Amanda Blanc, the first woman chief executive at Aviva, was awarded a Damehood for services to business, gender equality and net zero. She has steered the company though ‘difficult years’ with the share price increasing by 60 per cent since she took over in 2020. Ms Blanc had also delivered “returns of more than £5billion for shareholders” through cost savings and simplifying the business since arriving at the insurer, the citation said.
Last month, Ms Blanc told a parliamentary inquiry that there was “no non-diverse hire at Aviva without it being signed off by me and the chief people officer”. She mentioned that harassment in financial services is worse than in any other industry.
National media also reported the 56-year-old has faced sexism in the industry, including at Aviva’s AGM last year, receiving comments including she was “not the man for the job” from an investor. An Aviva spokesperson told The Press: “Aviva will always hire the best person for any job and we want to make sure Aviva has a diverse workforce that reflects the customers we serve.”
Ms Blanc’s Damehood follows her receiving the Industry Achiever Award at the Insurance Times Awards last month, praising her for steering Aviva “to success” and for speaking out on issues “to great effect”.