Survey on Gender Equality and Inclusion in Insurance Industry


Nearly 1/3 of insurers in Hong Kong now have predominantly female leadership teams

The Hong Kong insurance industry is proud to embrace gender equality and celebrates more women in leadership positions. A survey conducted by the Hong Kong Federation of Insurers (HKFI) in January 2023[1]revealed that:

  • A vast majority (79%) of companies have more female employees than male employees.

  • 21% of company CEOs are female.  Nearly one-third (29%) of the respondents reported that more than a half (over 51%) of C-suite employees are female.

  • Nearly all (98%) have the same remuneration package and benefits for male and female employees.

  • Insurers said that Operations departments had the highest relative proportion of female employees, with Information Technology (IT) having the lowest relative proportion of female employees, which is very much in line with the general market situation.

“21% of insurance companies’ CEO are female, which exceeds the percentage of female C-suite and senior leadership in other financial sectors in Hong Kong[2] and is very much on par with the more developed countries such as France, the Netherlands and North America[3] etc.” said Ms Winnie Wong, Chairman of HKFI.  “Equally important is the indispensable roles female employees are playing to support the vast machinery of business operations and ensure everything runs smoothly behind the scenes.”

HKFI’s Governing Committee (GC) and Secretariat also set an example of gender inclusion of female C-suite and senior leadership:

  • Three out of the six (50%) Chairpersons and Deputy Chairpersons of the HKFI, General Insurance Council and Life Insurance Council are female.

  • Three out of the ten (30%) members at the GC are female.

  • Senior Management at HKFI Secretariat are 100% female.

Despite the positive results from the survey, there are areas which can be improved on:

  • Over 80% respondents have fewer than 30% female board members in the company.

  • Female representation across IT, Actuarial and Risk, Legal & Compliance functions remains relatively low.

To ensure sustainable progress towards gender equality, we highly recommend the government can launch more strategic initiatives or policy reforms which are encouraging female labour force participation in sectors, especially for functions which engages the least female employees and make available transition programmes for women returning to the workplace. Companies can also implement flexible working policies for evolving business needs, e.g. work at home, hybrid working, or flexible working hour for working moms or primary care-givers and also strengthening childcare services.

[1] Members responded to the survey represent 75% of the market share.
[2] According to the statistics of female directorship across various industries conducted by the HKEXs (March 2023), financials have 17.8% female directorship ratio.
[3] According to Deloitte’s report “Advancing more women leaders in financial services: A global report” published last year, within financial services institutions in Hong Kong, women held 23.9% of senior leadership role and 17.9% of C-suite roles in 2021.