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International Women's Day 2022

08 March 2022

It’s International Women’s Day on Monday 8th March, so to mark the occasion, we’re profiling a few of our fantastic colleagues from around the business. Read on to find out more.

 

• Yvonne Miller

Renewable Energy Client Director

 

Yvonne is a member of our Renewable Energy team and a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Insurers.

Yvonne is based in our Glasgow office.

yvonne miller

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How did you get into your career?

I think I am the only person I know who made the conscious decision to enter the insurance industry. Whilst studying Risk Management at University, I had a greater interest in the Insurance, Business Interruption and Risk Analysis subjects on the syllabus rather than the Health and Safety aspects. It was during a double lecture on Business Interruption that I decided I could see myself in the world of insurance broking.

After graduating, I had a ‘stopgap’ job for 3 years when I was still loving the student life, I then decided it was time to get a ‘real job’ and after an interview with Bruce Stevenson I happily accepting the job offer and 15 years later I’m still here.

What do you love about your job?

The relationships that I have formed with colleagues, other members of our team, Insurers and people in the renewable energy industry. Both the Insurance and the Renewable Energy Industries may have previously been perceived as male dominated so it is amazing to see so many women in all different roles and positions excel in their careers and change the future landscape.

Spending time with these people can be extremely motivating and inspiring.

Which woman has inspired you the most?

If I had to pick one person, it would be Michelle Obama. She is a great inspiration for me with such a strong character, self-confidence, and her ability to captivate everyone she engages with. I believe in many of the issues that she stands up for. Collectively though, there is a large movement by women and men who are working to promote body positivity and to cull the damaging diet culture that so many people have grown up with and have been subconsciously absorbing for many years.

People are now challenging the media for their depiction of what is beautiful, clothing manufacturers on the size of clothes and diet companies which are causing damage to many people’s relationship with food. It is so refreshing that many women are starting to take control and speak out about these important issues.

What advice would you give to a woman thinking of entering the insurance industry?

Always speak up for yourself. In your professional career, it’s inevitable that at some point you’ll run into a moment where your knowledge and professional opinion conflict with either a peer or senior colleague. It’s important to avoid self-doubt, have faith in yourself and have the confidence to stand your ground and not let yourself be dismissed.

If you have a belief, then you should stand by it. In the long run, people will respect you more for that.

 

 

• Alexandra Richards

Private Clients Development Executive

 

Alexandra is part of our Private Clients team. 

Alexandra specialises in high-value home and contents, fine art and other collections insurance requirements.

Alexandra Richards

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How did you get into your career?

Like so many others you speak to in the insurance world, by accident! Well, sort of. I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do when I left University. My grandfather had been an insurance broker with a firm called Gibbs Hartley Cooper and it was he who suggested I look at insurance as a career. His line was that ‘anything you are interested in will probably need insurance – make your job fun!’. So, I set about getting my first job with Holman Insurance Brokers in London which I loved. Broking in Lloyd’s in ‘those days’ was great. Women were very much in the minority on the broking floor so it could feel intimidating at times. However, usually the long and good lunches made up for that!

I moved to Aon after a while and settled on Fine Art and Private Client insurance and had the good fortune to work on some very exciting and interesting risks and work with some super people along the way, many of who I am still in contact with one way or another – the insurance world is a small place!

What do you love about your job?

The people you meet. I think everyone must say that, but it’s true. In private clients and fine art insurance, your clients are really interesting people and often want to share their own stories with you. They are making a personal decision about who they want to take care of their private insurance. It is very different to a commercial entity making a ‘business’ decision. Trust, empathy and relationships are key.

Which woman has inspired you the most?

The Queen and my mother. I feel really privileged to live during the reign of our longest-serving monarch who has demonstrated exemplary dedication to her duty. She continues to honour her declaration made on her 21st birthday in 1947, to devote herself to serving us her whole life. It certainly hasn’t always been easy, life never is. She is now 95 years of age and this year we will join her in celebrating her Platinum Jubilee marking 70 years of service. Incredible. A real marker in history.

My mother is amazing. She lost her parents when she was 17 and was sent to live 500 miles away with an old Aunt. That didn’t last long and she forged her own way in life from an early age more or less entirely on her own. She always demonstrates such depths of courage, kindness and thoughtfulness and has a real sense of fun. She loves to party and keeps herself extremely well and fit. At nearly 79 she is still weight training! Her mantra is ‘Live for today and tomorrow will take care of itself.’

What’s the best career-related advice you ever received?

To start. Just get started doing something, somewhere with someone. Be kind, courteous and professional – you never know when you may meet someone again. Keep things in perspective, keep a balance and enjoy what you do as you spend a lot of time doing it! What advice would you give to a woman thinking of entering the insurance industry?

Keep an open mind, go for it and get your professional qualifications early on. As I mentioned earlier, insurance is a unique career choice. Whatever you may have an interest in, be it politics, horses, property, celebrities, sport, cargo ships or satellites – they all need insurance or risk management.

 

 

• Marion Fisher

Account Executive

 

Marion joined the Bruce Stevenson team last year and her specialism is in agriculture insurance.

Marion works out of our Turriff office.

Marion Fisher

Read more about Marion     +

 

How did you get into your career?

I landed my insurance career by complete chance. After leaving school I started within the hospitality industry, which accelerated my customer-focused attitude, and this remains a key focus in my work to this day. However, I ended up re-locating suddenly and when faced with a lack of hospitality roles, I took an opportunity with Aviva in their Perth call centre. Aviva has a superb insurance training programme and this really set the groundwork for my career in the industry. I am a strong believer that everything happens for a reason and this change of circumstance allowed me to develop a career that has gone from strength to strength.

This path has led me to the role I now hold at BSIB, one that I am extremely proud of.

What do you love about your job?

The thing I love most about my job is looking after my clients. My clients are the absolute heart of everything I do. I love engaging with them and gaining an understanding of their business, themselves and how I can assist them with protecting their business. The key industry I focus on is agriculture and I have such a strong personal connection to the sector. My personal experience and knowledge of the industry allows me to appreciate the everyday challenges it faces. My affinity with the sectors allows me to genuinely understand our clients and bring the right support to the challenges they face. Whether this is industry, legislatively or claims related.

I absolutely adore building relationships that last. Being the face that people can rely on or call on in their hour of need and I am proud of the connections I have built over the years. Many of whom still rely on me as a friend, and an advisor when they need it. I truly have the absolute best job in the world and love getting out on the road to meet many more of our amazing clientele.

What’s the best career-related advice you ever received?

My father has always guided me from a young age to ‘stick in’ no matter what I do. I have always carried this through in life to always try my very best in everything I turn my hand to. All you can do is try your best and be satisfied that you couldn’t have done any more or any better to the challenge at hand. I can’t stress enough how trying your best will get you where you want to be in life. Problem-solving is a massive skill that will be required to meet objectives and overcome challenges to reach destination satisfaction.

You might not reach your goals straight away, it might take time and life will absolutely chuck obstacles at you. But, if you throw yourself into something then eventually you will succeed and get to where you want to be.

What advice would you give to a woman thinking of entering the insurance industry?

Insurance is an industry that was perhaps viewed historically as a male dominant environment. This is not the case now, and certainly not the future of our industry. I am surrounded by incredible women in our field in all aspects of the business. Inspiring and inspirational women are positioned within our own business to our partners in insurers, brokers, and support services. I have had the pleasure to work with many inspiring women in my time working in this industry, making friends for life, and having access to the best support network in the world. A wealth of experience and knowledge is completely invaluable in making these connections priceless.

To any woman considering a future in insurance, I absolutely recommend it 100%. If you put the graft in to support your progression the opportunities are endless. Insurance is an industry with many organisations that can take you globally, allow you to meet the most fantastic clients and colleagues and give you true job satisfaction. I am proud to say I have made it to a position where I get job satisfaction every single day. Don’t get me wrong we all have bad days, but the positives massively outweigh the negatives which quite honestly really are few and far between.

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