Our Women In CILA group had another productive year in 2019. We continued to raise awareness of the lack of gender diversity in our profession and reached out to female colleagues to help support them in their career progression. Some notable highlights include:
Personal Development Events
In February Kay White, the founder of mentoring and training company Way Forward Solutions, led a fascinating workshop in London called “Asserting Yourself without Losing Yourself” which was sold out with a waiting list. Edwin Coe LLP kindly sponsored the event in their offices and provided excellent refreshments for the networking session after the workshop.
Further afield, we went to Belfast in May where Cathy Scott hosted the inaugural meeting of WIC Northern Ireland. We were delighted that the then CILA NI council representative Steven Wallace could join us, together with myself and Terri Adams from the WIC. We are indebted to Allison Cassidy of BLM who provided an insightful presentation about gender diversity in the legal profession.
In Manchester in July, Sarah Perris and Merryn Myatt of Perris-Myatt Media Training Specialists ran a lively, interactive workshop entitled “Be Seen, Be Heard, Be impressive”. This session focussed on practical tips for daily use to help improve confidence and banish unhelpful habits.
In November we were in Cardiff where Jayne Berry and Rachel Merriott led an event on ‘Why Bias Matters’. A lecture by Mandy St John Davey, an entrepreneur and property investor on how bias can be a road block or tool for getting ahead in business.
Female role models
CILA Conference 2019
Having visible female role models is an important objective for WIC and we were delighted that Jane Hunter of Crawford & Company, Melissa Cunningham of Marsh, Sue Taylor of Miller and Nicola Maher from Edwin Coe all presented excellent sessions at the CILA Conference in September.
BI Spotlight Webinars
We are also pleased that Melissa Cunningham of Marsh and Aruna Chandrapalan of Sedgwick International UK have been running a series of informative and popular webinars on behalf of the CILA Business Interruption Specialist Interest Group.
Dealing with Vulnerable Customers
Following on from their excellent workshop at the 2018 CILA Conference, Michelle Haynes of Aviva, Lauren Glover of Sedgwick International UK and Helena Evans of Criterion have delivered further events on the critical subject of Dealing with Vulnerable Customers. This is developing into a key issue for many of our members as their day to day work increasingly involves resolving claims for the most vulnerable people in our community, including the elderly and those suffering from physical and mental illness.
In November at a joint IIL/CILA lecture, Dr Nicola Sharp Jeffs of the charity Surviving Economic Abuse (SEA) presented on the charity’s research findings in relation to insurance and economic abuse and how insurers might look to improve outcomes for victims-survivors of economic abuse. I was fortunate to co-host this illuminating, informative talk which many of our WIC members also attended.
Loss adjusters entering people’s homes could be meeting victims of economic abuse. Our profession has committed to support vulnerable customers and so it becomes incumbent upon us to explore and to understand the broad range of people who can fall into this category. This will be an ongoing area of work for us.
We are delighted that Cathy Scott of Crawford & Company and Julie Ann Headington of Channel Islands Adjusters were elected to the CILA Council in 2019 – many congratulations to them! This now brings the total number of females on Council to 5 compared with only 1 just 2 years ago. This is very good progress indeed!
Looking forward in 2020
We are looking forward to continuing the work of WIC in 2020. We are always looking for volunteers to help run local events so if you’d like to hold a WIC session in your area, please let us know!
Candy Holland, January 2020