CILA executive director Malcolm Hyde on promoting gender equality in the insurance industry

In September 2013, Candy Holland became the first female President of the Chartered Institute of Loss Adjusters (CILA). Her appointment was celebrated by CILA members and it was recognised as a positive landmark for the institute.

It is now two years later and the impact of Candy’s appointment and her continued involvement in the institute is bringing about change and shining a spotlight on gender equality.

The loss adjusting profession has many talented and successful females and the handling of claims is certainly not a function that excludes women. It is therefore surprising that only 4% of Chartered Loss Adjusters are female.

Further analysis of CILA’s qualification figures reveal that while women are joining the Institute and embarking on their qualification journey in a similar manner to their male counterparts, they are not progressing to the CILA’s higher level qualifications at the same rate.

Helping individuals grow and develop through professional qualifications is a fundamental value of the CILA and so it is clear that we need to take action to better understand and address this imbalance in our qualification progression.

We have begun the process of learning about gender equality and the complex issues that can prevent females from progressing. We are also exploring the work that has been done by others and the lessons they have learnt.

Our views are continuing to evolve, but it is clear that having diversity in our profession will not only benefit the individuals involved, but also the businesses in which they work and the customers they serve.  

So, how will we bring about change and address the gender imbalance in our qualification progression? Candy’s appointment has inspired several of our female loss adjusters to come together to tackle the issue.

This group has rapidly expanded and they are now working on practical ways to reach out and support the next generation of females reach their full potential.

The simple step of creating a Women in CILA group is, however, already delivering benefits as it has provided a focal point for our female adjusters to meet and connect with each other, share personal experiences and offer support.

The individuals active in the group are an impressive bunch encapsulating a wide range of talents and experiences. They are experts in loss adjusting and worthy role models for CILA members.

Exploring the subject of gender equality has challenged our perceptions and behaviours, but it has also led to a greater understanding and appreciation of diversity and inclusion.

The loss adjusting profession will only be enhanced by embracing and developing talent from all walks of life and the institute is committed to supporting all members achieve their full potential.