This month we are celebrating women who are making a difference in insurance with the annual Insurance Business Elite Women awards.  As you know the insurance industry has long been a male-dominated space however this is on the turn with an increase in female leaders across the board. These women leaders are innovators, collaborators, mentors and change-makers who are inspiring others along their journey. 

This year we celebrate two BIA leaders Cathy Mitchell and Kirsty Owens.  Kirsty has now made the list two years in a row, however, she has been making strides in the insurance industry for over 20 years in both Australia and the UK.  She is not only the State Manager for South Australia but also our National e-Business Manager who led the BIA digital transformation into online platforms.

Kirsty is a go-getter, nothing is ever too hard or too much, she is inspiring many women in our business.  When asked what inspires her she stated The people who inspire me are those who rock up every day with a genuine desire to do better, make things better, and are self-starters who check their ego’s at the door!  Working at Berkley I think our culture is one that really tends to attract these sorts of people.”

Delving into what makes a good leader and how leaders continue to grow, Kirsty believes learning is the greatest passion to have and surround yourself with good leaders and mentors.  “The W. R. Berkley Corporation run an international mentorship program and this year I am fortunate enough to be mentored by an amazing female leader from Berkley North Pacific, Carrie Cheshire.  Opportunities like this are invaluable and I feel very fortunate to have these experiences.”

Every leader also has challenges and overcoming them is something they seem to do seamlessly.  Sound advice from Kirsty is strong communication “It’s not enough to just tell your story, you need to communicate with people in a way that carries meaning for them, then you need to repeat it many times and in many different forms, being passionate and authentic.  The rule I tell myself is; if you think you’ve communicated enough – you probably haven’t!”.

One of the challenges for many women is balancing work and life responsibilities.  Kirsty is no different as a mother of two young children she understands the constant challenges, she advises that it is OK to say “no” and not leap at every opportunity that presents itself. “I’m reading an interesting book at the moment “Total Leadership” which suggests that trying to ‘balance’ work and life really just means trading one off against another.  Instead, we should look at a more holistic approach to work, home, community and self.  It’s something I am trying to adopt.” said Kirsty.

Leaders like Kirsty inspire and encourage the next generation of female leaders.  Kirsty encourages these women to not be afraid of their own voice “if you believe in something speak passionately about it and others will be drawn to your authenticity.”

Congratulations to all the awardees. Read the full report here.

Elite Women in Insurance | Cathy Mitchell 

Elite Women 2023: Barbara Stenning Leading Claims

Important Notice

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