It’s not difficult to attract women to the financial services industry, said Carrie Sayre, president of Women in Insurance and Financial Services. But it’s the development and advancement of women in which the industry fails.
Sayre, who is chief talent officer of 6M Group, spoke Tuesday as part of NAIFA Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Impact Week.
She said women make up 13% of producers and 18% of leaders in the industry, a percentage that hasn’t changed much over the past 30 years.
“Women have adapted to the industry. Now it’s time for the industry to adapt to women,” she said. “We have been socialized to believe men and women do things the same way, but the reality is that we are different.”
WIFS’s president-elect Darlene Flagg noted that company culture plays a role in retaining and developing women in the profession.
“Home offices don’t always know what is going on in their local offices in terms of an inclusive culture,” she said. “Harassment and diversity training are often seen as a joke.”
She called for more women to serve as role models to give other women the tips they need to succeed in the industry.
But, she added, the bottom line in making your company a place where women can succeed and thrive is to ask yourself whether it is a place you would want your mother, your wife or your daughter to work.
Susan Rupe is managing editor for InsuranceNewsNet. She formerly served as communications director for an insurance agents' association and was an award-winning newspaper reporter and editor. Contact her at [email protected]. Follow her on Twitter @INNsusan.