Meet Sarah May: Strong, Committed and Respected Corporate Controller

Every International Women’s Day, GB recognises and celebrates the accomplishments of the inspiring women we work with. This year we asked our GB fam to nominate an inspiring woman that they work with, and we were overwhelmed with many worthy nominations. After a tough process, nine women were selected to be profiled for 2021, based on their amazing leadership and accomplishments over the past 12 months.

All of the women featured in these interviews will represent GB at the Women in Insurance Leadership Summit.

Meet Sarah May, a committed, collaborative member of the Gallagher Bassett family.

Sarah is a Corporate Controller for GB, and an excellent leader that guides and supports those even in the wider team.

Sarah was nominated by colleagues for her strong leadership skills she continuously demonstrates and her ability to handle crisis situations seamlessly.

In 2020, we saw a number of challenges in the Corporate Finance team, including remote working and changeover of staff. During this time, Sarah played a key role in ensuring continuity of service and improved team engagement.

Sarah manages to combine her financial acumen together with her sense of fun and humour to lead her team and work collaboratively with other departments to achieve common goals.

We sat down with Sarah to talk about her career, her journey, and why she believes International Women’s Day is important.

Do you have a career highlight to date?
My first job moving from an audit firm into commerce when I moved over to the UK; the company was SABMiller and they were going through the biggest acquisition in UK history where they were being acquired by ABInbev (think Corona and Budweiser). When the opportunity comes to take the next step you just have to get out of your comfort zone and go for it.

What motivates or drives your passion for the insurance/risk management industry? Would you recommend this industry for the next generation of women entering the workforce?
I would absolutely recommend our industry for the next generation first and foremost because of how stable the industry is, much like accounting is as a profession, there will always be a need for insurance in modern society.
We spend at least a quarter of our life at work so we may as well enjoy what we do and the diversity of the industry allows us to change it up when things start to become ordinary or changes in our circumstances means we need to adapt.

What do you like most about Gallagher Bassett in five words or less?
Flexibility and challenging the norm.

How is Gallagher Bassett helping you face your future with confidence?
The openness and willingness to change to achieve a more desirable outcome. At the moment we have the opportunity to really shake things up in the team in terms of tasks and workload distribution, all it takes is putting your hand up and expressing an interest. I love being able to offer all members of my team this type of exposure and progression to further their career.

Who is your inspiration or role model?
Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez – An independent and strong character that inspires the next generation of women to achieve greatness. Her ability to call out bad behaviour especially around the topic of gender equality is incredibly refreshing and something that each and every one of us should aspire to.

What does equality mean to you?
Equal representation in all areas of the business. We have so many different personalities, strengths and opinions that can help contribute to make Gallagher an even better place to work if given the opportunity.

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