The International Cooperative and Mutual Insurance Federation (ICMIF) is conducting research looking at its members’ governance in terms of gender diversity. Headquartered in the UK, ICMIF represents over 230 “people-centred insurers” in 70+ countries with over $270bn in premium income.
The organisation published a similar report in 2012, which had a focus on board and senior management diversity. It highlighted that in 2010, 14.3% of ICMIF’s member’s directors were women – an increase from 11.5% in 2005. The report also showed that in 2010, one in four members had three or more women sitting on their boards, and 14% had a woman CEO. In 2005, 31.5% of ICMIF members had no women board members – down from 44.2% in 2005.
Provisional results from the updated report, which is based on 2015 data, are “very positive for the co-op sector, showing a significant growth in % of women on boards over a five and ten year period,” said Ben Telfer, vice-president, business intelligence, at ICMIF.
|% of women board members (Icmif members)||11.0%||13.0%||20.7%*|
|% of women in senior management positions||n/a||25.0%||26.1%*|
The results show that the percentage of women board members nearly doubled over ten years.
A full ICMIF report on governance, including more on board diversity and structure will be published in September, looking further into how and why mutual and co-op insurers have changed their governance structures – and what others can learn from this.
An infographic, which ICMIF produced for International Women’s Day 2016, highlighted how just one of the 100 largest stock company insurers had a woman CEO, while nine of the 100 largest co-operative and mutual insurers were led by a woman.
“The co-operative and mutual insurance sector has long known what the rest of the insurance industry have been slow to grasp hold of: that the best boards of insurance companies are the more diverse boards, and that the most effective senior management teams are the more diverse management teams,” said Shaun Tarbuck, ICMIF CEO.
“The fact that ICMIF member companies’ boards have almost doubled the average female representation on their Boards over a 10-year period highlights their commitment to addressing gender imbalance and promoting diversity, not just in terms of how they are governed by their Board of Directors, but also throughout their companies. These trends are very encouraging, and while there is still a lot of work to do by the insurance industry in terms of gender parity in executive management, the mutual and co-operative sector is certainly leading the way.”