Every International Women’s Day, GB recognises and celebrates the accomplishments of the inspiring women we work with. This year, we asked our people to nominate an inspiring female leader that they work with, and we were overwhelmed with dozens of very worthy nominations. After a tough process, nine women were selected to be profiled for 2020, based on their amazing accomplishments over the past 12 months.
All of the women featured in these interviews will represent GB at the Women in Insurance Leadership Summit in August.
Meet Susie Comitogianni, a supportive, compassionate member of the Gallagher Bassett family.
Susie joined GB in 2017 and now works as a Team Leader.
Susie was nominated by a colleague, who describes her as an amazing individual, someone who inspires her colleagues. She is kind, generous and decisive. Susie can handle multiple roles with passion. She is a very compassionate and caring individual and a very protective mother.
During a very difficult period that her team faced recently, Susie stood with the entire team, she helped them face the situation and overcome it. Susie always encourages her team members to be open to all opportunities and helps them to understand the business, wanting them to grow in every way possible.
As a leader she walks with her team, she stands with them when they need support. Her colleague commented that she will never forget the help Susie provided her and her family during an incredibly stressful time.
We recently sat down with Susie to find out more about her:
What has been your journey to get to your current position?
Many years ago I was a Collections Manager in the Finance Industry until I was made redundant back in 2012. I then made a decision to “step back” and moved into a part-time position for 4-5 years whilst I had my two kids.
In 2017 I decided I wanted to return to work on a full-time basis and get back into a Leadership role.
I was extremely lucky that Gallagher Basset was willing to take a chance on me and allow me to join as a Team Leader in the US Partnership. This allowed me to also move out of the finance industry and into Insurance.
After 2 years in the US Partnership, I was successful in obtaining my current position as a Team Leader in the admin team for IFNSW.
Do you have a standout career highlight?
The people I have met and friends I have made along the way.
What motivates or drives your passion for the insurance/risk management industry?
The challenge and pace of the industry keep me motivated and on my toes. It is definitely an industry with a world of opportunity for women looking for an exciting and varied career.
The key is to find an organization to learn and grow in.
What do you like most about Gallagher Bassett in five words or less?
Culture, people, opportunity and flexibility.
How is Gallagher Bassett is helping you face your future with confidence?
New opportunities in different teams, flexibility to work full time and be a mum, training and development courses to improve my leadership skills and genuine emotional support from my leaders in a challenging role.
Who is your inspiration or role model?
My Grandmother. She moved to Australia from Italy over 60 years ago just her and my mother (who was seven at the time) as my grandfather had to go to Switzerland for work. She couldn’t speak English and had no support but managed to get a job, raise my mum alone (until my grandfather joined her) and established a home and life in Australia.
She once told me she cried every time my mother gave birth to a girl (I have two sisters – no brothers) because she said women have a much harder life than men and have to work twice as hard.
My grandmother taught me to work hard, look after my family and to be financially independent so I could always buy myself nice things.
What does equality mean to you?
As a mother of two young children, working full time can be challenging. But it can be done, with the help and support of family and the right workplace.
Equality to me means I can have the same opportunities in my career as anyone else and still be able to raise my kids.