Newswise — PHILADELPHIA (December 26, 2017) – New insurance industry demographic research from Saint Joseph’s University in Philadelphia reveals significant improvement in gender inclusion in senior leadership positions. The study builds on four years of work by Mike Angelina, executive director of the Maguire Academy of Insurance and Risk Management.

“The purpose of the updated study is to continue shining a light on the need for more women in the insurance business’ upper echelons,” says Angelina. “While the insurance industry has made great strides since our first study, there is clearly more work to be done.”

Angelina’s results show a significant increase in board representation by women, reaching 18.7 percent in 2017 versus 12.6 percent cited in their 2013 study. Formerly at 28 percent, the share of companies without female leadership decreased to 15 percent. Furthermore, 58 percent of the 100 companies analyzed have two or more women on their board, compared with 34 percent in 2013. Additionally, the percentage of women in the named officer position has increased from 8% to 11% since 2015.

To conduct this market research, Angelina analyzed publicly available data of 100 companies, including 91 publicly traded and nine mutual companies in 2013. They, then, went back to the same companies in 2015 and this year to gauge their improvement in gender inclusion.

Although employment of women in the insurance industry is high, Angelina and Hamrick say they remain poorly represented in top positions.

“Insurance executives are generally aware of the lack of gender diversity in the industry, but most felt that strides had been made in this area,” says Erin Hamrick, a partner in insurance recruiting firm Sterling James of New York, and an original sponsor of the study. “This research will hopefully provide the data they need to work toward a sustainable solution.”