What’s it like to be a woman in the profession?

What’s it like to be a woman in the profession?

What’s it like to be a woman in the profession? To mark International Women’s Day and a century of women being able to qualify, five female actuaries, all at different stages in their careers, got together to share their experiences and insights. Discussion led by Adél Drew (above).

Adél Drew

Senior consultant at Milliman London, originally from South Africa, 8 years’ qualified 

Kalpana Shah

IFoA president, chair and portfolio non-executive director, born in the UK 

Kartina Tahir Thomson

IFoA president- elect, originally from Malaysia, 18 years’ qualified

Monique Mahabir 

Associate (life) at Milliman London, originally from Trinidad and Tobago 

Ciara Izuchukwu 

Newly qualified actuary, originally from Ireland, based in Bermuda

Adél Drew (AD) I’m from South Africa but I’ve worked in the UK since 2011. When I left high school I had many options because I got top marks in maths but also excelled in art. I decided to travel for a year and in the meantime sign up for whatever was the most difficult course at university – an actuarial degree. I started at the University of Pretoria in 2004. 

At university, gender politics wasn’t really something I noticed. However, when I took my first job, I remember two of us from my class were hired by the same bank and I later found out that the other person, a man, was paid more and had more annual leave than me. Perhaps that was down to his negotiating or the different departments we worked in, I don’t know.

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