Inspiring answers by Pauline White, one of our STEM Ambassadors on her life and working in a Real Estate Analyst career.
Pauline White – Real Estate Analyst career, Zurich Ins
2. What is something about you people might not know?
Despite having to do it for my job, I do not like public speaking!
3. What are your hobbies?
My family, my little miniature Schnauzer Izzy and concerts, be it, comedians or bands
4. What did you want to be when you were growing up?
An air hostess
5. Who was your biggest influence growing up?… who were your role models?
My mother was a role model as she always had time for people. Something I’ve always tried to remember. Whatever your opinions are, whether they differ or not, what does it take to give someone some of your time and consideration.
6. What were your favourite subjects at school?
Modern Studies, Biology and English
7. What were your least favourite subjects at school?
Maths…..still can’t get my head around it!
8. How did you come to choose your current career path or were you led to it?
Despite having grades for Uni, I wanted to work, so was guided by the Careers Team at school. Wrote off to various banks, buildings societies and insurers and landed a job at GRE. Left school at 16 and here I am, nearly 39 years later still doing the job!
9. What are the biggest changes in the world of work (for women) that you are excited about?
The increase in strong, female role models in the industry. Insurance and the financial services sector in general historically were very male-dominated. We have in Zurich role models such as Tulsi Naidu, our CEO, and Anita Fernqvist, our CDO, who talk openly about juggling home, family and career. In our WIN UK network, we are encouraging our members to use the flexible working that Zurich has now embraced, to push themselves into going for that promotion, in the knowledge that its not a simple either or…family or promotion, you can balance both.
10. Would you say having a degree is the only path to a successful career? Would you say there are opportunities for women entrepreneurs in your career?
Certainly, when I started in Insurance, the answer was definitely yes. Whilst I know that our company has a well-established graduate programme, in the last 4/5 years we have added to this with a hugely successful apprentice scheme, and I am impressed daily by the quality of young people we are attracting now.
11. What advice would you give your younger self and school leavers today?
Don’t settle and be talked out of things for fear of rocking the boat. I am thankful for the strong role models we have in business now, our coaching and mentoring programs and our successful WIN UK network as each has a part to play in encouraging women that they can push for the seat at the table, If that is what they want. A diverse and inclusive mix of thought is what companies look for now, so if there is ever a time to make your voice heard, it’s now.
Make sure to follow this series on STEM Careers Guide.
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Our other STEM Ambassadors
Real estate analyst career