International Women's Day - Airmic Chair, Tracey Skinner gives her views

Published on Fri, 12/03/2021 - 16:19

Tracey Skinner, Chair of Airmic, gives her views on gender equality in the risk and insurance profession for International Women’s Day, which took place this week.

Shouldn’t it be IWW? Some events go on for a month. In the UK we even have Pie Week! So why do we have International Women’s Day? Are we putting enough effort into this; and how can one day have enough impact?

The primary aim of International Women’s Day is to build awareness. It’s the moment of the year when people want to create awareness about the issues we face, and use it as an opportunity to highlight where things are not going as well as they should be. This year female Covid is a major issue, as evidence shows the pandemic period has particularly effected women’s broader health and wellbeing.

In the financial services industry, and within it the risk and insurance profession, it’s wonderful that there’s been some great progress made. A lot of organisations are making greater quantification efforts to help ensure women are properly represented at all levels within their staffs. By slicing and dicing the numbers, some organisations have done better than others in moving the dial. However, it’s a worry to see there is so much patchiness out there among other organisations.

What I’m interested to watch in the next year is how many organisations are taking these indices and baking them into procurement processes? When buyers go into the market looking for an insurance partner, for example, in making a broker tender, you may see this on the agenda.

There is greater pressure on Diversity and Inclusion (D&I) and the broader Environmental and Social Governance (ESG) agenda, whether that’s coming from senior management, the staff themselves, or external stakeholders, to make a move in this direction. It’s giving this topic teeth in the coming months.