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Why is matters to have women in the actuarial profession

Marleen Weiske

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Why it matters to have women in the actuarial profession

There’s very little argument against the case that a more diverse workforce is a better workforce. There are whole lists of benefits that diversity brings, including greater innovation, promoting productivity, increasing the talent pool and encouraging collaboration. That ‘diversity’ includes women, particularly in the actuarial profession.

Employing women and supporting diversity in actuarial teams helps organisations to build success. Running talented, creative and productive teams means better outcomes for your clients – and that in turn means better outcomes for you. Not just in reputational capital, but for your bottom line. This is a time when clients are looking for evidence that their professional advisors care about diversity and demonstrate a clear and genuine approach to it. So not only are you doing the right thing by focusing on increasing the representation of women in your organization – you are also being commercially aware.

In it’s Diversity Strategy, the Institute and Faculty of Actuaries (IFoA) sets out its understanding of diversity and the benefits it brings. The IFoA believes that diversity will allow it to:

  • benefit from diverse perspectives
  • get the best from those who work for us, or in partnership with us
  • protect our reputation and that of the profession
  • enhance the perception of the profession
  • help ensure the long-term sustainability of the profession
  • ensure we meet legislative requirements and act in the best interests of our members and the public.

The IFoA acknowledges something that many organisations are now paying more attention to: that workplaces should be inclusive and supportive. They should treat people fairly, be aware of unconscious bias and how that may affect others within the organisation and provide opportunities for training and development that allows everyone to fulfil their potential.

For women thinking of entering the actuarial profession, it is very positive to see these types of statements from the international body. The IFoA has had a woman president and takes its responsibilities around diversity very seriously. They should be looking for roles in organisations that have a diversity policy and preferably also a gender pay gap policy. And they should be asking about mentoring and development opportunities and internal promotion – all things that help to build a good quality career in the profession and allows for them to become role models to women and other groups hoping to have a positive impact on the actuarial profession.

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