EY Cyprus and the Insurance Association of Cyprus (IAC) co organised an event where they presented the results of a survey EY Cyprus conducted on Gender Equality in the Cypriot Insurance Sector.
The report explores gender equality in the workplace, identifies trends and root causes of processes that may hinder workplace inequality on the basis of gender, as well as good practices that promote equitable opportunities, establish fair procedures and improve business performance. The research findings have enabled EY to develop a set of recommendations for companies in the Insurance Sector to implement, which can facilitate and promote gender equality in the workplace. Following the presentation of the report, EY’s team of experts organised a workshop on Gender Equality for the participants.
The report starts by identifying why equality matters for businesses; it demonstrates that equitable work practices lead to a more productive work atmosphere, encourage diverse perspectives, attract and retain the best talent from the market, broaden an individual’s work options, and, ultimately, improve business performance.
The report starts by examining the current state of Female Representation in the Workplace in the Insurance Sector. Based on a sample of companies examined, it concludes that, while female representation in the total workforce exceeds 50%, progress is still required at the level of middle management, C-Suite and executive committees, and, especially, Boards of Directors. In short, the percentage of female representation declines significantly at the higher levels of hierarchy.
The report also focuses on the issue of Equal Pay and examines factors which may be contributing to a gender pay gap, relevant policies followed by companies in the industry and actions that companies would consider to address the gender pay gap.
Finally, the report examines flexible working arrangements currently followed or being planned by insurance companies, as well as those addressed specifically to parents, including arrangements to employees returning from maternity or paternity leave.
Based on the research findings, EY presented a detailed set of recommendations for companies in the Insurance sector, along six pillars, namely:
- Establishing & Ensuring Pay parity
- Establishing Fair Recruitment Procedures
- Establishing Fair Promotion Procedures
- Introducing & Mainstreaming Flexible Working Arrangements
- Raising Awareness on Gender Equality across all Company Levels
- Preparing for Diverse Boards
Commenting on the findings of the report, Stavros Violaris, Partner and Insurance Sector Leader, said: “Gender equality is a critical component of a just and prosperous society. When we limit opportunities for women and other under-represented groups, we are depriving ourselves of the diverse perspectives and talents that are necessary for innovation, creativity, and progress and, therefore, limiting the potential of our entire society. We are proud that our survey is driving the discussion in the insurance sector. Our aim is to assist insurance companies to create policies and practices that support and uplift all employees, without exceptions.”
Danae Psilla, Manager at People Advisory Services Team of EY Cyprus, said: “To achieve gender equality we need to recognize and address the systemic biases and barriers that have historically prevented women from fully participating in all areas of society, including the workplace. We must also set in place policies that secure fair opportunities for growth, equal pay and a flexible work environment that secures balance in everyone’s professional and personal aspirations. Our teams at EY’s People Advisory Services work closely with our clients to help them pursue this goal and become more innovative, more productive, and more successful.”
During his commentary, Evangelos Anastasiades, President of the Board of Directors of the Insurance Association of Cyprus said: "Gender equality, equal pay, equal advancement opportunities and encouraging the participation of both men and women helps create an inclusive culture that results in greater value creation and productivity for companies." He then emphasized that: "In the Insurance Industry, we have made significant progress in this direction in recent years, and with the same zeal we will continue to work for the full regulation of labor equality in our sector."