Recurring Research

Our Research on Women in Insurance Agencies

The State of Women in Independent Insurance Agencies 5

Women are crucial parts in independent insurance agencies. According to our research, women make up nearly 60% of agency employees. However, women are underrepresented in agency leadership and overrepresented in service roles. At the top levels, insurance is still a male-dominated industry.

At Agent for the Future, we believe that empowering women and creating better pathways to leadership will strengthen the entire independent agency system. We’re committed to helping independent agencies create inclusive cultures that help attract and retain top talent and unlock the potential of every team member.

Since 2022, the research team at Liberty Mutual and Safeco Insurance have surveyed women in independent insurance agencies to learn about their unique experiences. Our Agent for the Future research reports build off that research to explore the value women bring to agencies, how agencies can pave better pathways to leadership, and more.

Click the links below to read the research reports, or keep reading to learn key insights about women in independent insurance agencies.

Our Research Reports

2022 Report

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

Our inaugural report drew from a Liberty Mutual of more than 350 women in independent agencies. It explored women's representation, recognition, compensation and satisfaction in agencies, and shared recommendations for how agencies and individuals can better support women. 
Read report
2023 Report

2023 Outlook: The State of Women in Independent Insurance Agencies

This update, based off a survey of more than 1,100 independent insurance agency leaders and team members, including 632 women, examined what insurance agency leaders and employees need to know to pave better pathways to leadership for women.
Read report
2024 Report

2024 Outlook: How Women in Agencies Are Meeting Customer Needs

Our 2024 report is based off Liberty Mutual's surveys of 1,133 U.S.-based independent agency principals, producers and CSRs, including 618 women; and 1,110 insurance consumers, including 552 women. The report explores the unique strengths women bring to insurance agencies, what consumers want and need from agents and why retaining women is more important than ever.
Read report

Key insights on women in independent insurance agencies

Representation: women in agency leadership

  • Women make up 55% of agency employees, but only 26% of agency principals/owners. (Liberty Mutual)
  • Companies that are in the top quartile of gender diversity on their executive teams have a 39% greater likelihood of financial outperformance versus their bottom-quartile peers. (McKinsey)
  • 37% of women agency principals say they are often the only woman in the room. (Liberty Mutual)
  • 30% of the women we surveyed said they sometimes feel uncomfortable about comments that are made about women. (Liberty Mutual)
  • While nearly 90% of agency owners and principals feel they receive the credibility from peers and staff they deserve, many still reported feeling like they had to work harder than their male peers to prove themselves.(Liberty Mutual)
  • 54% of women agency principals would like to learn how to recruit more women into leadership positions. (Liberty Mutual)
  • Women leaders are twice as likely as men leaders to be mistaken for someone more junior. (McKinsey and LeanIn)

Women’s strengths and what consumers want from agents

  • When asked about the traits they value most in an independent agent, consumers cited experience with insuranceresponsivenessability to help them understand their insurance optionsbeing proactive in knowing client needs and being an excellent listener as the top five. (Liberty Mutual)
  • Women principals and owners are more likely than male principals and owners to report making it easy for clients to understand insurance options (67% compared to 59%) and being proactive in knowing their clients’ needs (38% to 24%) among their top strengths. (Liberty Mutual)
  • 85% of the women we surveyed said they are primary decision makers for insurance purchases for their households. (Liberty Mutual)
  • 90% of female consumers surveyed said they are primarily responsible for child and/or pet care. (Liberty Mutual)

Women’s career aspirations and development

  • 85% of women who work frontline roles can picture themselves as a leader at an agency. (Liberty Mutual)
  • 52% of women under the age of 50 said they were interested in becoming a partner in their agency. (Liberty Mutual)
  • 43% of women in frontline staff roles said they would be interested in resources to help them make the case to be considered for perpetuation planning. (Liberty Mutual)
  • While 80% of millennial and Gen Z men working in frontline roles said they are excited about their future in their agency, only 56% of women agreed. (Liberty Mutual)
  • More than half of millennial and Gen Z men said their manager is actively developing them for leadership, compared with 38% of women. (Liberty Mutual)

Women in Independent Insurance Agencies

Flexibility, stability and parental leave: what women value in a job

  • 70% of frontline staff feel that the leadership in their agency recognizes them for their contributions. (Liberty Mutual)
  • 77% of agency employees are satisfied with the flexibility their agency allows, and 92% of women in frontline roles say they receive flexibility when they need it. (Liberty Mutual)
  • Women in insurance value flexibility, stability, parental leave and continuing education opportunities. They also want to work for agencies that are involved in the community. (Liberty Mutual)

Women in Independent Insurance Agencies 1

  • Among non-principal agency staff members, nearly one in four employees is a parent to young children, including more than half of all millennial team members. (Liberty Mutual)
  • Female principals are half as likely as male principals to have young children. (Liberty Mutual)
  • 58% of women in entry-level roles say they are responsible for most or all of their family’s housework and/or childcare, compared with 30% of their male peers. (McKinsey)
  • 52% of women in senior manager or higher roles say they are responsible for most or all of their family’s housework and/or childcare, compared with 13% of their male peers. (McKinsey)
  • More women left their jobs in 2022 than in 2020 and 2021 combined, and lack of flexibility around working hours was one of the top cited reasons. (Deloitte)

Compensation: the gender wage gap in insurance

  • Across all industries in 2022, women earned an average of 82% of what men earned. (Pew Research Center)
  • Female insurance sales agents – those in producer roles – make 66.7% of what male agents make. (U.S. Department of Labor) Data for service and other roles was not available.
  • 64% of women in frontline staff roles feel they are paid somewhat less or significantly less than their male peers. (Liberty Mutual)
  • 49% of principals feel they are paid about the same as their male peers. (Liberty Mutual)
  • 57% of women in agencies think the gender wage gap in insurance is about the same as in other financial services. (Liberty Mutual)
  • 30% of agency leaders feel the gender wage gap in insurance is actually better than in other financial service industries. (Liberty Mutual)

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