MARKEL ///// 19
to attract best talent
Insurance offers women a fantastic career, and there are plenty of
ways to support others and be supported, say Peta White and Julia Chu of
Markel Global Reinsurance.
I entered this industry by chance and I quickly realised that re/
insurance could be a path to success. There are many career
opportunities within the industry and it is so fluid, constantly
In these challenges we find opportunities to keep improving
and defining ourselves. I find it phenomenal to be able to access the
talented, interesting and sophisticated people in our industry so
I am thrilled to see more discussion about diversity and inclusion
(D&I), and more importantly, actions in support of change. Things
are changing for the better in Bermuda, at Lloyd’s, and across the
industry. Perhaps the pace is slower than we would like, but the
direction is positive.
Gender diversity has been a key focus over the last few years and
I am encouraged to see women being more visible than ever before.
There is support out there and I would encourage women to reach
out not only to organisations but to individuals who would be keen
to be a mentor.
I am the current chair of the board of Women in Reinsurance
(WiRe), an organisation that promotes networking, knowledge
sharing, and mentoring activities. These activities and opportunities
give women the chance to form bonds and relationships that will
prove beneficial throughout their careers.
I am also involved with the new organisation, WeSpeak, which
aims to assist professional women in developing their presentation
and public-speaking skills and in building confidence through
coaching and access to opportunities.
Every woman has a voice and this is about helping them find it,
develop it and then project it.
“Every woman has a voice and this is
about helping them find it, develop it and
then project it.”
Insurance is endlessly fascinating to me because it is dynamic and
important to individuals and businesses and provides security to the
economy as a whole.
Working in the insurance industry, we have exposure to emerging
technology, intelligent people, and a challenging regulatory and
social environment on a regular basis, and those are the reasons I
believe that this is a great industry to work in.
A self-described math nerd, I was probably destined to become an
actuary. As someone who likes to help solve complex issues, I worked
as a strategic advisor in reinsurance broking. After working with
several insurance companies on strategic initiatives, it felt right to be
working for Markel, a company with a strong strategic vision of where
the insurance industry will be in the future.
Role models matter, especially for groups who have been
historically underrepresented. Talent naturally gravitates toward
inclusive organisations, and inclusive organisations remove
barriers and take chances. At Markel, our chief digital officer, chief
information security officer/privacy officer, and chief global ceded
reinsurance officer are all women.
Each of us feels an obligation to encourage women at the company
and in the industry to pursue whatever career path interests them and
to help each other as they navigate their own personal career journeys.
D&I is definitely happening. The evidence is all around us.
Companies recognise the value of diverse skillsets, experiences, and
perspectives. We need to promote re/insurance as an industry that the
best and most sought-after candidates, especially women and people
of colour, are exposed to and choose to enter.
Our industry is in a talent war, and unless we sincerely embrace
D&I, we will lose that war. ■
Peta White is senior managing director, head of North America
property reinsurance, at Markel Global Re. She can be
contacted at: email@example.com
Julia Chu is chief global ceded reinsurance officer at Markel.
She can be contacted at: firstname.lastname@example.org
www.intelligentinsurer.com Diversity and Inclusion Report 2019
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