insure logo

Why you can trust

quality icon

Quality Verified

At, we are committed to providing the timely, accurate and expert information consumers need to make smart insurance decisions. All our content is written and reviewed by industry professionals and insurance experts. Our team carefully vets our rate data to ensure we only provide reliable and up-to-date insurance pricing. We follow the highest editorial standards. Our content is based solely on objective research and data gathering. We maintain strict editorial independence to ensure unbiased coverage of the insurance industry.

In the 1940s and 1950s, the life insurance industry was a predominantly male-dominated field, with women largely relegated to the role of agents’ wives. They were depicted in brochures as the supportive, behind-the-scenes partner, tasked with ensuring their husbands’ success by serving breakfast with a smile. However, the landscape has shifted dramatically since then, marking a significant journey of progress for women in the industry.

Fast forward to today, and the life insurance sector is witnessing a remarkable transformation. More women are not only entering the industry, but also rising to leadership positions and challenging long-standing norms and stereotypes. A recent study conducted by LIMRA and NAILBA sheds light on this evolution, revealing promising trends and initiatives aimed at fostering gender diversity within intermediary networks.

According to the third annual report, Inside the Intermediary 3.0: A LIMRA-NAILBA Study, nearly half of brokerage general agencies (BGAs) and independent marketing organizations (IMOs) surveyed either have existing programs to support female financial professionals or plan to implement them within the next year. This proactive approach underscores a concerted effort to address gender disparities and create a more inclusive environment. It is also good business; female advisors are growing their client base 22% more than their male counterparts.

The motivation behind these initiatives is clear: to bolster the representation of women in the industry. Currently, women comprise only 18% of financial professionals in intermediary networks — a statistic that falls short of reflecting the diverse needs of consumers. Research from LIMRA indicates that 44% of consumers consider a financial professional’s gender important, with many associating women with desirable soft skills.

Interestingly, specific demographic groups, such as Gen Z women and members of the LGBTQ+ community, demonstrate a higher preference for working with female financial professionals. As these cohorts become increasingly influential in the market, the presence of women in advisory roles becomes pivotal for driving sales growth and meeting evolving consumer preferences.

For intermediaries, expanding their efforts to recruit and support women financial professionals aligns with their top priority: growing their network of producers. With 65% of intermediaries anticipating network expansion in the next three years, diversity becomes not only a matter of principle but also a strategic imperative for sustainable growth and relevance in the market.

As the industry continues its journey towards greater gender equality, aspiring women professionals have a wealth of opportunities at their disposal. Here are some recommendations for those looking to succeed in the life insurance industry:

Education and certification: Invest in continuous learning and professional development to acquire relevant knowledge and credentials in the field of life insurance and financial planning.

Networking and mentorship: Seek out networking opportunities and mentors who can provide guidance, support, and insights into effectively navigating the industry.

Embrace technology: Stay abreast of technological advancements and digital tools that can streamline processes, enhance client engagement, and differentiate your services in the market.

Build soft skills: Cultivate interpersonal skills such as empathy, communication, and relationship-building, which are highly valued in client-facing roles within the financial services sector.

Be resilient and persistent: Embrace challenges as opportunities for growth and maintain a resilient mindset in the face of setbacks or obstacles along your career path.

The journey of women in the life insurance industry — from being relegated to supporting roles to assuming leadership positions — reflects a significant shift driven by new social norms, consumer preferences, and industry initiatives. By embracing diversity and fostering an inclusive culture, the industry is poised to harness its talent pool’s full potential and better serve its clients’ diverse needs in the years to come.

Please enter valid zip
Compare Quotes
author image
Alison Salka


Alison Salka, Ph.D., is senior vice president, member benefits, at LIMRA, a leading life insurance industry research group.


The opinions expressed by outside experts in’s “Expert Opinion & Commentary” section reflect those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of, its parent company QuinStreet Inc. or any of its affiliates and employees. Our editors review these articles and monitor them for accuracy after they've been posted, but the insurance industry sees constant rate changes, regulatory shifts, and other changes. Readers should always check an insurance company's website or contact.