Women and Insurance

Women, in particular young women, are becoming a rarity among the ranks of workers in the U.S. finance industry, according to an article in the Wall Street Journal today.

Its analysis of data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) shows that in the past 10 years (2000 to 2009), the ranks of female finance workers declined by 2.6 percent, while the ranks of male workers grew by 9.6 percent in the same period.

The WSJ reports that the shift runs counter to changes in the U.S. labor market as a whole, where the number of women grew by 4.1 percent in the past decade, compared to a 0.5 percent increase in male workers.

The numbers appear to be more pronounced among young workers (ages 20-35). The WSJ analysis finds that since 2000, the number of young women working in finance has dropped by 16.5 percent, while the number of men in the same age range grew by 7.3 percent.

While the recession is partly to blame, the WSJ suggests that other factors are having an impact, such as the growing use of technology replacing some of the  jobs traditionally filled by women.

Regardless of gender, this may be a good time to mention that the insurance industry is a major U.S. employer.

I.I.I. research shows the industry provides some 2.3 million jobs that encompass a wide variety of careers, from human resource administrators to public relations managers to financial analysts.

Some jobs, such as claims adjusters, actuaries and insurance underwriters, are unique to the insurance industry.

Check out I.I.I.’s September 2010 report on insurance industry employment trends.

For more information about the diverse career opportunities in the insurance industry, check out the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Career Guide to Industries.

The Association of Professional Insurance Women (APIW) and the National Association of Insurance Women (NAIW) are two established industry associations that provide women with opportunities for networking and professional development.

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