3 June 2014Bermuda analysis

Duperreault: Women need to stop undervaluing themselves

Women need to back themselves to pursue senior roles and entry into the c-suite, as they look to overturn gender bias evident in the insurance industry.

That is the view of Brian Duperreault, CEO of Hamilton Insurance Group, speaking at the Bermuda Captive Conference in Southampton, Bermuda, who says that the industry must do more to promote women.

Duperreault says that in order for women to achieve their potential they must actively seek out “stretch assignments” that challenge their abilities and tend to determine who will be considered for promotion.

Stretch assignments typically consist of overseas postings, leadership in research and development, or overseeing key strategic teams, but he says that women too often pass up such opportunities in favour of their male peers.

Duperreault says that this is due to a “confidence gap”.

Women tend to undervalue their abilities, he says, with men typically requesting salary increases four times more regularly than their female peers, while asking for 30 percent more in negotiations.

“Women need to stop undervaluing themselves. In doing so, their value is undermined and this damages their prospects for advancement.”

Duperreault called on men and women to affect change in the industry and increase the number of women who hold senior positions in the insurance field.

Currently just 1.3 percent of CEOs within finance and insurance are women, below even the 5 percent found in Fortune 100 companies.