Revelled at for her support in diversity and managerial bravery, chief executive officer of NZbrokers Jo Mason reveals the strong-points of having women in executive positions, and why every professional needs to spread a more effective message.
“We’re not good at telling people we meet how awesome our industry is. When I go to an industry function and talk to people who have been in the industry for less than 6 months, they tell me how exciting it is – and how much they love it,” Mason says. “We need to be more proud and promote our industry.”
Although Mason acknowledges the short-fallings of mainstream media in portraying a certain reputation and image of the industry, she is confident of our ability to collectively turn the tables. “We have a lot to offer and provide a service that helps people,” she says, a view that extends to seeing more women enter decision-making roles.
Mason lists empathy, persistence, passion and purpose as important skills and character traits inherent in women, whilst also highlighting the authenticity they bring to their professional careers. The member of the ANZIIF Women’s Council says being honest “is not just about keeping it real, but also being able to bring your whole self to work”, and that women not only “seek out roles that align to their values”, but also exemplify “the ability to keep on course and overcome those change-adverse people in their team or group”.
Having used these very skills to breathe passion into her own career, from becoming state executive at IAG Australia then general manager at IAG New Zealand, to state manager then national manager at Allianz, before taking up the role of chief executive officer at NZbrokers, Mason has become widely recognised as a constructive and results-driven leader. She is also the first woman CEO of a New Zealand broking entity, and one of the most senior experienced across New Zealand in profit and loss accountability, invaluable expertise that ensures the continual growth of a business.
Mason says, “it’s all about making a difference in the lives of people who, without insurance, would be financially ruined, and their lives would be devastated”. The thought of coming out of a detrimental event or trauma without the backdrop of insurance, is a situation Mason is unable to sit with. “I love reassuring clients who have had a claim, and know that we are here for them and things are going to be alright,” she shares. “That is my passion and my purpose.”