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Why Insurance Is A Great Career For Women

March 5, 2021

With the spotlight on International Women’s Day, it is a great time to point out what a promising career choice the Insurance industry is for women to thrive in.

Insurance brokers represent an important part of the overall Property & Casualty (P&C) Insurance industry.  They are licensed insurance professionals employed by an insurance agency and play a notable role by interfacing between the Insurer and the Consumer.  They serve as an advisor and sales point between customers and the insurance companies the agency represents.  The broker provides support through the quote and purchase process, advocacy at the time of claim, and advice throughout the life of the policy. These three elements – choice, advocacy, and advice – differentiate the broker distribution channel and directly serve the best interests of the consumer. 

The Insurance Brokers Association of Canada (IBAC) comprises the provincial and regional associations of P&C insurance brokers in Canada. The associations represent over 38,000 P&C insurance brokers across Canada, serving both the personal and commercial interests of their clients.

The insurance industry is dominated by women. Women have consistently comprised about 62% of the insurance workforce every year since 2007. This stands in contrast to the national average across all industries, where only 46.8% of positions are held by women.

Illustrated picture of 5 women looing to the distance

Female representation at the senior leadership level has not been representative of the number of women who work in the insurance industry overall. Demographic research conducted by the Insurance Institute of Canada shows that, although women made up 62% of the Canadian P&C insurance industry in 2017, only 50% of management-level employees were female.  

In their study of diversity and financial performance, McKinsey & Company found that organizations with a more diverse leadership team performed better by 21% and were 27% more likely to demonstrate superior value creation in the long-term. An increase in performance can be attributed to the innovation that results from idea-sharing environments bolstered by women and their outlook and experiences in a variety of backgrounds and circumstances. These results align with the findings from a 2019 study conducted by the Harvard Business Review, which monitored performance and increased financial success after organizations added more women to their leadership teams. 

“There’s mounting evidence to suggest a diverse workforce leads to more innovation and stronger financial results. Creating an environment where women thrive makes good business sense.”

National Leader of People & Organization at PwC, Jean McClellan

5 diverse women

Times are changing and Brokerages and Associations across the country have been steadily tackling this inequity.  This industry is in a time of rapid change, and this is great news for women in insurance looking to climb the ladder of success and achievement.  

If you are wondering if this career is stable and one that will last, The Phoenix Company of London first opened agencies in Montreal in 1804 and the first insurance company in Canada opened in Halifax in 1809.  Insurance is a societal staple, and here in BC deemed an essential service.  It is a career that has stood the test of time. 

Close to 30% of the industry’s workforce is over the age of 50. More than one in four workers will retire by 2027. Most of this will occur over the next few years with 15.8% of the industry’s current workforce between now and 2022.  Now is a great time to consider the Insurance Industry. 

The Insurance industry is licenced, and as such one must pass a level 1 licencing exam to get started in general insurance.  Licensing can be upgraded by taking the Level 2 & 3 license to work unsupervised and expand your expertise into commercial property and liability products.  A level 4 license focus is on broker management.  

Young student watching lesson online

If you complete all 4 levels of licencing through The Canadian Accredited Insurance Broker (CAIB) you will receive your professional designation. This a national program that is provided by the Insurance Brokers Association of Canada (IBAC) and is a way to establish yourself as a credible insurance expert within the industry.

The Insurance Institute also offers two designations, Chartered Insurance Professional (CIP®) and Fellow Chartered Insurance Professional (FCIP®). Created at the direction of the industry these designations are another representation and national standard for professionalism, technical expertise, and leadership in the property & casualty insurance sector. Many will obtain this level of education to further their career path beyond broker to underwriter, adjuster, or risk manager.

Here at MacDonald-Gill Insurance, led by a female owner, we are an office of well-trained, accredited, professional women offering the best we have of ourselves and our products for the insurance needs of our clients. 

MacDonald gill team on stairs