FRC investigates gender imbalance among UK actuaries

Published in: Risk management, UK, People

Companies: The Financial Reporting Council, Institute and Faculty of Actuaries, Hanover, BritainThinks

The Financial Reporting Council (FRC) has launched a research project to gather and assess primary evidence on the reasons for gender imbalances among senior actuaries in the UK.

Working on behalf of the FRC, research consultancy BritainThinks is looking to conduct interviews with actuaries at all levels, and with former actuaries who have left the profession.

“The interviews will allow BritainThinks to hear people’s honest views and personal experiences which will be invaluable in meeting the research objectives,” said the FRC.

Given the topic is of a sensitive nature, the FRC has stressed the research is confidential. The body will not be told who has participated in the survey, and neither participants nor their employers will be identifiable in any research outputs.

If you would like to take part in the FRC research, please email [email protected]

A gender breakdown of the global membership of the UK’s Institute and Faculty of Actuaries (IFoA) shows that in 2021/22, 65% were male and 35% were female. This is the same percentage split compared with 2018/19.

But Michael Stefan, a partner at recruitment consultant Hanover, published research this week that found women made up just 20% of the “chief actuary” senior management function at UK insurers.

The IFoA’s chief executive Stephen Mann told InsuranceERM the IFoA launched a diversity, equity and inclusion strategy in January 2022, and has committed to routinely collecting diversity monitoring data.

Mann said: “The IFoA believes that becoming an actuary should be open to everyone.”

He added: “We have started work with our members’ employers to promote and progress diversity and inclusion, both in recruitment and in the workplace, and our Quality Assurance Scheme (QAS) now includes monitored DEI outcomes. We also support the Actuarial Mentoring Programme (AMP), a cross-company mentoring programme designed to improve diversity within the actuarial profession.”

IFoA research dating back to August 2015 found women – particularly those in their 30s and 40s – were leaving the profession earlier than men.

Ronan McCaughey