‘Come on ladies!’ is a phrase I would like to start with to generate excitement and trigger action around a topic much discussed: the gender issue.
Gender inequality in football and in (re)insurance have obvious parallels. In both disciplines male out-number, out-represent and out-earn females. That is why in June this year, IGI will take part in Equal Playing Field’s (EPF) Festival of Football. EPF aims to highlight inequalities in sport by setting a Guinness World Record for the Biggest Football Game on Earth.
Empowering women at all levels in the workplace and providing them with the right skills to become leaders is imperative to a successful business in the 21st century. At the same time, women and girls have been on the side-lines of sport for years. With a united front, women’s voices in sport and the insurance industry will be heard, and the support needed to make serious change can be galvanised.
Beginning on June 27, the festival will be played at the same time as the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup at the Groupama Olympique Lyonnais Academy in Lyon, France. IGI will send an all-female team from the (re)insurance industry to the games to shed light on gender disparity in athletics and business and to do something remarkable and inspirational to showcase female talent. I am proud to be captaining this team. So far, at least 11 women from IGI and the insurance industry will play. They come from a wide range of backgrounds and countries and will be flying in for the tournament.
The ‘Festival of Football’ is expected to last for five days and will bring in players from any country, age, group, ethnicity, religion, background and every skill-level to set the third Guinness World Record by EPF. This is not the first time EPF have broken a Guinness World Record. Their first world record was set for the highest altitude (19,341 feet) soccer match just below the summit of Mount Kilimanjaro, Tanzania. Less than a year later, they set another world record for the lowest altitude (1377 feet below sea level) match, played by the Dead Sea in Jordan.
IGI supported both EPF Guinness World Records, as well as joined forces with EPF to regularly sponsor soccer clinics for underprivileged girls in remote villages of Jordan.
The link between female inequality in sport and the working world is obvious, and at the festival, I will be participating in a workshop to highlight the under-representation of women in business, by sharing my experience of the (re)insurance industry.
Our Diversity & Inclusion (D&I) programme in the company is relatively new, but it is ambitious as much as it is genuine.
We recently partnered with the Jordanian-founded social enterprise “The World of Letters”, which spearheaded a collective women’s movement called Women as Partners in Progress (WPP). Funded by the US State Department and led by Arab women leaders, the programme highlights gender imbalance in the workplace in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region. I am proud to be representing the insurance industry and working among a prestigious group of extraordinary women.
In 2018, IGI teamed up with Lloyd’s of London to host Jordan’s first Dive-In Festival. The event was themed around female empowerment. IGI supports other industry-led D&I initiatives, such as The Insider Progress and the Insurance Supper Club.
Later this year, I will organise a workshop that addresses harassment in the workplace and women in unconventional jobs as part of this year’s Dive In Festival for Diversity and Inclusion in the insurance sector. It will be interesting to see the results of the industry survey currently undertaken by Lloyd’s of London and compare the results with similar issues in the MENA region.
Back to football, around 3500 mainly-female players from every corner of the globe will come together for the Festival of Football to attempt to break the record attempt over five days. We are ready to be part of #AnyGirlAnywhere history. Are you with us?