Promoting diversity and inclusion is not the average career path for an insurance worker, but, with organizations growing increasingly aware of the issues, many are appointing executive team members to oversee this specific part of business operations.
Insurance Business spoke to Niki Kesoglou, global head of diversity and inclusion for QBE Insurance, who discussed the most memorable moments throughout her career in insurance and banking.
“I’ve had a lot of memorable moments in my career,” Kesoglou said. “When I was working at Westpac, I was invited to present at the UN in Bangkok. Going into that environment and looking around all the gathered countries and presenting, that was a big moment for me quite early on.”
“Collecting an award with our prime minister in Canberra and taking a photo with him was also a big and memorable moment, because I had been leading some work around the appointment of people with disabilities when I was at Westpac,” she continued.
“Winning the Best Diversity Leader Award in Australia from the government was a very significant moment for me. Apart from those accolades, having the opportunity to work with some senior leaders, from the CEOs to group executives, and putting our policies in place across the 30,000 people of an organization like Westpac was a standout point.”
Kesoglou then went on to write and implement these policies across Asia-Pacific, acting as head of diversity and inclusion at Credit Suisse before moving to QBE, where she works with the Global Diversity Council to implement inclusion strategies across the insurer’s global network of offices.
“I then had the opportunity to work across Asia-Pacific as a region, working with the CEOs of those countries and doing the same thing: putting policies in place, and getting them to sign up to the women empowerment principles, which are UN-based pledges,” she explained.
“That’s the type of work that you put into place, and you know it leaves a legacy. Putting global targets in place and setting KPIs for people, all of this leads to long-term culture change initiatives. But if I reflect back, the impact I’ve had is around pushing them to progress and really taking up that judicious care around equality, fairness, and doing the right thing - not just from an employee perspective but also from a customer and a ‘reputation in the market’ perspective.”