SPECIAL R 22 EPORT: WOMEN IN HAMILTON
The young people
Successful, influential women have an obligation to motivate, teach and
provide a strong support system, says Alison Dyer-Fagundo, managing director,
Estera (Services) Bermuda, a company at which 65 percent of the global team
is female, 22 percent higher than the industry average.
Is there still a shortage of female risk professionals
in the Bermuda re/insurance market?
The answer is, quite simply, yes. Although we have seen some
positive increases in the overall workforce population, the continued
disparity in senior and executive level positions held by women does
What initiatives have you seen to encourage local
talent on Bermuda to join the market?
It’s a really interesting question, and isn’t the easiest to answer. There
are now many successful Bermudian women in the financial services
industry which leads, logically, to a general assumption that good
work is being done to encourage participation of young women
entering the workforce and suggests that employers are actively
engaging in diversity.
However, is it enough? If I’m honest, it isn’t and more can be done
to actively engage young people, particularly young Bermudians, to
enter the financial services industry and continue the foundation that
has been established in the jurisdiction.
Is it enough to focus solely on women? One of my personal
perspectives, having spent as much time as I have in Canada, is the
need to place focus and attention on promoting and encouraging,
not only women, but all those who have traditionally not been in
positions of power or influence.
This is a definite focus now particularly on boards of directors—
it’s no longer good enough to have only one perspective voiced at
the level of seniority. It is of vital importance for a board to have a
variety of perspectives and lenses through which the company views
its obligations and develops and executes its strategic vision.
It is vital that women, and others who have succeeded—no matter
how you define success—support and encourage talented, motivated
people, particularly young Bermudians to enter the market, and to
learn, succeed and continue to shape the jurisdiction in a positive,
Recent initiatives in Bermuda are galvanising the positive: two
organisations specifically that I applaud for driving these initiatives
are the Institute of Directors (IoD) and WeSpeak. The IoD recently
held a conference focusing on corporate governance, titled A New Era
of Board Excellence.
The conference discussed methods to develop higher-performing
boards, focusing on the need, and in an increasing number of cases,
demand for diversification on boards. Without a doubt, it is no
longer acceptable for decisions to be made by one gender, race, sexual
orientation or otherwise—we need diversified representatives to fill
the seats at the table.
Another newly created organisation I believe will make a significant
contribution to developing female professionals in the industry is
WeSpeak. It’s an organisation developed to promote coaching and
increasing opportunities for professional women in the industry. Its
aim is to coach women on such important topics as public speaking,
confidence-building and developing tools.
2017: Managing director, Estera Services (Bermuda)
2015: Client director, Estera Services (Bermuda)
2008: Partner, global offshore law firm
2000: Associate, global offshore law firm