What it’s like to be a woman working in the claims management industry

29th October 2020

Women in the claims and damage management industry - Q&A with Plastic Surgeon’s National Account Manager, Lauren Robson

Despite positive advances in recent years, it has been well-documented that women still remain under-represented in the claims and damage management industry. The BDMA caught up with our National Account Manager, Lauren Robson, to discuss her experience of working within an industry that is traditionally male-dominated.

Can you tell us a bit about your background and how you entered the industry?Lauren Robson

Like many others, insurance wasn’t always my planned career route. I started my career by working in the travel sector, but after a few years, I began to see that it wouldn’t be a sustainable career choice. This led to my first role in insurance at AXA Insurance. In my five years at AXA, I accrued so much knowledge and first-hand claims experience. I  moved to Manchester, where I joined Crawford & Company Loss Adjusters. It really opened up my eyes to the loss adjusting side of insurance. Although I’d experienced claims management at AXA, this role gave me a good insight into working on the frontline of insurance. I progressed to my current role as National Account Manager at Plastic Surgeon. I’ve worked at Plastic Surgeon for just over a year now and whilst I do feel like I’ve stepped out of my comfort zone, I do thoroughly enjoy it. I love being able to work on the account management side, building relationships with our clients. I also love that no two days in the insurance sector are ever the same – it really is an industry that requires lifelong learning.

Do you feel that the industry is opening up more to women?

Yes, I definitely see that the industry is opening up to women and the stigma is starting to disappear. Throughout my eight years in insurance, I can say with an open heart that I’ve had a really positive experience. I do think I’ve been lucky though, as most of my managers have been females and have probably paved the way for great change.

How can the industry be more inclusive for women?

The industry has changed so much over the past few years, and it is great to see increased flexibility and job shares available. Whilst I’ve never felt like being a female was a barrier to my career, I can remember a time when I worried whether my age would be a concern at interviews. I was at the stage in my life, where traditionally it would be seen as the time to settle down and have children. This was my own personal perception and bias towards myself, as no interviewer or subsequent manager has ever insinuated this to me. On the other side of the scale, I guess that we must consider that if I was to put myself in the shoes of a male, then they would have never had to enter an interview with those thoughts at the forefront of their minds. Fast-forward to today, my current manager is male and very supportive.

Are there any challenges you have faced, and if so, how have you overcome them?

I personally don’t feel that I’ve encountered many challenges within the industry with regard to my gender. I’m sure that the reason why I haven’t personally experienced this is because of the women before me who broke barriers. In my time working in the industry, I’ve experienced so many women championing women. My previous female managers empowered me and led me to further opportunities which have encouraged me to move forward within the industry.

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