There’s a reason financial services companies are encouraging more women to join their ranks: it’s good business. According to several studies, companies who promote women to senior roles consistently outperform their competitors.
Recent LIMRA research of executive level women in the financial services industry — particularly those working in insurance — reveals that while companies are making progress there still exists a great deal of untapped potential. How can companies more effectively recruit and promote women? Women in the industry identified five areas where companies can make a positive difference:
Leadership — Leaders need to address the underrepresentation of women (especially in sales and sales leadership) and make adjustments to enable women to integrate more equally.
Culture — Create an environment that encourages women to think big and strive big. Advance more women based on potential rather than past performance. Not sure what women want or need? Ask.
Training and support — View training and development from a woman’s perspective. Use mentors and sponsors actively, and allow for “on ramps” and “off ramps” to accommodate changes in life circumstances.
Networking Opportunities — Make sure business and social activities are all inclusive and welcoming. Encourage women to network with their peers and promote leadership opportunities wherever possible.
Recognition — Recognize the successes women achieve and reward in a way that motivates them further.
Members can access the study by visiting: Untapped Potential: What’s Wrong and What’s Right for Women in Today’s Financial Services Industry (2013).
Non-members can get more information by contacting LIMRA Public Relations.