Pioneering female actuary mentoring scheme launched with support from significant industry names

A mentoring scheme for female actuaries, being officially launched at the Institute and Faculty of Actuaries (“IFoA”) on 6 November 2017, has received support from some of the biggest employers of actuaries in the country. The employers that have committed to Project AMP, alongside sponsors Pension Insurance Corporation (“PIC”), are: PRA Bank of England, Aviva, Phoenix Group, Mercer, LCP, Barnett Waddingham, Xafinity Plc, and the Government Actuary’s Department. 

 

Project AMP is designed to improve diversity at senior levels of the actuarial profession by helping to stem the worrying level of females leaving the profession much earlier than their male counterparts.

 

Research from the IFoA has revealed that non-retiring female actuaries are leaving the profession 13 years earlier than their male peers, at the respective ages of 40 and 53. This is leading to skewed gender balance at senior levels of the profession, despite near parity in the number of male and female actuaries at lower levels. A recently published research study by Moving Ahead, Turning the gender diversity dial, has shown that structured mentoring programmes help retain female talent and improve gender balance.

 

The pioneering mentoring scheme is supported by the IFoA, sponsored by PIC and is being managed by specialist diversity and development organisation, Moving Ahead. Moving Ahead is sister organisation to Women Ahead, which designs and delivers the UK’s largest cross-company gender mentoring scheme on behalf of the 30% Club, with 1,550 participants in 2017-18.

 

The scheme will match 100 senior male and female mentors and recently and nearly qualified female actuaries in cross-functional and inter-disciplinary posts. These mentoring pairs will meet every four-to-six weeks for nine months, and attend a series of high-impact learning and networking events to build on their mentoring journeys.

 

Nick Salter, former President of the IFoA and Chair of the IFoA Diversity Steering Group, said: “As part of the IFoA’s Diversity Strategy, we have identified that female actuaries are under-represented among the senior ranks of the profession in the UK. As an organisation, we are committed to doing what we can to ensure equality and diversity across the actuarial profession.  Mentoring schemes, like this one from Moving Ahead, provide a practical and positive way to help to achieve this goal which is why we are delighted to support this initiative.”

 

Tracy Blackwell, CEO of Pension Insurance Corporation said: “This is the start of a very exciting project with an important objective and I am delighted that we have been able to work with the Institute and Faculty of Actuaries and Moving Ahead to bring it to fruition. We all recognise the benefits of having a diverse workforce and, as an employer of actuaries, we at PIC want to provide support to women in the actuarial profession. Mentoring is proven to be effective at helping to realise potential, and launching this programme with the support of so many significant employers is a really positive sign for the future of the profession, and women in finance more generally.”

 

Sarah Winckless MBE, (pictured) Head of Design and Delivery at Moving Ahead, who is an Olympic rower and neuroscientist added: “Diverse leadership teams perform better not only because they bring many perspectives to the table, they also anticipate challenges more fully. Diversity of thought enables companies to become innovative ecosystems and thrive. We’re thrilled to be enabling this development of future leaders in the actuarial field.”

 

Liz Dimmock, CEO and Founder of Moving Ahead and 30% Club Steering Committee member said: “Moving Ahead’s recent research study, Turning the gender diversity dial, proves that structured mentoring schemes help retain female talent by developing confidence and creativity, enabling hard-won time to think and by shining a light on privilege and perspective. Mentoring provides the skills and frameworks for more empathetic, accessible, male and female, future and current leaders who understand the challenges and barriers facing women in senior leadership roles.”

 

Project AMP supports HM Treasury’s Women in Finance Charter which aims to achieve improved gender balance in a profession where men currently hold 77% of board level and 86% of executive committee positions. The HMT Women in Finance charter recognises that gender balanced workforces deliver better productivity and performance. A review commissioned by the Treasury found that 77% of women felt that mentoring schemes would make a difference to their career progression. 


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Notes to Editors

 

About Institute and Faculty of Actuaries

The Institute and Faculty of Actuaries (IFoA) is a royal chartered, not-for-profit, professional body.  Research undertaken by the IFoA is not commercial. 

As a learned society, research helps us to fulfil our royal charter requirements to further actuarial science and serve the public interest. 

Actuaries provide commercial, financial and prudential advice on the management of a business’s assets and liabilities, especially where long term management and planning are critical to the success of any business venture. They also advise individuals, and advise on social and public interest issues.

Members of the IFoA have a statutory role in the supervision of pension funds and life insurance companies. They also have a statutory role to provide actuarial opinions for managing agents at Lloyd’s.

Members are governed by the Institute and Faculty of Actuaries. A rigorous examination system is supported by a programme of continuing professional development and a professional code of conduct supports high standards reflecting the significant role of actuaries in society.

The IFoA is available to provide independent expert comment to the media on a range of actuarial-related issues, including enterprise risk management, finance and investment, general insurance, health and care, life assurance, mortality, and pensions.

 

About Pension Insurance Corporation

Pension Insurance Corporation plc (“PIC”) is a leading provider of buy-ins and buyouts to the trustees and sponsors of UK defined benefit pension schemes. At half year 2017, PIC had insured 145,400 pension fund members and had £24.2 billion in financial investments, accumulated through the provision of tailored pension insurance buyouts and buy-ins to the trustees and sponsors of UK defined benefit pension schemes. Clients include FTSE 100 companies, multinationals and the public sector. PIC is authorised by the Prudential Regulation Authority and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and Prudential Regulation Authority (FRN 454345). For further information please visit www.pensioncorporation.com

 

About Moving Ahead

Moving Ahead is a purpose-led, specialist development and diversity organisation. We believe in the power of mentoring programmes, masterclasses, and research to create positive change. The ‘why’ is simple - diversity of thought, experience, and teams leads to increased creativity, innovation, retention and better business performance. Moving Ahead works not just around the world but also across the spectrum of diversity, for more than 150 organisations including BT, Cisco, Google, Warner Music, Deloitte and Ricoh. We have supported more than 4,500 mentors and mentees.

 

Women Ahead is Moving Ahead’s award-winning social enterprise arm with a focus on gender. Women Ahead manages the design and delivery of the cross-company mentoring scheme in the UK on behalf of the 30% Club – a group of chairs and CEOs committed to better gender balance through voluntary action. This is the largest scheme of its kind in the country with 1,550 participants in 2017-18. The experience gathered from 30% Club’s programme will support the actuarial mentoring scheme.

 

Press enquiries to:

IFOA: Sonia Sequeira at press.office@actuaries.org.uk,  +44 (0) 20 7632 2126 

Moving Ahead: Timma Marett at timma@moving-ahead.org or on 01491 579726

Pension Insurance Corporation: Jeremy Apfel, Head of Corporate Affairs, 0207 105 2140 or apfel@pensioncorporation.com