AXA UK CEO Amanda Blanc gives evidence to Treasury Select Committee on Women in Finance

27 February 2018

Posted in Public Affairs

by Leigh Jackson (see media contact)

  • The Treasury Committee launched its inquiry into Women in Finance in October last year
  • The Committee is looking in detail at the representation of women in the financial services sector
  • Blanc's evidence will be considered as part of the Committee's final report which will have recommendations for the Government

Amanda Blanc, Group CEO of AXA UK and Ireland, gave evidence to the Treasury Select Committee this morning as part of the Committee’s inquiry into Women in Finance.

Blanc responded to a wide range of questions on gender diversity from the Committee, sharing her views on the impact of maternity leave on women’s careers, whether insurance was lagging behind banking and if there is an ‘alpha male’ culture in the insurance industry.

“If you look at the statistics, neither banking or insurance have performed well… instead of us competing we should be looking to work together to make improvements. Insurance is not in a worse position than banking but I don’t see it as competition, I think it’s important that we just get on with it. We can spend hours and hours looking at the numbers but we need to stop talking about it and actually do something.”

“The insurance industry is really serious about the progression of women. The ABI research issued yesterday showed that 78% of firms have a diversity and inclusion strategy and 74% of firms have an executive member responsible for diversity and inclusion. All the activity is there.

“For me it’s very simple, we have 11 million customers at AXA in the UK, and they are from all backgrounds. If you are going to deliver great customer outcomes, it’s absolutely vital that you are diverse as a company.”

When asked whether she had experienced any barriers in her own career progression, Blanc responded:

“I went to a comprehensive school in the Rhonda Valley in South Wales. Both my grandparents are miners so I never thought I would appear in front of this committee today… I honestly have not experienced barriers, certainly in the first 20 years of my career.”

The Treasury Committee launched its inquiry into Women in Finance in October 2017. It’s focus is identifying the barriers to women entering and progressing in the financial services industry.

Born 1967, Blanc was appointed Group CEO for AXA UK & Ireland in July 2016 having been CEO, AXA Insurance since January 2016. Blanc is also Chair of the ABI’s General Insurance Council Management Committee.