Women and Insurance:
A Beautiful Combination
This month we celebrated International Women’s Day at Chubb with special events planned for employees around the world. With our commitment to a diverse workforce through our #DEI programs and initiatives, we are entering our next century ready to recognize the talents of women and provide them a path to success in myriad ways.
But, we’re not just celebrating our employees, we’re celebrating all women and their unique roles. We think women and insurance make the perfect combination, whether women are working in the industry or making insurance buying decisions for their families. So, let’s take a look specifically at women as insurance consumers and women as insurance professionals.
Women as insurance consumers
In 2021, females made up just under 50% of the US population1. That’s hardly a “niche” market!
While each person is an individual with different needs and habits, it can be helpful to look at statistics that both challenge assumptions and help put gender differences into context:
· Worldwide, women control over $31 trillion in spending2
· In the U.S., women direct 84% of consumption decisions3
· In the U.S., women make 90% of household healthcare decisions4
· 32% of businesses in North America are owned by women, who like all entrepreneurs rely on insurance to mitigate risk5
As women’s buying power grows it is important t to make sure their preferences are being considered to best met their needs. For example, women tend to value health insurance over life insurance6, so a consultant would serve her well to explain how the two work together and provide insights into the need for life insurance coverage. Women also tend to spend more on health insurance for their families than men do, and may be more likely to be interested in purchasing accident and sickness, critical care and cancer, and disability insurance.
Women rely heavily on recommendations from friends and families, so they’re likely to check online reviews, social media sites and other networks.6
On the whole, women, like their male counterparts, have a varying degree of “room” in their budgets to afford coverage and have unique outlooks on their financial prospects. While assessing her family’s or her own personal supplemental insurance coverage needs, a woman may need more or less education on what types of plans are available or more or less personal support while making decisions.
Again, consider the individuality of each consumer, but keep in mind her life stage to get a feel for her priorities: whether or not she’s focused on building a career, supporting a family (growing kids and/or aging parents), planning for retirement, or just getting started in the workforce. It all makes a difference to how and why she buys insurance.
Women as insurance professionals
Women have comprised around 60% of the insurance workforce since 20127, and the industry is in fact significantly more gender diverse than all industries in North America. 70% of insurance entry-level employees are women, and 40% of board seats are held by women in the industry. Women tend to quit the insurance less frequently than other industries, and for every 100 men promoted to manager level, 104 women are promoted.
Since COVID-19, some notable changes in the workplace have affected women, in both positive and negative ways. Unfortunately, women are leaving the work force more rapidly than men, so the gender parity companies built up is harder to maintain. Employees now expect a better sense of purpose in their careers and personal lives, so insurance remains appealing since it can help businesses and individuals preserve their wealth. Additionally, insurance careers tend to provide flexibility: 90% of women prefer to work remotely or with a hybrid arrangement, and most companies are not pulling back on their flexible arrangements.8
Women at Combined
Thanks to some of our female leaders who shared their reflections on women and their roles in the insurance industry and at Combined.
Kim Baker, Vice President, Worksite Operations
“I have always thought it important to celebrate the achievement of women in our history through Women’s History Month. It is a time to remember who took chances that seemed impossible, showed incredible resilience through adversity and ultimately who paved the way for women today. I like to use these reflections to lift myself to higher accomplishments by channeling their drive and determination. On a personal note, it is a wonderful time to share this history with my granddaughters as they hear about the women who have shaped our future.”
The opportunities for women in the insurance industry look bright indeed and, with our commitment to a diverse workforce through our DEI programs and initiatives, we enter our next century ready to recognize the talents of women and provide them a path to success in myriad ways.
Eileen Castolene, Senior Vice President and Chief Operations Officer
“If you look at the global gender balance, women make up just under 50% of the population and 47% of the global workforce. Additionally, according to Inc., women control or influence between 70-80% of consumer purchasing in the US. That would suggest that women should be taken seriously for the value we bring and the value we create. However, the journey to equality for women continues despite the influence we have across politics, commerce, and society. It is important that we not take for granted the hard fought gains that have been made in raising our status and stay vigilant, and active, intending to the sometimes fragile state of our equality. Understanding our history is a starting point to ensure we guard against inertia.”
Sadaf Siddiqui, SVP General Counsel
“This is a time to celebrate but also remind ourselves that we are not quite there yet. We still need gender parity and representation in all aspects of our lives – as students, parents, leaders, across industry, politics, sports etc. On a personal level, I am the mother of two daughters, one finishing up high school and the other in middle school. I want them to be fearless, have grit and not feel any constraints or boundaries in anything they want to do. So I try to embody that in everything I do, not just because I believe it, but also because they are watching.
Inequalities women have historically faced, and in many instances, continue to face, need to be highlighted. And how better to do that than use Women’s History Month as a point of reflection and celebration and put a spotlight on women leaders, activists, and trailblazers who have plowed forward, in many instances, ahead of their times.”
Michelle Bryer, SVP Claims
"Women’s History Month is an opportunity to celebrate and highlight the many courageous, smart and confident women who have helped to blaze a trail to greater equality for women in the workplace and the world. While we’ve made great progress, further opportunity exists to close the gap for women in workplace. As a young girl, I was inspired by my Nana who worked full-time as a postmaster in a very small town – in the 70s this wasn’t the norm. Occasionally, I’d get to go with her to work and I admired her work ethic, dedication to her career and her insistence that we could be whatever we wanted to be regardless of gender. As a mom to three children, including one daughter, I want her to know that gender should not be a barrier and through hard work, dedication, and focus she can achieve all she sets out to do. I hope by sharing my journey with her, she will be inspired like my Nana inspired me.
Thank YOU to all the women leaders, activists and allies who have helped to pave the path for other women leaders - you serve as encouragement and proof that we can do hard things. Through relentless focus and collaboration, we can work together to enable greater equality for future generations of women."
As we look to our next century, Combined Insurance is poised to grow and offer even more opportunities for women across the company. We harken back to the woman who was the inspiration for our company – W. Clement Stone’s mother, Anna Gunn Stone – and look forward to witnessing the contributions of other women in the coming 100 years.
Want to join us? Find out about career opportunities at Combined Insurance!
1. Population, female (% of total). (n.d.). Retrieved March 14, 2023, from data.worldbank.org/
2. Catalyst.org/research/buying power, (2020).
3. Brennan, B. (2015, January 21). Top 10 Things Everyone Should Know About Women Consumers. Retrieved March 14, 2023
4. https://girlpowermarketing.com/statistics-purchasing-power-women/ (Source: Yankelovich Monitor, M2W Conference)