The State of Women in Independent Insurance Agencies: Representation, Compensation and Recognition

The State of Women in Independent Insurance Agencies 5

Overall, the insurance industry is a great place for women.

Women outnumber men in insurance agencies, making up nearly 60% of agency employees, according to data from Liberty Mutual. Many women in the industry say they enjoy the flexibility insurance allows and love that they get to spend every day helping people protect the things that matter to them.

However, the insurance industry has an opportunity to better embrace gender diversity moving forward. As in other industries, women are underrepresented in leadership positions, with women making up just 31% of agency principals and owners. While women have made immense strides in the industry, they still face unique challenges.

At Liberty Mutual and Safeco’s Agent for the Future, we want to see all independent insurance agents win. And studies make it clear that hiring, promoting and retaining more women is good for business.

As companies adapt to the big shifts happening in workplaces in the aftermath of the pandemic, it’s a great time for agencies to reexamine how to create workplace cultures that make every employee feel like they belong and are valued.

We surveyed more than 350 women in independent insurance agencies to learn about the challenges and opportunities they face. In this report, we’ll dig into the findings, show women making great strides in the channel and provide resources to empower women to succeed.

The goal of this report is to support all agents – regardless of gender – in better understanding their own experiences and those of their co-workers and learn practical steps to empower women (and, consequently, their agencies) to thrive. Even if you have not personally experienced some of the challenges covered in this report, we encourage you to “try on” others’ perspectives and consider how you can make your agency a great place to work for everyone.

Keep reading below the infographic to learn more.

The state of women in insurance

of agency employees are women

Customer Service Representatives






(Source: Liberty Mutual)

The amount women insurance sales agents earn for every $1 that male agents earn (Source: U.S. Department of Labor)
Companies in the top quartile for gender diversity on their executive teams were 21% more likely to have above-average profitability than companies in the lowest quartile (Source: McKinsey)
of women in insurance said their job allows them to balance their personal life and work(Source: Liberty Mutual)

Resources for your role and career stage

Along with providing stats and insights into the state of women in agencies, this report also includes resources and action items for anyone who wants to empower women to succeed in insurance. Everyone – no matter their role, age, gender or any other factor – plays a part in building diverse and inclusive workplaces.

While every individual has a unique perspective and differing needs, we recognized some commonalities in our research findings that we’ve used to provide targeted takeaways. You may use these resources for yourself or to better understand other members of your team and share helpful materials with them.

Throughout this report, you’ll find action items for each of the four categories of insurance professionals below. Choose which description(s) most resonates with you; then follow along with the action steps for that group as you progress through the report and view a complete list of resources at the end of the report. Keep in mind that you or your staff members may identify with more than one of these groups and will likely move between them throughout your career.

The State of Women in Independent Insurance Agencies

Agency Executive

This group includes women who are agency owners, principals or leaders with decision-making power in the agency. They want to continue growing their agencies and networking with other agency leaders to broaden their circles. They want to support other women both in their agencies and in the wider IA channel.

The State of Women in Independent Insurance Agencies 1

Aspiring Leader

This group includes women who are currently working as frontline team members but ultimately aim to be in agency leadership. They want to learn how to grow their careers and advance to the next level. They are eager for mentorship and actively seek support with career pathing and development.

The State of Women in Independent Insurance Agencies 2

Engaged Team Member

This group includes women who are integral members of their teams and who strive to be the best at their jobs, but don’t necessarily have ambitions to move into agency leadership. They love the flexibility and work-life balance that insurance brings, and they want to continue to grow their knowledge and skills while maintaining that balance. They want leadership to recognize the value they bring to the agency without pushing them into management roles.

The State of Women in Independent Insurance Agencies 3


This group includes people of any gender who want to hire, mentor and advocate for women in the IA channel. They understand the value of having women in leadership roles in insurance agencies and are looking for resources on practical ways to support women.

Four key areas to support women

When we asked women what they would change about working in insurance, four key areas emerged. The numbers from our research back them up and give us a framework to understand the unique challenges women face and opportunities we all have to lift up women in the channel. Keep reading this report to learn more about each of these areas.

Click through to the next section to learn about women’s representation in insurance agencies.