Women advocating for other women

Helping one another is key to achieving greater female representation in insurance

Women advocating for other women

Diversity & Inclusion

By Gabriel Olano

To obtain more equal representation in the insurance industry, women must help each other in reaching greater heights, according to members of Insurance Business Asia’s Elite Women list.

Beyond excelling within their own organisations, these leaders also contribute to the betterment of the wider industry, always with one eye on the future. Lisa Sun (pictured above left), president and CEO of AIG China, says mentorship has been important to her career, but she believes sponsorship is the way to get more women into executive roles.

“It is probably by far the most meaningful tool organisations can deploy to help lift female representation at the leadership level,” Sun said. “Sponsors can help pave the way for sponsees in gaining access, exposure and visibility to senior leadership. In addition, the willingness of sponsors to take risks on high-potential female talent is critical to an organisation’s success when it comes to advancing its [diversity, equity and inclusion] agenda.”

Sun is also an advocate of formal networks as a way to help women achieve their career ambitions.

“I am fortunate to have participated in various women leadership programs, and most recently, I just graduated from AIG’s Women Executive Leadership Initiative Program,” she said. “Through these types of programs, women leaders can develop a broad network and deep relationship with other like-minded female professionals. This network can be an immense source of support and peer coaching.”

Joan Collar (pictured above right), Mercer Marsh Benefits leader for Asia at Marsh Singapore, mentors three female colleagues, one of whom has now taken a global role in the company. Collar sees mentorship, along with dedicated personal and professional support networks, as key to helping women progress.

“When I started my career, I was a young single mother in Malaysia, and at every critical turn, someone was there, saying to me: ‘You got this. We believe in you. How can I help?’” she said. “Beyond mentorship, we should connect women to the right people for their career growth and nominate women for projects to give them experience and opportunities to shine. I’ve also seen how women get more space to excel in both their personal and professional lives through flexible working arrangements.”

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