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    QBE

    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

    Partner Content

    Step up and be counted in the workplace

    June 29, 2015

    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

    Partner Content

    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:

    Senior leadership

    The employer has a rising number of women in senior positions and a pipeline of female talent.

    In our top three levels of leadership, we are proud to say that 27% of our workforce is female. QBE has an active talent management program where we identify key talent for all levels of leadership while building active succession plans. We are pleased with our strong pipeline of both technical and people leaders.

    Flexible careers

    The employer can demonstrate where flexible working arrangements have led to promotions.

    QBE’s Group CEO, John Neal, launched the Flexible Work Guiding Principles in 2013, which apply across all QBE divisions worldwide. At its core, QBE is a customer-centric company. We have built our organisation around the nature of work today, and our customers and the community are at the heart of what we do. We believe most of our roles are capable of being performed in any location or office. We are open to various work patterns and our employees embrace this flexible approach to balance their work/life commitments.

    International travel

    The employer offers opportunities for employees to gain experience in international markets.

    As a global business with operations in five divisions and a presence in 48 countries, our employees travel and work in a variety of locations. With many of our roles being global in nature, employees can often choose the country they work in. Our secondment and relocation opportunities range from entry level to senior positions.

    Parental Leave

    The employer offers paid parental leave.

    QBE Australia offers paid parental leave to our primary caregivers. Employees are able to choose between 12-weeks full pay or 24-weeks half pay. This can be taken at any time in the first 12 months from date of birth of the child or date of placement of an adopted child. For our secondary carers, we also provide two weeks paid leave.

    Leadership Training

    The employer offers leadership training programs to staff, either internally or externally.

    QBE is committed to world-class leadership and investing significantly in our leaders; in fact this is one of our five strategic drivers. We provide training opportunities for all levels of leadership and in 2013 launched our Leadership Academy where we partner with leading providers to deliver first-class leadership solutions.

    Women on the board

    At least 20% of the employer’s board positions are occupied by women.

    Two of our seven Group Board members are female (29% of the Board) as at 30th April, 2015.

    Women on shortlists

    The employer has a demonstrated policy of ensuring women are always shortlisted for positions.

    QBE has a policy and process to ensure that women are shortlisted for all roles. Due to Executive sponsorship of women on shortlists, we are achieving positive outcomes for gender equality at all levels. We are focused on providing key women with critical opportunities that help build capability for their next leadership challenge.

    We are known for ‘developing our own’ but also value and recruit expertise from the market. We are proactive in searching for talented women who wish to join QBE to help build our business and their careers.

    Mentoring and sponsoring

    The employer offers mentoring and/or sponsorship programs to women.

    QBE has a long history of offering mentoring opportunities to our employees, with a focus on gender. In 2013 we launched our first formal sponsorship program to ensure that our female talent is known and endorsed by our Executive team.

    Diversity Program

    The employer boasts a wide-ranging diversity program that has the buy-in of key senior leaders.

    QBE values inclusiveness at all levels of our business and strives to assist each individual employee reach their potential. In fact being Open Minded is one of our six QBE values, which speaks to suspending your opinion and being open to the views and ideas of others.

    We have a range of affinity programs for all people, at all life stages and from all backgrounds. These programs are championed at an Executive level through formal mechanisms such as our Diversity Council

    Gender Targets

    The employer publicises and actively works to achieve gender targets across different levels.

    QBE Group has publicly announced a minimum target of 20% of senior roles to be occupied by women. QBE’s Australian Operation has met this target for the last three years and we continue to look for ways to increase our senior female workforce.
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