Diversity  

Women's initiative to help mothers return to work

Women's initiative to help mothers return to work
 Ron Lach via Pexels

Nine financial services giants have joined forces to create a cross-sector returners' programme to help women get back into the insurance industry after a career break.

Inclusivity Partners, the organisation delivering this programme, said it was imperative that women in more senior roles were helped back into the workplace after taking time out to raise children or care for relatives. 

Opportunities are open across all disciplines, including underwriting, broking, claims, actuarial, exposure management, risk and some corporate functions.

Participating organisations:

  • AIG Life Limited & American International Group UK Ltd
  • Chubb
  • Chaucer Group
  • Howden Group & DUAL
  • Lockton
  • Marsh
  • Phoenix Group
  • Willis Towers Watson.

Lloyd’s of London as also lent its support to the scheme. 

Stephanie Dillon, founder of Inclusivity Partners, pointed to recent data from the Association of British Insurers, which found although 55 per cent of people entering the industry were female, that proportion dropped to 29 per cent at board level and 24 per cent at executive level, with a steady decline from manager upwards.

Dillon said: “This is not unique to the insurance sector. Across the professions we see women dropping out, often due to caring responsibilities, only to find that when they are ready to return, their way back is blocked.

"Men do take career breaks too, but we know that these issues disproportionately impact women.”

The programme will enable participating firms to tap into the 'forgotten army' of experienced women who are ready to return to work after a career break.

Returners will be given the tools and confidence they need to step back into their careers and connect with organisations which recognise their value.

The organisers use a tailored assessment process which looks for potential, acknowledges the full breadth of a candidate’s experience and understands that breaks should not be career limiting. Successful candidates will be offered:

  • A six-month paid placement in one of the participating organisations
  • A thorough training, onboarding and induction process
  • One-to-one specialist coaching.

The programme is open for applicants now. Successful candidates will start work in September 2021 on six-month contracts, with the aim being to transition to a permanent role at the end of that period.

Sian Fisher, chief executive of the Chartered Insurance Institute, called this as a practical solution to a real and pressing problem.

She said: “Finding women who trained and worked in insurance, left but are now ready to return, is a huge untapped opportunity.

"This initiative takes a practical and incredibly thoughtful approach to address this problem directly – by giving women the full support they need to return to work successfully and giving insurers a path to recruit from and integrate this incredible senior talent pool."

Diversity Awards still open for entries

The FTAdviser Diversity In Finance Awards 2021 are still open for submissions, from individuals and companies who can demonstrate they have gone the extra mile in 2020 to improve diversity and inclusion and make their businesses better for clients, staff and the wider community. 

For more information on the categories visit: FTAdviser Diversity In Finance Awards 2021.