’Anything is possible if you have the desire to achieve it,’ says chief executive

Lloyd’s of London is “more than capable” of shedding its reputation as a “boys club” as it continues to drive cultural change, according to Stella Insurance chief executive Sam White.

Earlier this year (4 July 2023), Lloyd’s revealed that the latest data from its fourth market policies and practices return showed the market reaching 32% of women in leadership positions as of 31 December 2022.

This was an increasse of two percentage points compared to the previous year.

White, who is also the chair of Freedom Services Group, said that while Lloyd’s had been ”extremely male dominated for many years”, the market had ”a lot to offer” if its image was changed.

She said: “We can all change. I know I have changed personally and in my businesses many times over the years.

“Frankly, it all comes down to desire. If Lloyd’s wishes to shed its reputation and culture as a ‘boys club’, it is more than capable of making that change.”

’Aggressive target’

The marketplace has also set a target for it to reach 35% of women in leadership positions by December 2023.

White said this was a “very aggressive target”, but said that Lloyd’s ”are aware they have a challenge to overcome and are taking steps to tackle it”.

“Anything is possible if you have the desire to achieve it, but it depends on the level of commitment,” she said.

Meanwhile, Nyasha Kuwana, head of product at FloodFlash, told Insurance Times the target was a “notable goal” and was “in reach.”

However, she said she was “nonetheless critical of the target”.

”The first critique is they are marking their own homework,” Kuwana said.

“The other is, like many companies who set off on such a mission, they do seem to have achieved it in the advisory roles and not necessarily in the executive and strategic decision-making roles.

“It’s a start, but I think they need to set a new target.

“Achieving anywhere near parity, or even a true 35/65% split, will need longer succession planning starting from entry level roles.

“In the medium term, they might be able to hire from other industries to accelerate the journey.

”Someone had to be the first [woman] and many more of us will also have to be the pioneers who help to tip the scales.”

Lloyd’s said it was ”deeply committed to our ongoing efforts to drive cultural change across the market so that everyone is valued and welcome”.

“A diverse market and inclusive culture is essential to its long-term viability and we’re determined to create a market that attracts and develops the best talent,” the marketplace added.