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Underwriters canvass gender inclusion to sustain growth

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Insurance experts have advocated gender inclusion as a necessary step towards deepening the growth of the sector.

The experts, who spoke at ‘Dive in Festival in Nigeria 2020’ held at the weekend, deliberated extensively on gender diversity and its impact on economic growth.

The founder of Funmi Omo Initiative, Mrs. Funmi Omo, said women are the backbone of any economy, a reason they should be given the attention they deserve.

Insurance, she said, needs a structural and deliberate approach to thrive. She added that diversity engenders balance.

Omo, an immediate past Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer of African Alliance Insurance Plc, said: “leaders have to step up to make the insurance sector more welcoming. They need to be flexible and avoid being rigid. They should also take advantage of the newness and freshness of the younger generation. Do not micromanage them but let them explore; allow them to breathe and make mistakes so they can see a future in the industry.”

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Also, the Executive Director, Leadway Assurance Company Ltd, Adetola Adegbayi, said there are a lot of young people with potential who are willing to make a difference in the insurance industry but could not do so, because of the existing structure. The older generation, she said, should give a chance to the younger generation, especially the females so that they have good hands to take over from them when they retire.

Stating that her organisation was already inculcating gender and age diversity in its recruitment, she enjoined other practitioners to have a blend of youths and females at the management level to enhance productivity and vibrancy.

The Group Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer, African Reinsurance Corporation (Africa Re), Dr. Corneille Karekezi, said: “We are aware that women are not well represented in the workplace. Hence, at Africa Re Group, we make special provision for women inclusion in nomination for senior roles, provision for tribal diversity and inclusion to drive equality in the corporation.”

As a build-up to this event, the organisers conducted a survey to understand the challenges females in the insurance sector face, the limitations on their rise to leadership and how they are navigating these challenges.
According to them, the survey showed that despite the ambition to attain a top-level career, young female professionals are largely constrained by inadequate opportunities, unequal pay and harassment.

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