Two female industry veterans who have made it to the top in male dominated businesses will be the speakers at an event to promote the professional development of women in the re/insurance sector.
The Bermuda Insurance Institute (BII) is organizing a 12-month series of events to discuss solutions to problems that are preventing more women rising to the top of the industry ranks.
In the second of the series, the BII has secured two top speakers – Anne Chalmers who rose from an administrative position to being the first female manager, now Vice-President in Canada’s oldest mining, smelting and exploration company, and Cathy Duffy who started as summer intern at Wilcox Baringer and who is now  Senior Vice President, Underwriting Manager at XL Bermuda Ltd.
Ms Duffy said: “Anne is considered a visionary risk manager in the traditionally male-dominated mining world. She has been handling a diverse world of risk management and global insurance programs for over 33 years – her journey almost synonymous with the Bermuda Insurance Market journey.
“Anne was one of the early clients in the Bermuda market and most certainly one of the first mining accounts that bought insurance.
“Anne and I have known each other and grown together since we met in the early 1990s. A relationship that has spanned many cycles, changes and catastrophes in her mining industry, our Bermuda insurance industry and for that matter the global insurance industry. We’ve seen a cycle or two and have many war stories that we could share.”
BII CEO Malcolm Butterfield added: “Cathy has a wealth of insurance experience touching many aspects of the industry including being the first Bermudian woman to gain her CPCU and one of the two first underwriting trainees hired by XL in 1988.
“She holds a Bachelor of Business Administration degree in insurance and is the author of Held Captive: A History of International Insurance in Bermuda, the first comprehensive book tracing the historical development of the International Insurance Industry in Bermuda.
“Anne and Cathy will be having a fireside chat and will talk about their journey in the context of their respective careers. It will be an inspiring conversation providing insights  on career development and how to overcome and tackle challenges along the way.” 
The session is being sponsored by JLT Insurance Management and the firm’s CFO Melissa O’Sullivan, said: “We are excited to have Anne share her expertise and experience with us. She has over 32 years of experience covering multiple overseas insurance jurisdictions and is a well-respected role model for women in the (re)insurance sector and the global mining industry.”
The first in the series was held last week with Kathleen Faries, Head of TMR Bermuda, and Fiona Luck, a long-time industry Executive who has been recently appointed to the Lloyds Franchise Board.
They spoke about ‘What We Wish We Had Known….’ and drew on their extensive experience in the re/insurance industry to give the attendees advice on how to prosper.
“Own your own career development,” said Ms Luck. “The organisations you work for may not know what your aspirations are. We have all the skills, all the training, strong emotional intelligence, but we are not always confidant enough. You will feel nervous about things but get the confidence to just give it a shot.”
The event is being held on Tuesday July 10 from 11.45am to 1.30pm at the O’Hara House. A light Lunch will be provided. Price is $100 for members and $125 for non-members.