Women in leadership positions

Insurance often has the reputation for being a conservative industry, run in a time-honoured way by men.  However, in the cooperative and mutual insurance sector women are taking a much more significant role.

Our latest figures suggest that 29 cooperatives and mutual organizations within ICMIF’s membership (220+ organizations) have decided that the best person to lead them is female. In 2005 this figure was just six. ICMIF was keen to further explore this trend and invited the female leaders from its member organizations to participate in a survey. Fourteen female leaders – CEOs, Chairs and Presidents - responded and shared their views and opinions regarding seven discussion themes:

  1. What are the key leadership attributes of being a CEO, Chair or President?
  2. Do women have different management styles to men?
  3. Are cooperative and mutual businesses more inclined to appoint female leaders?
  4. Is there still a ‘glass ceiling’?
  5. What is the value of mentoring?
  6. What is your view regarding monitoring of the gender composition of workforces?
  7. Are obligatory quotas, or targets, necessary to help achieve greater representation of women in management?

While the findings in this report are necessarily anecdotal, what was striking about the responses was the care and thought each of our respondents took when offering their insights. ICMIF is extremely grateful to these women. It is our belief that because of their generosity, this report offers unique knowledge and insight and will serve to benefit current and future generations of business leaders. We hope that you find the contents informative and inspirational and that it helps reinforce the fact that women are now, more than ever before, taking a significant role in our cooperative and mutual insurance sector.