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.
Mary Wager, Suncorp's Product Design Manager, Consumer Portfolio
Bringing her decade's worth of experience in marketing and product design in both the banking and insurance sectors, Mary Wager brings a fresh approach to products - benefitting both company and consumer. Currently, Mary is Product Design Manager, Consumer Portfolio at Suncorp.
Tell us a little about your background. Why did you decide upon a career in insurance?
I started my career journey in communications and marketing in the Property and Banking sectors, working in entrepreneurial environments where I learned the value of being adaptable - a ‘jack of all trades' so to speak. I then moved into product management, taking many new products to market as product lines were expanding.
I came to Suncorp in 2015, working in Product in the Banking sector for home lending, margin lending and share trading then moved to insurance in 2016 where an opportunity arose to join the Product Design team – and I’ve been there ever since. While at the time I didn’t have an insurance or design background I brought my product management experience along with a fresh perspective.
What do you enjoy most about your role as Suncorp's Product Design Manager, Consumer Portfolio?
My role involves a lot of visualizing the future; developing ideas and solutions to adapt our products, and ensuring they continue to be fit for purpose for our customers. It’s an exciting time to be working in insurance. Technology is advancing rapidly, our modes of transport are changing, the way we live is changing. I love that I play a part in shaping how our products respond to societal change.
What is your experience of diversity in the insurance industry? And how is it changing?
There’s a distinct shift in supporting more women in insurance, particularly in encouraging women to take up leadership positions. I believe it’s important to see female role models in the workplace. I’m optimistic that by the time my daughters are embarking on their careers we will have made great strides in female representation at the top.
What advice do you have for women looking to enter the industry?
My first piece of advice would be to be authentic. Don’t feel like you need to be or act like someone else. I’ve received well-meaning advice in the past to adopt more stereotypical masculine attributes, but it’s just not me. We all have unique strengths and perspectives that we bring to the table. Make a role your own and play to your strengths.
Also, don’t shy away from career opportunities if you have kids or are thinking of starting a family if that’s what you want. While it is challenging, it is possible to juggle both, and luckily for me, Suncorp has been a supportive environment that has allowed me to raise children and continue to progress and develop. Flexible working also helps!
Where do you see the future of the insurance industry?
I think technology is going to play a huge part in making insurance better for our customers. From making it easier to understand and buy insurance, to personalising coverage, right through to transforming the claims experience. There will always be a need for insurance but the way it’s delivered, consumed, and experienced will evolve for the better.