Strategy & Pricing Actuary, Charlotte McNealy steps out of her comfort zone
When I moved to the PRT Bermuda team three years ago, I was nervous to step outside of my comfort zone. I was a part-qualified, female actuary moving to, what was then, a male-dominated team (in a new country) where everyone had a lot of experience and strong technical ability.
At first, I was afraid to air my inexperience, but great things happen when you ask. There is no such thing as a silly question, and I began to thrive in a fast-paced environment. The learning curve was steep, but very rewarding. I continued to study, which was sometimes hard to balance with work and life, and my perseverance paid off when I passed my final exam and was promoted to Strategy & Pricing Actuary. The role allows me to use both my technical and communication skills when pricing PRT deals and implementing strategic initiatives, and I now see myself as a valuable member of the team who brings new skills to the workplace.
I think it helps that I am highly competitive (both in and out of the office!) and I love to try new things. Bermuda has given me many opportunities to try sports that I wouldn’t have tried back in the UK. I golf most weekends and have my scuba diving qualification. Fun fact: the island has the highest concentration of golf courses per square mile than anywhere else in the world, and there are more than 300 shipwrecks to explore. (Hello, Bermuda Triangle!)
The 2022 UN theme for International Women's Day is "Gender equality today for a sustainable tomorrow". While I’ve found L&G to be diverse, equitable and inclusive, and our differences valued and celebrated, this day highlights how fortunate I am to have had these opportunities.
The World Bank conducted a study discovering that 88% of countries restrict the kinds of jobs women can hold by law – that’s 2.75 billion women affected worldwide. While many countries forbid women from doing specific jobs, 59 have no laws against sexual harassment, and there are 18 where women cannot work without their husband’s permission. Things are changing and worldwide women in the economy and employment are beginning to be seen as critical.
I would encourage anyone to step out of their comfort zone and put themselves forward for new opportunities. Ask yourself, if I go for this and fail, what is the worst that can happen? Just try again, making the achievement even sweeter in the long run. You must keep going – if only to see where it will take you.