Equal Pay Day, marked on March 14th, recognizes the extra 3.5 months women have to work to earn what men earned in 12. Of all industries, finance and insurance is the worst for gender pay discrepancies, with women on average earning 77 cents for every dollar paid to men.
Elisa Stampf and Kyli Ortlieb were inspired to found Insure Equality after experiencing gender discrimination in their insurance and insurtech companies. Along with a hostile environment and unfair hiring practices, both witnessed women being paid less than men when doing the same work.
“It exists. That’s the message,” said Stampf. “In insurance, women are paid less. We see it in hiring practices, promotion practices, and everything in between. Our industry continues to have issues not just with gender equity, but with race, disability, and LGBTQ+ inclusion. If you claim not to see it, look again.”
The pay gap is often excused by those claiming that women choose to work in a way that lowers their market value. However, Ruth Thomas, a pay equity specialist at Payscale disagrees. She told NBC, “I would question whether those are actual choices, or choices forced on women, who are often limited to certain sectors because of a lack of paid family leave and flexibility in others.”
Parenthood represents the biggest trigger for pay inequity. A report from Thirdway found that men routinely receive raises when they become fathers, with more money on offer for each additional child. At the same time, women are penalized for becoming parents and suffer wage stagnation at best, and exclusion from the workforce at worst.
Kyli Ortlieb, Insure Equality’s co-founder and Chief Technology Officer is leading a team developing tech solutions to the insurance industry’s systemic problems. Our phoenix™ platform provides a mechanism for insurance professionals to anonymously rate their employers on diversity, equity and inclusion without fear of backlash.
“We’re in this because we care about the insurance industry and want it to be better,” said Ortlieb. “As women, we know what it takes to support one another and help each other get ahead. Our nonprofit provides that sisterhood at scale.”
Have you faced discrimination in the insurance/insurtech industry? Have you seen DEI done right? Share your story.