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the future. For example, only 33 percent of girls consider
themselves best at science, technology, engineering and
mathematics (STEM) subjects compared to 60 percent of
boys, which affects their career choices and earning potential
Flexible working is another area where women can lose
out: 28.5 percent of mothers with a child aged 14 and under
said they had reduced their working hours due to childcare.
In contrast, just 4.8 percent of fathers reduced their hours.
Women working part-time earn 30 percent less per hour than
full-time working women, resulting in a gender pay gap of 18
percent, double the gap for full-time female workers.
Reduced hours also lead to a smaller pension pot, but three
out of 10 women did not recognise this. Overall the pensions
of women working part time are 47 percent lower than men’s
by the time they reach 60.
Portas says: “The perils and pitfalls women face are all
ultimately connected back to a lack of inclusion on a gender
level, in terms of the choices that are made early on in life but
also in terms of the progression of women in the workforce.
“The report shows that we need to stand back and look at
life journeys and understand that there are differences in the
journeys between men and women.
“If we’re going to tackle this challenge around gender
inclusion more broadly in our society then we need to look
at that holistically across the life journey. Then we can use a
combination of what I call policy and practice business and
society to make interventions.”
The report sets out women’s financial life journey with
six ‘moments that matter’ that can make a difference to
future financial resilience. They range from study choices to
starting work, being a professional mother and a carer, on to
Each ‘moment’ is brought to life with personas that people
will be able to identify with either personally or recognise as
members of their family, friends or colleagues.
The report lays out recommendations for insurers, the wider
financial services profession, government, regulators, trade
bodies and society to take action.
For example, addressing the financial penalty women face
around flexible working, Portas says that employers can
embrace a range of financially inclusive work patterns while
also enabling financially rewarding careers. This is something
re/insurers can do as employers, which also helps to attract
and retain talent, something that is becoming tougher as the
tech companies vie for the attention of the brightest and best.
When it comes to women as customers, the sector has an
opportunity here, too. IWF says women are exposed to risks
that are different from those of men, and are typically less
likely to buy certain products such as life insurance or longterm
care. There is an opportunity to explore new ways of
better serving their needs, and the report recommends that
insurance and pension providers adopt a ‘whole customer’
In the past, a standard household insurance policy would
have been for a heterosexual married couple, Portas explains.
“This may not hold in the future if we’re going to have multifamily
or multi-generational living, so what does that mean
for the insurance policies we design for tomorrow?
“What does the fact that mothers are having babies much
later in life mean for the type of protections we will offer
people in the future?” she says.
The research shows that 52 percent of women and 49
percent of men who are married or cohabiting do not consider
their relationship life circumstances when setting up their
insurance policies. Two-fifths of women and 33 percent of
men are unaware or not sure of the different implications this
might have for making a claim.
“Life is changing dramatically, which means people’s risks
in life and their financial lives are changing dramatically. This
then becomes both a need and an opportunity to think about
customer approaches, in terms of product design but also
customer journeys,” Portas says.
The IWF’s recommendation is that insurers help customers
Diversity and Inclusion Report 2019 www.intelligentinsurer.com