After researching all 192 insurers, intermediaries, service providers, financial advisors and loss adjusters in the UK who have published pay gap data, the Chartered Insurance Institute (CII) discovered an average gender pay gap of 24 percent (measured as median hourly difference).
The professional body has categorised the overall numbers by subsector and recognises that the gap is too big and is reaching out to employers to take action in reducing the sector’s pay gap.
According to the analysis, insurers have a median gap of 24 percent and intermediaries of 23 percent. Only three companies have a ‘negative’ gap in favour of women (measured as a median).
A near equal proportion of men (69 percent) and women (67 percent) receive a bonus but the difference in how much is paid out in bonuses is notable – the median gap is 42 percent and the mean gap is 52 percent, according to the CII.
Much of the discrepancy is a reflection of the imbalanced representation of men and women at senior levels with fewer women serving in senior level roles which influence salary and bonus values, the organisation said.
The CII is now calling for a step change, encouraging the development and sharing of good practice to address the root causes of the gap. The CII’s Insuring Women’s Futures programme has prioritised the development of a flexible working good practice to help employers to improve career potential for both men and women carers – identified as a key cause of the gender pay gap.
The CII recommends that organisations take action to break down the stereotypes of male / female roles, supporting flexible working, sponsoring talented individuals through schemes such as leadership training programmes and providing employees with mentors.
People engagement director at the CII, Tali Shlomo commented: “The Chartered Insurance Institute, as the professional body for insurance and financial planning, has a responsibility to not only recognise the existence of the gender pay gap in our profession but lead the way as a champion to ensure change happens. Without under-playing the urgency of addressing this disparity, the pay gap itself cannot be fixed over-night. We must develop good practice in the tools and methods that are effective in addressing the root causes of the gap, and we can start that now.
“The Chartered Insurance Institute will continue to identify and collate good practice for the benefit of the profession and for society as a whole. We are not looking to name and shame individual firms but to work in collaboration with the sector as a whole in order to address the root causes of the pay gap. We need to attract more women into the profession, then encourage, empower and develop them to achieve their potential.”