Discussing pay can be a touchy topic, but competitive compensation and benefits are key parts of attracting and retaining talent.
In the U.S., there has long been a gap in pay between men and women, with women earning 84% of what men earn, according to Pew Research Center. The gap is smaller among younger women (25-34) and widens with age. The gap is also larger for women of color.
The reasons for the gender pay gap are complex – we encourage readers to explore the research from Pew and the resources at Lean In to learn more about factors that contribute to the gap.
The reality – or even the perception of – unequal pay hurts employee retention and satisfaction. In a study by Totaljobs, 40% of working women said they would likely quit if they found out a male colleague in the same role was being paid more.
If agencies want to retain talented women, agency leaders need to make sure they are offering competitive pay rates. They also need to be transparent about compensation models, so women know they are being compensated commensurate with their male counterparts.
Pay in insurance agencies
The financial services industry has one of the widest gender pay gaps, with women in financial services making 60-70% of what men make. According to the U.S. Department of Labor, female insurance sales agents – those in producer roles – make 67.6% of what male agents make. Data for service and other roles was not available.
Women in insurance agencies are aware of this gap. Our research found that 64% of women in frontline staff roles feel they are paid somewhat less or significantly less than their male peers. Asked what they would change about working in insurance, many respondents mentioned equal pay.
“Women are paid less, work harder, longer and faster, wear more hats and don’t get fair compensation,” wrote a 36-year-old principal.
“I definitely know men make more than women, but I also see how the women work much harder, accomplish more than the men,” wrote a 41-year-old producer. “As a single, full-time working mother who is not given child support, I have to deal not just with the struggles at home and at work, but to do so with less money.”
Principals are more likely to feel that they are paid the same as men, with nearly half saying they thought their salaries were about the same as male peers. More than half of all the women we surveyed said they felt that the gender wage gap in insurance was about the same as in other financial service industries. And 30% of principals said they thought it was better.
The gender pay gap in insurance agencies
Across industries, women earn 84% of what men earn(Source: Pew Research Center)