New insurance industry demographic research from Saint Joseph's University in Philadelphia reveals significant improvement in gender inclusion in senior leadership positions.

The study builds on four years of work by Mike Angelina, executive director of the Maguire Academy of Insurance and Risk Management.

"The purpose of the updated study is to continue shining a light on the need for more women in the insurance business’s upper echelons," says Angelina.

"While the insurance industry has made great strides since our first study, there is clearly more work to be done."

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To conduct this market research, Angelina analyzed publicly available data of 100 companies, including 91 publicly traded and nine mutual companies in 2013.

He then went back to the same companies in 2015 and this year to gauge their improvement in gender inclusion.

Angelina’s results show a significant increase in board representation by women, reaching 18.7% in 2017 versus 12.6% cited in the 2013 study.

Previously at 28%, the share of companies without female leadership decreased to 15%.
Previously at 28%, the share of companies without female leadership decreased to 15%.

Furthermore, 58% of the 100 companies analyzed have two or more women on their board, compared with 34% in 2013.

Additionally, the percentage of women in the named officer position has increased from 8% to 11% since 2015.

Although employment of women in the insurance industry is high, they remain poorly represented in top positions, say Angelina and Erin Hamrick, a partner in the New York insurance recruiting firm Sterling James and an original sponsor of the study.

"Insurance executives are generally aware of the lack of gender diversity in the industry, but most felt that strides had been made in this area," says Hamrick,.

"This research will hopefully provide the data they need to work toward a sustainable solution."

This article is based on materials provided by Saint Joseph's University. Content may be edited for style and length.