8th March marks International Women’s Day, a day that was first recognised in 1911. Since then International Women’s Day has gained traction around the world and is now celebrated in at least 20 countries worldwide. Many celebrities, including Kate Upton, Michelle Obama, Pink and Lady Gaga actively support this day.

Women in the business world

Men have traditionally led the way in most businesses, whereas women were left at home to cook, clean and look after the children.

Similarly, gender inequality was still very prevalent in the insurance world up until quite recently. Did you know that women were not allowed into the Lloyd’s of London insurance building, based opposite our London office, until 1973? That was just 48 years ago.

However, Lloyd’s has come a long way in improving its diversity since then. There is a near-equal gender balance and many of the women have climbed to senior positions through hard work and determination (around 34 % of the top leaders are women). So things are starting to change.

At Brunel

At Brunel Professions, we inspire, support and champion all of our employees, regardless of gender. People make it to the top at Brunel, because everyone is recognised for the hard work that they do.

We would like to take a moment to recognise two of the many strong women that work for Brunel: our Associate Director in London, Faye Maguire, and our Associate Director in Bristol, Clarisse Robbins.

Faye provides a fine example of how hard work can lead you to great things. Faye joined Brunel in 2016 as PA to the Managing Director, after an outstanding couple of years, in 2018 she won Employee of the Year. Then she was promoted to Office Manager, to Head of Marketing, and just this month she has been promoted again, to Associate Director. All this growth in the space of just 5 years.

Faye says about her Brunel journey,

“Brunel has given me the opportunity to excel in my career.  I have never once felt held back as a woman in a fairly male dominant industry. I have always been encouraged and supported by my colleagues male and female to succeed. I am a mother of two and was a housewife for 10 years showing that a female can truly do both.”

Clarisse Robbins has had a similarly expeditious progression through the company, joining Brunel in 2014 as a Technical Executive (her first full time job after university), she was swiftly promoted to Senior Risk Executive in 2015. She then worked hard to show her dedication, and was promoted to Associate Director in 2018 and now manages a large team of 14, shortly after receiving another promotion to manage the Claims & Technical team in 2019. She is extremely hard working and dedicated to her job.

Clarisse says about her career with Brunel,

“I was fresh out of university when I first joined Brunel and it has been a joy to have progressed my career within the company. As a woman of Asian background, the perception is that we have to work harder than most to be heard and respected. Whilst this has certainly presented challenges, especially when working within an industry that is largely dominated by white males, being at Brunel has allowed me to push past this and thrive as my seniors have always been supportive of my career.

Since having my first child over a year ago, the support I have received from Brunel in terms of flexibility to continue to be able to do my job whilst juggling being a new mother has been incredible and they have made me feel secure that this would not in any way hinder my progress or my position within the claims and technical team and the wider company. I hope to continue to progress and one day be in a position to affect further positive change in diversity within the workplace.”

To the future

 With more women now the pillar of many successful businesses and lots of inspirational famous women worldwide, this is all very positive and a huge step in the right direction. However, we need to stay energised and keep on fighting inequality, educating people across the world, and inspiring our young women to go further and further for each year that International Women’s Day rolls around.

What can I do to help?

 Visit www.internationalwomensday.com for ideas on what you can do to help on this day.

In the words of Kate Upton –

“Here’s to strong women. May we know them. May we be them. May we raise them.”













International Women’s Day