More women end up in insurance by chance rather than planning, according to a new survey.

After interviewing 102 women, it found that 40% of women in the insurance industry "drifted into it", and 27% consciously chose insurance because it had good opportunities.

The survey conducted by the University of Surrey Roehampton for recruitment consultancy Alexander Lloyd indicates that men still dominate top management positions. Women have yet to make a significant breakthrough into the top echelons of general business management.

Pay scales for women are important, while men have lower expectations of the abilities of women working in insurance.

The survey also suggests that women still lose out in the job promotion race. In insurance, 60% of woman believed this although one in five women in insurance were not aware if promotion prospects were any worse for women than for men.

More research about the finance industry has been conducted by you at work, the employee benefits division of Royal &SunAlliance.

It finds that over half the working population would trust their employer, rather than any other business, to offer them reputable financial products and services. The research highlights the growing popularity among UK workers for employer-endorsed benefits.

Youatwork managing director Gerry Callaghan said: "Employees are much more likely to trust their own employer, particularly when it comes to important purchasing decisions such as financial products and services."