IBAO: more men are principle brokers than women, but trend is changing

Published: January 22, 2018

Updated: July 24, 2018

Author: Luke Jones



There continues to be a disparity between men and women in terms of membership principle brokers for Insurance Brokers Association of Ontario (IBAO). While there is still a clear gender gap, the association says there is evidence the gap is closing.

In its 2017 Annual Report, IBAO shows the membership base consists of 79 per cent broker principles being male. 21 per cent are female. Counting the overall IBAO membership, the gap is reversed, with 63 per cent of the 11,915 members being female and only 37 per cent male.

So, there are clearly more female IBAO members than male, but why are there so few woman principle brokers? The association says the numbers do not reflect overall demographic trends it is observing in the broker marketplace.

“At first glance, these numbers paint an unbalanced picture of female leaders in the broker channel, but numbers from our Convention this past October tell a different story,” IBAO chairwoman Traci Boland told Canadian Underwriter. “We’re seeing a lot of female leaders emerge within our membership despite what hard numbers might suggest.”

More women attend the annual IBAO convention, including 2017’s event, with 54% of attendants being female, compared to 46% male. Boland suggests this is important because of what is available to members at the conference.

“Convention’s geared for an audience of thought leaders and strategic roles within a brokerage,” she said. “Educational content focuses on subjects like succession planning, brokerage technology and broker valuation.”

While the annual report clearly shows fewer women are principle brokers in Ontario, Boland is eager to put a positive spin on the data. She points out the percentage of female principle brokers has risen year-on-year and a new trend may be forming.

“Data from this year’s annual report revealed a slight increase of female principal brokers compared to 2016 numbers, so we may be at a tipping point when it comes to female leadership within the channel.”