Working Together for Women

May 26, 2021

Women face daunting financial challenges – living longer, making less money, and often putting careers and savings on hold to tend to family members.

Every forum matters as we work to make a positive difference. On Thursday I’ll be representing the U.S. life insurance industry in a public dialogue sponsored by the International Association of Insurance Supervisors (IAIS) and the Access 2 Insurance Initiative (A2II) that will examine ways to improve global financial inclusion and access to insurance for women. 

This dialogue will build on another important opportunity with the productive efforts underway by the Special Initiative on Women’s Empowerment. Here, the international business community will present recommendations about financial access and inclusion to G20 policymakers and governments. 

The U.S. life insurance industry firmly believes that business and government should come together for women. By elevating these important matters affecting women with government and industry leaders across the globe, we are leading the way toward practical and effective measures that will help more women gain the financial security they need and deserve. 

Life insurance companies offer protection products that can help women achieve financial security for life. But not enough women have access to these life-changing tools. 

We need to do a better job of reaching women customers. One way would be to increase the number of women in the industry. From agents to the C-suite, and in the regulatory ranks, women are underrepresented.  

U.S. life insurance companies are taking tangible steps to increase the representation by women and other underrepresented groups. ACLI launched its Economic Empowerment and Racial Equity Initiative with concrete actions to address inequities. ACLI’s Board of Directors was among the first in America to have 100 percent of our members commit to the CEO Action Pledge to build more diverse and inclusive workplaces. 

Better representation by women would also help the industry raise women’s confidence about their finances. A recent research study that revealed women are less financial literate than men noted that women frequently would choose “I don’t know” to questions measuring financial acumen. When the researchers removed the “I don’t know” option, women often responded correctly. 

Helping people take care of the things that matter most is the life insurance industry’s most critical mission. Working together, industry and government can ensure that women around the world will be better able to protect their family’s financial future. 

Susan K. Neely

Susan K. Neely is the President and CEO of the American Council of Life Insurers (ACLI), the nation’s leading trade association determined to help families live better lives by achieving financial security and certainty. As president and CEO, Neely drives public policy and advocacy on behalf of ACLI’s member companies that represent 95 percent of industry assets and serve 90 million families.