Women in leadership - taking the next step

At CGU we know how valuable advice can be – whether it’s your advice to customers in choosing the right product, or the advice from a trusted mentor in how to grow your career. 

That’s why earlier this month we held a women’s networking breakfast to connect the next generation of female leaders with each other, and to hear from a panel of industry leaders on how to take the next step in their careers.

Hosted by Lisa Jeffery, CGU State Manager Victoria and Tasmania, this event was a first in a series focusing on female leadership. 

Donna Walker, Executive General Manager Broker Business, facilitated a panel discussion which featured Sarah Lyons, Chief Operations Officer at Arthur J. Gallagher, Jacquie Romero, Director of Broking Services at Honan Insurance Group, and Belinda Scott, Director of BJS Insurance Group.

The panel spoke about the challenges facing female leaders, including work/life balance, whether the ‘glass ceiling’ was a real barrier, and how women could set themselves up for success.

The panel shared their career experiences and advice on how backing and believing in yourself is paramount to success.

They all agreed that confidence was the key to being a successful leader, and challenged women who want a leadership role to step out of their comfort zone and be willing to put themselves forward.

Their top advice to the next generation of leaders was:

  • Indentify what you are good at, and back yourself
  • Seek out different mentors that challenge you
  • Lead by example
  • Be yourself – don’t try to be somebody that you aren’t; and lastly
  • Put your hand up for the role you want!

The event also featured guest presenter Michelle Peterson, a partner at Alex Kaar Search and Selection. Michelle provided her insights into the behavioural dynamics of men and women through the recruitment process and discussed some of the behavioural ‘traps’ that women often fall into.

Michelle counselled women to know themselves, and spend time really understanding their strengths as a person and professional.

She pointed out that many companies are now actively looking for women to join their leadership teams – a testament to the success of companies that have more diverse leadership and boards.  “It’s never been a better time to be a women in leadership” Michelle explained.

Donna Walker was pleased that CGU could host such an inspiring group of leaders from across our industry.

"The breakfast was a great way to bring a broader network of women together and the session was filled with great insights from inspiring and successful women from across our industry,” Donna said.
“CGU is proud to host an event such as this where women can openly share and learn from such valuable experiences.”