By Rosemary Onuoha
As the country celebrates independence, some female professionals in the insurance industry have lamented that Nigeria still ranks low amongst countries that support gender equality and inclusion of women in the workplace and this necessitates a need for actions that can impact the countries potential positively in the future.
According to these women, the economy could experience an additional 1.25 percent GDP growth if the country embraces gender parity. Moreso, they argue that workplace leadership should facilitate opportunities for career development.
They believe that a diverse team fosters innovation, creativity, and productivity. But most importantly, diversity and inclusion are critical for long term success in the insurance sector.
In Finance, Founder, the Funmi Omo Initiative and Former Managing Director, African Alliance Insurance Plc, Funmi Omo, said that equal opportunities, equal pay, female empowerment, advocacy and commitment from leadership in firms to develop and nurture females as they rise to leadership and more are a part of the solutions in promoting inclusion and gender diversity in the workplace.
Omo said: “Women should be seen as a backbone of any economy and as such they need to be given more attention. From the insurance standpoint, we need to have a more structural and deliberate approach to thrive. Diversity is very good, it brings about balance.”
On creating a favorable atmosphere for the younger generation in the insurance industry, Funmi Omo further said, “leaders have to step up to make the insurance sector more welcoming and structured.
Also speaking, NextGen Mentor and Co-Founder, African Family Firms, Nike Anani said, “In the insurance industry, at entry-level, the disparity is not as stark; however, as we look higher up the career ladder, women are underrepresented. We need to engage the highest levels of leadership on the importance of gender diversity and systematically develop policies that ensure performing women are promoted into leading business roles,” she said.
Recently, Dive In, a global movement in the insurance sector to support the development of inclusive workplace cultures, conducted a survey to which showed that despite the ambition to attain a top-level in career; young female professionals in the insurance sector are largely constrained by inadequate opportunities relative to gender bias, unequal pay, and harassment.