RationaleClosing gaps between women’s and men’s economic participation drives the growth of businesses and economies, and improves the lives of families and communities. While women around the globe have rising incomes and increased buying power, they nevertheless remain an underserved community across financial services. Financial inclusion is an issue for both genders, however for many reasons, women are more excluded than men; with insurance, this is often referred to as the gender protection gap and it is pervasive across all socio-economic groupings. According to IFC’s 2015 SheforShield Report, the Insurance industry can play a major role in addressing this gap and earn up to $1.7 trillion by 2030 from women alone—half of it in emerging economies--if they target women. The COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated the challenges women and women-owned SMEs face in managing risk and building financial security. A range of solutions on both the supply and demand side are needed so that women can take better advantage of risk management solutions, including business insurance for women-led enterprises. Women also play key roles as a distribution force to better reach women customers, as well as leaders within the company that provide essential insights into the lives and needs of women. By creating targeted approaches to better serve women as customers and employees, insurers can differentiate themselves and become the insurer and/or employer of choice for women in their respective markets.
PurposeThrough this partnership, the ILO will support the IFC’s Women’s Insurance Program in creating a Community of Practice (CoP) that will focus on reducing the gender protection gap by:
- Increasing awareness among the insurance industry of the opportunity women represent as customers and employees ;
- Providing advice and guidance to selected organisations from the insurance industry (predominantly insurance companies, intermediaries and fintechs) on exploring opportunities for growth through the women’s market; and
- Fostering learning and knowledge sharing among different industry stakeholders wishing to invest in the women’s market.
ActivitiesUnder this partnership, the following activities will be carried out:
- Conducting webinars on the business case for the women’s insurance market and simultaneously raise awareness of the partnership CoP;
- Creating a CoP, with selected organisations from the insurance industry, on targeting women in inclusive insurance; and
- Documenting and sharing of lessons learned from the CoP, using the Facility’s knowledge tools, which includes publications, case briefs, trainings and emerging insights.