Back An interview with awards finalist Sarah Brailey - THB Group
Sarah Brailey – Divisional Director at THB Group Ltd. Head of UK Professional Risks including Professional Indemnity, Cyber, Management Liability Financial Institutions and Medical Malpractice 8 years at THB, 23 years in the market
Why do you think these awards are so important?
The awards are important to recognise and showcase the influence of women in the insurance industry, to identify new role models and provoke further dialogue about the need for diversity in our industry, and if it reassures women that our contribution is meaningful, then it’s definitely worth it.
Do you think that the industry does enough to promote true gender diversity? How do they go about achieving that?
It has definitely improved in the last 5 years, since Inga Beale, and continues to do so. Look at Amanda Blanc, Clare LeBeq, Julie Page. The media is helping by putting these high-profile women on the front page and on panel discussions, and I know of a number of companies that are working hard on their Diversity and Inclusion policies. But there’s still more to be done.
How do you develop diversity within your own company?
THB has a Diversity and Inclusion Council that meets regularly and discusses existing initiatives as well as new ideas to raise awareness and improve the status quo. We have various workstreams in place to tackle all the strands of D&I, as it is such a broad and complex subject. There’s definitely a commitment within THB to make our organisation more diverse and inclusive. We just need to find the right initiatives that make the difference we want to see.
How do you think the pandemic has changed the gender balance in the insurance industry?
Speaking to colleagues and clients, I hear mixed views on this. But, in my opinion, I think the pandemic presents a great opportunity for women. Firstly, it has highlighted the fact that we can all work from home and at THB we’ve seen excellent levels of productivity. Now that many companies have embraced this new way of working, it should give women some reassurance that they can balance their time between family and work, and hopefully they’ll have the confidence to raise the subject of a flexible working solution if they need it. We should see more women returning to work after maternity leave and, also, more women pushing for the next phase of their career, whatever that may be. As a result, I hope we all feel empowered – the pandemic may have brought the change we need to find our work / life balance.
What is your key message to women looking to progress or start a career in the insurance industry?
Self-belief and a “go for it” attitude. It’s true that most people do fall into insurance. But I can honestly say that after 23 years in the industry, if I had to choose again, I wouldn’t pick another. Insurance is a great industry to work in. There’s so much variety and choice of roles and sectors. And if you work hard, you can almost carve out your own career.