initiatives including the annual DiveIn festival it appears there is a will to change its “pale, male and stale” image.
Geldard explains that Covéa is looking at the barriers that make it more difficult for women and how it can bridge the gender gap.
When only 29 percent of the provider’s graduate scheme applications came from women a couple of years ago it set itself a target to attract more females and make the pool more equal.
There are a lot of simple things we can do as an industry. We’ll start to see more successful females because the pipelines are equal and we have the same talent coming through
After finding that all of the profiles of former graduates on its website were male and detecting a masculine tone in its language the insurer made a series of changes and last year the number of applications from women was 44 percent.
Its strategy also includes flexibility for everyone in terms of maternity and paternity leave, because “otherwise by default it’s the woman that gives”.
“There are a lot of simple things we can do as an industry. We’ll start to see more successful females because the pipelines are equal and we have the same talent coming through. But it won’t happen overnight.”
In addition, the insurer has set a target to increase its female management population to 32 percent by 2021, compared to the current figure of 28 percent.
She admits the targets don’t sound very ambitious, but adds: “When we looked at the number of roles and average turnover, the only way to get that number up quicker would be to positively discriminate towards women, which isn’t right either.”
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