By Cyril Tuohy
In honor of Women’s History Month in March, insurance carriers are showcasing their efforts to promote women and offer networking platforms for them in an industry that remains male dominated, even among the advisor ranks.
Penn Mutual announced its “Women Leaders on the Power of Relationships.” The Web-based series features first-person inspirational accounts of people who have made an impact on their lives or careers as women in the financial services industry.
“As these stories reveal, the lives and careers of Penn Mutual’s female associates have been motivated and inspired by a diverse mix of mentors, colleagues and relatives,” Eileen McDonnell, Penn Mutual chairman, president and chief executive officer, said in a statement.
In Penn Mutual’s home office, more than half of the company’s associates are women, 46 percent of the company’s vice presidents are women and at least 40 percent of the company’s board of directors is made up of women.
Northwestern Mutual kicked off its “Woman with a Plan” project, #WomanWithAPlan, which will highlight the success of women, including Chantel Bonneau, a financial advisor who built a career helping clients achieve their goals, and Kate Kane, the first female president of the Northwestern Mutual Managing Directors Association.
A frequent speaker on the lecture circuit, Bonneau focuses on the power of planning for women.
“A woman with a plan and discipline can achieve great things be it planning for a strong financial future or making career moves and other choices for her family,” Kimberley Goode, a Northwestern Mutual vice president, said in a statement.
Allianz Life sponsored its sixth annual WomenNetwork Symposium connecting women financial professionals around the country. The symposium featured more than 70 women professionals and 10 guest speakers.
Sherri DuMond, Allianz Life senior vice president of distribution training, said in a statement that while an insurance carrier can underwrite the best life or annuity in the world, that becomes less important if a customer leaves dissatisfied with his or her experience with an advisor.
Positive customer experiences are the differentiators for Allianz and its advisor network. “By providing WomenNetwork Symposium, together we can create a better experience for our customers with each interaction,” she said in a statement.
In addition to McDonnell, other women have made it to the top of life insurance companies. Deanna M. Mulligan is CEO of Guardian Life and Beth E. Mooney is CEO of KeyCorp.
Despite McDonnell’s, Mulligan’s and Mooney’s achievements, women do not hold many senior leadership positions in the financial services industry or beyond. Women hold only 4.6 percent of Fortune 1,000 CEO positions, according to Catalyst, a nonprofit organization with the goal of expanding opportunities for women and business.
Cyril Tuohy is a writer based in Pennsylvania. He has covered the financial services industry for more than 15 years. Cyril may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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