Two recently released studies of insurance industry leadership reveal some positive trends on gender diversity measures. But executive teams still have few women, researchers say, concluding that the design of industry mentoring programs may be to blame.

Executive Summary

While a study from Saint Joseph's University finds more women in the boardrooms and C-suites of insurance companies than was the case two years ago, men are still the clear majority. Findings of a second study by Drake University suggest that the number could be changed by shaking up mentoring programs and pairing more women with male mentors.

One of the studies, in fact, gives strong evidence that more typically cited reasons for the lack of women in the C-suites—such as women having less confidence or less motivation to advance than men—do not hold true at all in the insurance industry. According to the study based on a survey of 407 graduates of the Drake University College of Business and Public Administration (CBPA) over the last 10 years—roughly one-quarter of whom work in the insurance sector—women in insurance are actually more motivated to advance than men working in insurance.

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