Suncorp Spotlight: Women in Insurance
Women in Insurance is a series highlighting the incredible female talent working in the insurance business at Suncorp. Its purpose is simple; to increase awareness of women’s roles in a traditionally male-dominated industry, and to highlight the expertise and passion these women bring to their roles each and every day.
At Suncorp, we’re immensely proud of the incredibly talented women working in senior leadership roles. Recently Suncorp was awarded Employer of Choice for Gender Equality (EOCGE) by the Workplace Gender Equality Agency (WGEA) for the eighth consecutive year.
The Group is one of just four ASX20 companies to have close to half their managerial positions filled by women.
Women in Insurance is a new series highlighting the formidable female talent working in the insurance business across Suncorp Group, noting insurance has traditionally been a male-dominated industry.
We discover why these executives chose a career in Insurance, what they predict for the industry moving forward and why more young professionals should choose a career path in insurance.
Allicia Tsolis, Executive Manager SA/ACT CTP & Personal Injury Claims Capability Team at Suncorp
Boasting two decades in insurance, Allicia Tsolis' tenure at Suncorp has given her industry advantage; time to hone her craft, ultimately implementing innovative solutions that positively affect the lives of customers.
Allicia is currently Executive Manager SA/ACT CTP & Capability at Suncorp Group's insurance brand, AAMI
Tell us a little about your background. Why did you decide upon a career in insurance?
Like many, I was unsure what career pathway I wanted to take when I finished high school. I was contemplating marketing, maybe even psychology, but I decided to take a year off study before stumbling into my first role at AAMI working as an Admin Officer.
I’ve now worked within the insurance industry for 22 years - in fact, all 22 years have been with Suncorp! Over the years, I’ve predominantly worked across portfolio & pricing, sales, contact centres, settlements & recoveries, fraud & investigations, program & change, motor claims & supply chain, but it was a fateful meeting early in my career which led me here.
I was one week into my employment with AAMI when I met our State Manager. I remember being in awe of this man; his knowledge, passion, authenticity, care & compassion for our customers, and his drive ignited something within me. It was at this point I decided that I wanted to learn everything about our industry and said to myself, “I’m going to do his job one day!”
In 2015 I moved into Personal Injury Insurance and lead our business into CTP competitive underwriting in South Australia, a project of significant strategic importance for the state and our business - given it was the first time in over 20 years a statutory government scheme had been privatised. I formed a new appreciation for the important role we play as an insurer, not only in supporting the recovery of people injured after a motor vehicle accident but also in the work we do with our regulators to support and influence scheme design ensuring long-term sustainability for our motorists.
In a blink of an eye, I’m still here at Suncorp and I love where my career has taken me.
What do you enjoy most about your role as Suncorp’s Executive Manager SA/ACT CTP & Personal Injury Claims Capability Team?
Being in a role that enables me to build teams that help vulnerable customers is really rewarding. I also love the complexity of my role; managing outcomes across customer, financial, regulatory, compliance, risk & people – no two days are the same. I have created lifelong friendships and have had the pleasure of being mentored and of mentoring others which is something I really value.
From a personal perspective, I am a big believer in having balance in my life. Keeping healthy and fit, having family time, and socialising with friends are all very important to me. I have an 8-year-old son, Mason, who loves to play soccer & rugby: I’m biased but he is ridiculously cute, full of spunk and who I love hanging out with, so I always prioritise my time accordingly.
What is your experience of diversity in the Insurance industry? And how is it changing?
When I first started, our industry was predominately male-orientated however I have seen that shift over the years. Within my current peer group, 60% is made up of women in executive positions so it’s great to be part of an organisation, and have EGMs and a CEO, who support diversity in our workplace.
What advice do you have for women looking to enter the industry?
Stay curious and don’t ever stop asking questions. Don’t get jaded by setbacks – keep going. Learn to build highly engaged, enabled and self-sufficient teams around you. You don’t need to know it all, but you do need to embrace and support the expertise within your teams and utilise the different skills to deliver exceptional business performance. Be authentic, don’t try to adjust your style to fit into the ‘social norms’ of leadership and learn to celebrate the successes.
Where do you see the future of the insurance industry?
The role played by insurers in society is becoming increasingly important - as we’ve witnessed through the COVID-19 pandemic. There is more focus on insurers to diversify thinking, invest in technology to support quick and efficient decision-making, and to be innovative in creating exceptional solutions that meet the needs of our changing customer profile.