The recently held second edition of the Dive-in-Festival in Nigeria 2020 was to point way forward on gender diversity and its impact on global and local economic growth.
According to a statement, equal opportunities, equal pay, female empowerment, advocacy and commitment from leadership in firms to develop and nurture females as they rise to leadership and more were part of the solutions discussed at forum.
As a build-up to this event, the Dive In team conducted a survey to understand the issues female in the insurance sectors were facing, the possible limitations on their rise to leadership and how they are navigating these challenges.
The survey showed that despite the ambition to attain a top-level in career; young female professionals in the Insurance sector are largely constrained by inadequate opportunities relative to gender bias, unequal pay and harassment.
The survey further highlighted that females are willing and ready to take up more challenging roles within the sector and have to resort to professional bodies for support and guidance in their careers. Some leading females in the industry also lent their voice to the younger female professionals in insurance and finance in a campaign titled: “Letters to my younger self.”
They shared lessons which would help the younger generation develop a mindset and character required for success within the sector.
Speakers at the event included Adetola Adegbayi, Executive Director, General Insurance Business Division, Leadway Assurance Company Ltd; Nike Anani, Co-Founder African Family Firms; Founder, The Funmi Omo Initiative and Former Managing Director in African Alliance Insurance Plc, Funmi Omo; Dr Corneille Karekezi, Group MD/CEO, African Re Group; and Ibitunde Balogun, Executive Director Tangerine Life Insurance Limited.
Adegbayi, when asked about her thoughts on revitalising diversity and inclusion initiatives and drive engagement going forward said: “We need to look at not just women but also men who are disadvantaged, physically challenged people when addressing diversity and inclusion.
“It doesn’t matter whether you are formally educated or not, as people what matters is how we make use of our abilities to deliver.”
She stressed the need to celebrate the difference in togetherness and balancing equality with equity.
Speaking further on the topic, Anani said: “Women stand to lose out the most when businesses fail to move to the next generation. Insurance has however turned out to be a risk management tool to protect women’s interest and other threatening issues that might ensue from lack of trans-generational wealth transfer.”
Balogun said: “The Insurance Industry currently falls into the least paying jobs in the financial service sector and this itself discourages youths from pursuing a career in this line.
Addressing Insurance leaders, he further stated, “You need to make insurance more attractive to the new age. The new generation wants good renumeration for work done, work life balance and flexibility in their jobs.”
Dive In is a global movement in the insurance sector to support the development of inclusive workplace cultures. Its mission is to enable people to achieve their potential by raising awareness of the business case and promoting positive action for diversity in all its forms.