Insuring Women's Futures makes recommendations to assist female financial resilience
The Chartered Insurance Institute's (CII) Insuring Women's Futures manifesto has outlined guidance to government, regulators, employers, trade bodies and education establishments. It also included personal finance firms, pension providers and trusts.
To help financial resilience, the movement suggested equipping young women to make financially-informed study choices, reforming the earning eligibility thresholds for automatic enrolment and including the employer's pension contribution in gender pay gap reporting.
Additionally, it recommended making pension sharing the default position in divorce and setting as a strategic priority for financial guidance bodies the promotion of gender inclusive financial engagement.
Some 150 experts from across insurance and related professions collaborated to create the manifesto.
Insuring Women's Futures lead author and manifesto committee chair Jane Portas said: "We know some of the issues needing to be addressed are deep-rooted and will take time to have full effect. So we need to empower people to come together and to talk about financial life, our money and pensions."
She said Insuring Women's Futures is inviting everyone - mothers and fathers, brothers and sisters - to join the conversation, to become an ambassador and to help drive change.
Insuring Women's Futures is an initiative led by the CII to promote and enhance the profession's role in relation to women and risk.
The report recommends:
- Equipping young women to make financially informed study choices
- Including the employer's pension contribution in gender pay gap reporting
- Reforming the earning eligibility thresholds for automatic enrolment
- Ensuring flexible working policies and practices are financially fair for all together with equalising shared parental leave and pay rights
- Adopting ‘whole customer' approaches by the insurance profession - with guidance and standards developed by the insurance professional and trade bodies
- Making pension sharing the default position in divorce
- Setting as a strategic priority for financial guidance bodies the promotion of gender inclusive financial engagement and wellbeing approaches
- Creating a national conversation around care including carers' pensions
- Collecting and using gender disaggregated data to inform policy and supervision
- Using the themes of its financial wellbeing guide by the third sector
A female financial resilience forum will also be initiated to drive change in the approach to women's financial risks, alongside a financially inclusive flexible working pledge and an inclusive customer financial lives pledge, which have been committed to by a number of major insurance brands, including Scottish Widows, Vitality and Swiss Re.
"This programme has been amazing for demonstrating how an entire profession can get behind societal change," said Sian Fisher, CII CEO. "The approach to this work has identified not only the need but also the opportunity to better serve women. It establishes a framework for a more inclusive approach to serving the whole of society which will help build trust in insurance and personal finance."
Portas said: "By taking a forward-looking view, and a structured and coordinated approach combining policy and practice, business and society, and focusing on key moments that matter interventions across the female financial life Journey, together we have the power to make practical, meaningful and lasting change. These cross-cutting recommendations present an opportunity for each and every one of us to act in the Moment that Matters and by doing so we will all benefit from change."
Talk to 10,000
Elsewhere, the initiative has set a challenge to 'Talk to 10,000' during Talk Money Week which commences 18 November, which requires ambassadors to meet and talk through the "moments that matter" in women's lives with at least 10 women.
The challenge came after research carried out by Portas found many women still lack financial resilience and are often at a significant financial disadvantage to men.
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