Daniel Towle, president of CICA, believes the captive industry is probably better placed than the overall insurance industry when it comes to providing opportunities for women to advance to senior positions.
Towle notes there are a number of women leaders at the top of some of the largest captive management firms, and says the recently announced Amplify Women initiative is about celebrating their success, as well as paving the way for more women to follow in their footsteps.
“Through Amplify Women we want to not only connect and support future women leaders, we want to celebrate the success of current women leaders,” said Towle. “By recognising successful women and role models in the captive industry, and making them more visible, we can inspire more future leaders.”
But Towle acknowledged the captive industry to some extent likely mirrors the general insurance industry, as well as other industries, which have a problem when it comes to creating a level playing field upon which women can reach senior positions.
Towle believes a lack of mentors in the industry is a significant barrier for women looking to advance to the top in this field. “Because people tend to identify with younger colleagues of the same sex, women may not have as many opportunities when company leaders are primarily men,” he said. “We hope that by creating a group like Amplify Women
CICA can support creating valuable networks and elevating their visibility.”
The idea behind Amplify Women is that raising the profile of women in the captives industry, by authoring a print or an online article or speaking at a conference, will increase their opportunities to reach senior positions. This is particularly true in today’s world where people are constantly searching online, said Towle.
Towle said: “Speaking at a conference provides exposure and networking opportunities. As a speaker you can brand yourself as an industry expert, you get feedback from your audience which helps you continue to grow and build your skills and you get to network with other speakers/industry leaders.”
But Towle concedes it will be hard to measure the success of the program in a quantifiable way, given the lack of captive-specific data. But CICA is not concerned with taking credit for achieving any specific targets, and is instead focused on inspiring others to do their bit to promote the role of women in the industry.
“I have talked with several associations and organisations about how they can start programs to engage and support top talent, whether it’s supporting women, young professionals or students,” said Towle.
The Amplify Women initiative aligns itself alongside its NEXTGen program, designed to promote the captive industry among a new generation of students and young people, under CICA’s professional development programs. Both programs “will help to engage talented professionals in learning about the captive industry and advancing their captive careers,” said Towle. “There may be some overlap, but each has a distinct focus.”
CICA, Captive Insurance, Women in Insurance, Gender gap, Reinsurance, Daniel Towle, North America