Tell me a bit about yourself and your background?
I would start by saying that I’m probably not a typical grad. After graduating from the University of Glasgow with a degree in Economics and Geography, I was all geared up to return to PwC, where I had interned, and start a graduate role as a management consultant. Instead, I decided to travel to Zambia and work for an NGO, setting up savings groups in rural communities and running financial literacy workshops. Upon returning to the UK, I did a Masters at Oxford University in Contemporary Chinese Studies, before hopping around jobs including working as a PA for a Duchess. What appealed to me about Hiscox was its international presence, progression opportunities and how the company is committed to ensuring employees had a good work-life balance. I was successful in the application process and managed to secure a role on their graduate scheme.
What is your role and how long have you been at Hiscox?
I am on the Risk and Compliance graduate scheme at Hiscox and have been in my role for a year now. I’ve found the scheme really dynamic and am currently working simultaneously in two roles. I spend 3 days a week with the Risk Actuaries, helping them to prepare their annual Validation report which essentially is a process to ensure we have enough money to cover claims if certain scenarios were to occur - this technical aspect has been both challenging and insightful. The remaining two days are spent with the Risk Managers. Here I consider how climate change can feed into our key risks. Being so involved in reviewing the impact of climate change and how it will affect our business has been really engaging and an area I can see myself specialising in.
Tell me a little bit about the LGBT Network at Hiscox.
I’m the UK Co-Chair of the Hiscox Pride Network, this is an employee network for all Hiscox employees who identify as LGBT+, as well as LGBT+ allies . Although the network had been running for a while before I joined, there was an opportunity for us to deliver more value for our members by creating regional factions in the US and UK/Europe. Upon joining as co-chair, we decided on a rebrand and relaunch the network. A key change we implemented was setting up 3 goals to outline what we wanted to achieve as a network. The first was all about socialising and increasing the interaction between LGBT+ colleagues and their allies, the second was to be advocates for those in our community who don’t feel like they could do this themselves, and the third was to create an educational resource accessible to all Hiscox employees. Some of my highlights so far have been getting pronouns added into our email signatures, hosting events throughout Pride week including a panel discussion on allyship, and getting senior leaders more engaged with the network.
What inspired you to get involved with this network?
I would say one of the key things to mention is that I am at a comfortable place with my sexuality now and am well educated on most of the subset issues that LGBT+ people face. In the past, I have definitely felt the need to conform to heteronormative standards in order to succeed in a corporate setting. Now it’s great to be a part of a network that’s all about being open and transparent, because at the end of the day you can’t be what you can’t see.
What is the company culture like at Hiscox?
As a sector, the insurance industry doesn’t always have the best reputation when it comes to culture. When I joined Hiscox it was refreshing to see such a diverse office where there were people from all different ages, genders, races, and backgrounds. There is always a great atmosphere and buzz in the office, especially now that most employees are back a few days per week. The culture is also very open, I can put in catch-ups with anyone and they are always keen to get to know you and help you out.
Finally, any tips for anyone who’d like to apply for a similar role at Hiscox?
Definitely utilise online resources to practice for the different aspects of the application process - whether it's logical reasoning tests or mock interviews, this is sure to boost your chance of success. Once you’ve made it to the final stage, be prepared for all types of questions and although it’s good to be prepared, remember to give your authentic response as employers don’t want over rehearsed answers.