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QBE is one of the world’s leading insurers and reinsurers, employing over 17,000 people in 48 countries, with a presence in all of the key global insurance markets.
As a member of the QBE Insurance Group, QBE Australia is in the business of managing risk. Our ability to satisfy our customers’ risk management needs is at the heart of what we do; our aim is to make their vision a reality.
We provide one of the broadest product ranges of any insurer in Australia and our performance and top-rated service has seen us named the National Insurance Brokers Association’s General Insurer of the Year for the past 11 years (2002–2012). This is arguably the industry’s highest accolade.
Our business has been a significant feature of Australia’s commercial landscape since its early beginnings in Queensland more than 125 years ago. Now listed on the ASX and headquartered in Sydney, stable growth and strategic acquisitions have seen QBE grow to become a truly global organisation and one of the top 20 insurers and reinsurers worldwide.
We are diverse both in terms of our products and our people, and see diversity as a key strategic business priority. At QBE, we have developed a unique culture based on six core values and effective risk management practices and controls.
At QBE, we know that our vision to be the most successful global insurer and reinsurer can only be achieved if our people feel motivated, valued and rewarded. So we are committed to helping our employees reach their full potential, for the benefit of themselves and QBE.
Life at QBE
Step up and be counted in the workplace
Confidence is one thing, but having a strategy, seeking the right advice and even getting more education can help you secure the career you want.
Knowing one’s worth can be an underlying struggle in any professional’s career. In particular, women can feel they lack the seniority, expertise or contacts to apply for a promotion or pay rise. Others might feel qualified for a new role, but seem to be consistently overlooked by management.
According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, the national gender pay gap is currently at 18.8% with men coming out on top. The source of the discrepancy is complex, but gaining confidence and recognition in the workplace can be an important step for women hoping to maximise their pay potential.
Louise Harvey-Wills, Executive General Manager, People at NAB, says even in egalitarian workplaces women can do more to leverage their skills.
“You can be working somewhere with the best policies, programs and practices that give both men and women the same career opportunities, but if you don’t believe in yourself and take advantage of the career opportunities then you may be compromising your personal value.”
Those career opportunities might not be immediately obvious. With women often feeling as though they need to be overqualified for a position, Harvey-Wills says they should be proactive and try to push their own boundaries.
“To get noticed we should all take chances and step out of our comfort zones to make this happen. Don’t wait for opportunities to come to you.”
That same proactive solution can apply to women who feel undervalued in the workplace. Harvey-Wills advises women to communicate directly with their senior managers, raising constructive solutions, not just complaints.
Don’t just wing it
Taking control over one’s career requires not just confidence, but also time and research.
“One tip I have for women to improve and gain more confidence around financial matters and their careers is to ensure they invest the adequate time in themselves,” says Harvey-Wills. “Talk to people who have the knowledge and skills that you’re after.”
She also recommends women thoroughly research both global and local trends in their industries and other markets.
“And leverage your networks to test your thinking and your reasoning to give you the confidence you need.”
The importance of role models, sponsors and mentors – one’s personal board of directors – should not be underestimated, notes Harvey-Wills.
“Your sponsors are integral in your career progression and development, so use them.”
The professional networks gained in the course of a woman’s career can help expand her skills and consolidate her expertise.
For those looking to gain new skills or change the direction of their career, education can also be a valuable source of confidence. Study, says Harvey-Wills, can give professionals new ways of utilising their existing skills, and challenge their thinking.
However, she advises women think carefully about what they hope to gain from study before embarking on a new course.
“When determining if study is right for you, be clear on what you want to achieve from it and how it relates to your career aspirations,” she says.
“Technical skills and experience are important and can often be achieved learning on the job or from a secondment opportunity.”
Success lies in your attitude
Ultimately, Harvey-Wills says, having the right attitude can be one of the biggest assets in a woman’s career.
“You need to have the confidence and self-belief to back yourself, whatever your age or experience. If you believe you can do something and present it confidently, then you minimise the chance of underselling your true skills and the value you can bring,” she explains.
“Be authentic to your values. If you are true to yourself, your ambitions and your priorities, it can only strengthen your earning potential.”
For more information on NAB’s Start Counting program visit: www.startcounting.com.au.
Written by: Jessie Richardson
What's on offer at QBE
In order to qualify as a Select Employer, we ask employers to address at least 60% of the ten items on the Select Employer criteria list including:
The employer has a rising number of women in senior positions and a pipeline of female talent.
The employer can demonstrate where flexible working arrangements have led to promotions.
The employer offers opportunities for employees to gain experience in international markets.
The employer offers paid parental leave.
The employer offers leadership training programs to staff, either internally or externally.
Women on the board
At least 20% of the employer’s board positions are occupied by women.
Women on shortlists
The employer has a demonstrated policy of ensuring women are always shortlisted for positions.
Mentoring and sponsoring
The employer offers mentoring and/or sponsorship programs to women.
The employer boasts a wide-ranging diversity program that has the buy-in of key senior leaders.
The employer publicises and actively works to achieve gender targets across different levels.