Following International Women's Day, the global event celebrating the social, economic, cultural, and political achievements of women, Miller's Gender Equality Alliance is doing something a little different: they've turned March into International Women's Month, as we profile internally women from across the business to understand obstacles they've faced in their careers and find out what equity means to them.
Read below for a profile of Head of the Gender Equality Alliance and Head of Miller's ISAI division, Katie Small:
Tell us about your role at Miller
I head up the ISAI division in Special Risks which consists of Private Clients, Rural, Equine/Livestock and Fine Art Specie.
What obstacles (if any) have you overcome in your career?
Lots but examples include throwing off stereotypes and people’s assumptions of me along with balancing all the demands on my time (both personally and professionally).
How has Miller helped you be successful?
By allowing, encouraging and supporting me to be myself with a creative platform that allows my team and I to shape our vision of a different style of business.
One piece of advice you would give to someone wanted to progress in their career
Believe in yourself always. If you don’t then who will? Also play to your strengths but be aware of and work on your weaknesses. Don’t ever give up: if it’s not working, find a different way.
What changes have you seen regarding women in the industry since you started your career?
Well there are women to start with which is a big change, and being aware of the differences and benefits to having a diverse workforce has meant active opportunities to attract and retain more female talent.
Who is your role model and why?
An old family friend who created a huge business in the care industry back in the 80’s & 90’s when it was very rare to see female owners of business of this scale. She overcame all obstacles in her path from financial constraints to misogynistic attitudes and barriers…while raising four kids (like me). She never gave up and pushed on regardless with composure and dignity, creating one of the largest groups in her industry (also on the rich list with a CBE). When I was 14 she told me she believed I could achieve anything I wanted to, which gave me confidence to have ambition and believe in myself (or if I didn’t then she still did so gave me strength when I couldn’t find it myself). I still talk to her and am equally inspired today.
What does equity mean to you?
Allowing the creation of a level playing field but by understanding and making allowances/strategies for the fact that not everyone is starting from the same position.
Thanks Katie! Click here to find out more about the work of Miller's Gender Equality Alliance