Last week, Forbes magazine published a list of the world’s 400 most female-friendly companies, which features four ICMIF members. The members in the list are French mutual insurer MAIF which is in third position, closely followed by the Desjardins Group (Canada) in fourth place. Also included in the list are the Unipol Group in Italy (31) and MACIF from France (174). The list also features other mutual/cooperative insurers such as Groupama (166) and Covéa (295), both from France.
To compile the 2022 ranking, Forbes and market research company Statista surveyed 85,000 women working in 36 countries and anonymously assessed the respondents’ based on criteria such as pay equity, career advancement opportunities and parental leave. They also looked at each organisation’s leadership and structure, as well as public perception of its commitment to parity.
Speaking about this recognition, Desjardins said they believe that the distinction recognises its commitment to gender parity and its innovative programmes, best practices, and approach, among leading multinationals and that being listed as a top honoree confirms Desjardins’s position as a caring and inclusive socioeconomic leader. At Desjardins, around 59% of managers within the cooperative financial services group are women.
“At Desjardins, we’re committed to creating an environment in which women are able to participate fully and grow within our organisation,” said Guy Cormier, President and CEO of Desjardins Group, “We’re extremely proud of this achievement, which confirms that we’re moving in the right direction to encourage women to achieve their full potential.”
Desjardins says it encourages women to develop their leadership skills and take on greater responsibilities. To this end, Desjardins has introduced several initiatives, like the Empowering Women network that enables female employees and board members to help each other, forge new connections and develop new skills.
Liz Green, Executive Vice-President at the International Cooperative and Mutual Insurance Federation (ICMIF) said: “Congratulations to all our members featuring in this list and to the other mutual/cooperative organisations that appear.”
She added that ICMIF’s forthcoming Governance Report 2022 would show that ICMIF members have increasingly higher levels of diversity and representation by women at both board level and at CEO/senior management level with our members outperforming the insurance industry average.
“ICMIF’s research found that 27.8% of directors serving on ICMIF members’ boards were women and this is a substantial increase from 20.6% in 2015 and nearly double from 14.3% in 2011. ICMIF members were also ahead of the financial industry average of 23.3% women on boards in 2020 and the insurance industry average of 26% in 2019. The financial industry average for boards with at least 30% women was 34% in 2020, compared to ICMIF members, of which 44.8% had boards comprised of at least 30%.
“Over one third of senior management positions within ICMIF member companies were held by women in 2020. This is a remarkable growth from 2010 and 2005 research when our findings showed around a quarter of women held senior management positions and our 2020 findings are almost double the insurance industry average of 17% in 2019.
“The number of female CEOs at ICMIF member companies has increased from 18.1% in 2015 to 22.7% in 2022, a comparable amount of growth found in the last five-year period report from 2010 to 2015 and well above the financial industry average of 6.9% in 2021 and the insurance industry average of 9.6% in 2019,” Green concluded.