Focus on Women in Insurance

As Women’s History Month comes to a close, it’s a good time to consider the expanding role women are playing in the insurance industry which has traditionally, insurance has been viewed as a male-dominated business. While a recent McKinsey & Company study indicates that is still true at the executive level,  it is no longer the case for the industry as a whole. According to the 2018 Labor Force Statistics from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, women have just edged out men in insurance underwriting, sales and claims and policy processing. In fact, according to NAMIC, women comprise 61% of the insurance industry workforce.

While there are a number of factors that have contributed to this changing dynamic, certainly groups like the Massachusetts Association of Insurance Women, Women in Insurance in New EnglandWomen in Insurance and Financial Services, and The Association of Professional Insurance Women have helped promote and support women in the industry. In recent years there have also been special subcommittees in many of the insurance societies that focus on women, such as PLUS Foundation’s Women’s Leadership Network. Conferences like the IICF Women in Insurance Global Conference and Business Insurance’s Women to Watch Awards & Leadership Conference also offer unique opportunities to network and learn.

We hope that the following list of resources provides some interesting additional reading on the topic.

  • Women In Charge: Meet the Women Who Run Their State’s Insurance Departments,  National Underwriter Property Casualty, 123, no. 3 (March 2019):26-27
  • Q&A with Pennsylvania Insurance Commissioner Jessica Altman and Illinois Insurance Director Jennifer Hammer, IN Magazine, (Summer 2018): 31-32
  • Women In Insurance: Making Strides,  IN Magazine, (Summer 2018): 25-28
  • Women are Significantly Underrepresented in Insurance Leadership Roles, by Craig Guillot Risk & Insurance,  29 no.10 (October 15, 2018): 10
  • Women and Diversity: Why the Coversation Must Continue in Financial Services, by Jill Bisco, PhD, Suzanne Gradisher, JD, and Barry Mulholland, PhD, CFP, ChFC, Journal of Financial Service Professionals, 73 no.1 (January 2019): 72-84

In 2017, Rough Notes Magazine started a series entitled: Broken Glass, where they feature women in leadership positions. There are over 15 articles in the series which provide fascinating glimpses at different female leaders, their career paths and what insight/advice they have.

While we usually feature current articles, we thought the following article which focuses on Sandra G. Parrillo of Providence Mutual Fire Insurance Company, Judy Jackson of New London County Mutual Insurance Company, and Catherine Rein of MetLife Auto and Home was also worth noting:

Advancement Opportunities: Three New England Insurer CEOs Have Shown That Women Can Move to the Highest Levels, The Standard, 249 no. 15 (November 16, 2001): 16-18.

As a bonus, don’t miss our Instagram post featuring the 1946 Book: Careers for Women In Real Estate and Life Insurance.

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