Insuring Women’s Futures
Life is a risky business for men and for women, but the risks they face are not the same.
In her 20s, the average woman outperforms the average man in terms of education and earns as much as men.
But a significant pay gap opens from her early 30s – when she typically earns 16% less than a man of the same age and is more likely to be in insecure employment.
Her 30s are typically spent caring for children, alongside part-time or temporary work. And in her 40s and 50s she may also be caring for an adult.
The pay gap, coupled with loss of earnings through unpaid care, has a huge impact on her ability to save or plan for her financial future.
This is before we consider the possibility of a relationship breakdown, a risk in her 40s and 50s in particular, which has profound effects on her future financial well-being.
This lack of saving ability can be clearly seen when it comes to pensions. The average man accumulates five times the pension pot of the average woman by the age of 65, with a man having £179,091 and a woman of the same age having just £35,800.
The Insuring Women’s Futures (IWF) initiative, which is led by the Chartered Insurance Institute, was set up to improve women’s lifelong financial resilience and some of the root causes of women’s pension deficit.
The campaign has three specific areas of focus, based on a rigorous research and data programme led by Jane Portas, Co-founder of IWF and Partner at PwC. These are:
- Women’s risks in life, which aims to understand the personal and professional risks women face across society and their experience of using insurance and personal finance, to enable improvements in the way the profession supports women.
- Women as Risk, which looks at insurance and personal finance solutions for women. Specifically, identifying new and valuable solutions for women’s risks, including their preferences as personal and professional consumers.
- Women in Risk, which aims to improve the profile of women in the insurance and personal finance profession, in particular focusing on how to increase the number of women at senior levels and making the profession more attractive to new female talent.
Government, regulators, businesses, employers, financial services firms, the third sector and society at large all have a role to play in improving women’s financial futures. After engaging with IWF, many organisations have already made commitments to take action.
If we improve financial resilience for women, we improve financial security for all. We can’t change this overnight, and it will take a concerted effort to address the root causes. We’re on a journey, and we can all do something right now.
Sian Fisher is CEO of the Chartered Insurance Institute.
Insuring Women’s Futures is a Programme established and led by the Chartered Insurance Institute in collaboration with a diverse range of leading insurance professionals, businesses, third sector organisations and experts on issues relating to women’s risks.
To find out more about Insuring Women’s Futures and how you can get involved in making a difference to this initiative, visit www.insuringwomensfutures.co.uk