The Women’s Insurance Net-work (Twin) has called on the insurance industry to support the first organisation designed to support and encourage women in the sector.

Twin, established by executive search firm, ejsSearch, is looking to insurers, brokers, trade associations and Lloyd’s to help tackle the issue of professional development of women in the industry.

Swiss Re and law firm Clifford Chance have pledged their support, with discussions also being held with Willis and QBE.

Barbara Schönhofer, man-aging director of ejsSearch and a Twin director, said: “The aim is to proactively help to change traditional thinking and working practices that make it difficult for women to thrive in this market and build long term careers.

“It takes a long time to change attitudes and working practices. Companies led by women or who have women board members have a more flexible approach to working arrangements.”

Research by the Financial Services Skills Council shows that the most successful retention rates for women returning to work come from companies that incorporate flexible working hours.