‘Aya Surakina AIA’ moves needle on gender equality

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AIA Insurance recently completed the initial phase of the Gender Sensitivity Training (GST) offered by the International Finance Corporation (IFC) – under the IFC-DFAT Women in Work programme. This training is a strategic component of the women’s insurance programme – ‘Aya Surakina AIA’. It is an agile mechanism by which AIA builds a gender-sensitive workforce while engaging women in the workforce and creating opportunities for them. The programme specifically engages women in the insurance industry of Sri Lanka, providing them with training, learning and career opportunities.

Gender equality is not only a social and moral imperative but an economic necessity as well. According to the IFC, AXA Group, and Accenture, SheForShield report 2015, the potential global women’s insurance market represents a USD 1.7 trillion opportunity by 2030, with 50 per cent of this opportunity coming from emerging markets such as Sri Lanka. It is crucial that leading companies such as AIA focus their energies to bring greater inclusivity to the market. There is a significant under representation of women in the workforce and ensuring that more women join the workforce as entrepreneurs, and employees will add significant value to the Sri Lankan economy.

A highly interactive workshop with the business case on why women are a valuable market segment in insurance, this programme enabled AIA’s management to assess their biases and behaviours as well as understand skills that would foster a gender-equal culture. This training is one of the key initiations of AIA Academy for 2022.

The GST training was inaugurated with AIA’s senior management, followed by the trainers of the AIA training academy and is expected to roll out to all employees and distribution sales force (Agency and Bancassurance). This will help them to provide a better service, reach new markets and unlock the potential of the women’s insurance market. One of the key objectives is to enable the mind-set shift among our distribution sales force from merely selling insurance to educating and advising women on managing their finances and protection smartly.

AIA’s Chief Executive Officer Chathuri Munaweera commented, “I believe GST is an important lever that will enable AIA to build our capacity on gender and inclusive insurance, which in return will help our agents communicate the company’s value proposition for women, improve engagement with the women’s market and increase awareness on gender dynamics while reducing unconscious bias. As part of AIA’s commitment to the Gender and Development (GAD) promotion and implementation, this training will be a key agenda of the AIA training academy, which will be conducted to empower both the men and women of AIA to be champions of equality in their communities.”