Closing gaps between women’s and men’s economic participation drives the growth of businesses and economies and improves the lives of families and communities. While women around the globe have rising incomes and increased buying power, they nevertheless remain an underserved community across financial services. Financial inclusion is an issue for both genders, however for many reasons, women are more excluded than men; with insurance, this is often referred to as the gender protection gap and is pervasive across all socio-economic groupings.
According to IFC’s 2015 SheforShield Report, the Insurance industry can play a significant role in addressing this gap and earn up to US$1.7 trillion by 2030 from women alone half of it in emerging economies — if they target women. The COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated the challenges women and women-owned SMEs face in managing risk and building financial security. A range of solutions on both the supply and demand side are needed so that women can take better advantage of risk management solutions, including business insurance for women-led enterprises. Women also play critical roles as a distribution force to better reach women customers, as well as leaders within the company that provide essential insights into the lives and needs of women. By creating targeted approaches to better serve women as customers and employees, insurers can differentiate themselves and become the insurer and/or employers of choice for women in their respective markets.
There is no doubt that women tend to possess the natural ability of bonding and connectivity. This is very useful in the insurance industry, where constant discussions and persuasion skills are required. Moreover, good relationship-building skills also result in a more personalized customer experience and good employee connections as well. The empathetic and intuitive traits of women help in claim processing and underwriting roles in the insurance sector. As we know, insurance is mostly about winning the trust of the stakeholders. Hence, there is a constant need for effective communicators in the industry which can be fulfilled by women.
In our everyday lives and while running a household, we all come across problems that require solving, and sometimes instantly. In insurance, one is required to find creative solutions to problems every day and carefully analyze situations and come up with fitting solutions. Women inherently have the problem-solving ability and skills that make them a good fit in the insurance industry.
A female workforce can result in better financial literacy amongst other women: lack of financial awareness amongst women is a serious concern. Not only is the number of women buying financial products and services far lesser than their male counterparts, but the participation of women in the family’s financial decisions is also negligible. It is widely understood that the quickest way to spread literacy in the nation is to educate the girl child.
The same holds true for financial literacy also. The more women enter the workforce, especially in the BFSI sector, the faster the spread of financial literacy and awareness among women (and families). This will help women have better control over their finances and make sound decisions. More female employees translate to more insurance products aimed at women. More female insurance agents lead to more engagement with female prospects and the dissemination of financial literacy.