Nine leading insurance industry businesses announced the creation of a program in the UK that will enable “career-break” professionals to return to work.
The program will enable participating firms to tap into the “forgotten army” of experienced women who are ready to return to work after a career break, said Stephanie Dillon, founder of Inclusivity Partners, the organization delivering this program.
Opportunities are open across all disciplines, including underwriting, broking, claims, actuarial, exposure management, risk and some corporate functions. Open to both women and men returning from a career break, the organizers said they 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.
Talented people who are ready to return will be given the tools and confidence they need to step back into their careers, according to Inclusivity Partners in a statement.
The program will offer successful candidates:
- A six-month paid placement in one of the participating organisations
- A thorough training, onboarding and induction process
- One-to-one specialist coaching
Participating companies are:
- AIG Life Ltd.
- American International Group UK Ltd.
- Chaucer Group
- Howden Group and DUAL
- Willis Towers Watson
- Phoenix Group, the long-term savings and retirement business.
The program is now open for applicants. 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.
According to the most recent data from the Association of British Insurers, although 55% of people entering the industry are female, that proportion drops to 29% at board level and 24% at executive level, with a steady decline from manager upwards.
“This is not unique to the insurance sector,” explained Dillon. “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.”
“Finding women who trained and worked in insurance, left but are now ready to return, is a huge untapped opportunity,” said Sian Fisher, chief executive officer of the Chartered Insurance Institute.
“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,” said Fisher.
In addition to the Chartered Insurance Institute, Inclusivity Partners’ program is being supported by Lloyd’s of London, which is committed to creating an inclusive market for talent.
“Lloyd’s is determined to sponsor gender balance across our market, and within the Corporation we are proud to have achieved gender parity at the leadership level. Having seen at first hand the benefits that gender balance brings, I am delighted to support this initiative,” commented Lloyd’s CEO John Neal, in a statement.
(Editor’s note: Inclusivity Partners said that Lloyd’s isn’t on the initial list of companies for the program simply for reasons of timing, but is likely to join later. Lloyd’s already has instituted an aggressive program to improve diversity and inclusion within the marketplace).
Interested applicants in the Inclusivity Partners’ program can apply via its website.
About Inclusivity Partners
London-based Inclusivity Partners provides clients with access to diverse talent, either through bespoke returner programs or through supported hiring.