Like everything else in the insurance industry, the faces of those in leadership are also changing as more women move into managerial and C-suite positions. But that hasn't always been the case. A 2012 report by SourceMedia Research and Insurance Networking News found that women comprised 59.4% of the insurance workforce, but only one woman was the CEO of either a Fortune 500 or 1000 insurance company.

Growing number of women in insurance

Over the last five years, the number of women in the insurance industry has increased to 1.7 million according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The percentage of female workers involved in insurance occupations in 2016 included: 47% working as sales agents; 62% as underwriters; 62% as adjusters, appraisers, examiners and investigators; and 85% working as claims and policy processing clerks.

At the May conference for Insurance Accounting and Systems Association, Inc. (IASA) in Orlando, Florida, a panel comprising several former women presidents of the organization discussed the challenges they faced as they moved into leadership positions both within their companies and the organization, as well as their successes, and what distinguished them from their male counterparts.

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Patricia L. Harman

Patricia L. Harman is the editor-in-chief of Claims magazine, a contributing editor to, and chairs the annual America's Claims Event (ACE), which focuses on providing claims professionals with cutting-edge education and networking opportunities. She covers auto, property & casualty, workers' compensation, fraud, risk and cybersecurity, and is a frequent speaker at insurance industry events. Contact her at [email protected]