Cécile Fresneau, QBE European Operations, discusses diversity

Cécile Fresneau, QBE European Operations, discusses diversity

 October 14, 2021

How can you bring change to an insurance organization?

QBE European Operations Insurance Division managing director Cécile Fresneau reveals the answer in an article published by Insurance Business UK.

“I only know what shoes I walked in and how I’ve made it work for myself. It doesn’t mean that there’s only one model, there are probably lots of different models for accessing that," says Cécile. "But I think what’s important is sharing personal experiences and allowing other people to find their way and pick out what they think is going to work for them or not work for them.”

Forging conversations around diversity and inclusion

Cécile discusses how conversations surrounding diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) have evolved throughout her 20-year career. In particular, these conversations are opening up to include a diverse range of people. 

As the chair of QBE European Operations Inclusion Forum, Cécile brings together networks across the gender, LGBT, disability, ethnicity and mental health. She emphasizes the importance of companies tapping into diverse insights. 

“So the shoes I’ve walked in are of the gender [discussion], and when I spend time talking to people who come from a particular ethnic background or sexual orientation, obviously we all have very different experiences and issues that have been thrown at us through our careers or have faced different types of microaggressions," explains Cécile. "But the common denominator across all those groups is that feeling of not being accepted, of being different, of not knowing how to navigate when you look around and don’t necessarily see people like you role modelling what a career would look like. So, I think despite the very different circumstances, and nature of challenges and microaggressions in the day to day, the common denominator is feeling like one doesn’t quite fit in and trying to find a way through anyway. And I think there’s more commonality between all those groups than might appear initially if you just look at the individual, very specific context and challenges.”

Helping future talent achieve their career ambitions

Cécile highlighted her own passion for supporting discussions around DEI and the future of talent in the insurance industry. She also wants to use her leadership position to help future talent achieve their own career ambitions.

“I want to be able to show people that if I’ve done it, it’s accessible to others as well,” she says. “And so just being able to share what I have found through my career and making sure that where I can influence [… ] internal policies and culture, I do – that’s very close to my heart.”

Read the full article.


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