Rina Amireh writes for nina-iraq.com
By Rina Amireh, Head of Employee Benefits Division at Anglo Arab Insurance Brokers (AAIB).
As a young female, heading up the Employee Benefits Division at Anglo Arab Insurance Brokers (AAIB), a leading international insurance broker for post-conflict territories, I am pleased I decided to pursue a career in insurance. I graduated from the University of Leeds in the UK in 2008 and have been working with AAIB since. I started out as an administrator, but have passed key units in the Chartered Insurance Institute qualifications and have been progressing since. I continue to advance my professional development through the attendance of seminars and courses.
We specialize in arranging insurance for emerging markets and are headquartered in Amman, Jordan, with offices in Iraq, where it is fully licensed and registered.
Our highly qualified team includes a number of women – a third of its staff. To be frank, I think the insurance industry has been traditionally dominated by men, but over time this is changing. More opportunities are opening up and women are increasingly being promoted into senior positions. Even Lloyds of London, the leading international insurance market now has a woman as its CEO – the first time ever.
It has taken a lot of effort and hard work to get to where I am today, but it has certainly been worthwhile. I’ve obtained a lot of knowledge and experience and I appreciate the opportunities that have allowed me to build my career. There is always something new to learn and new people to meet, which I thoroughly enjoy.
I spend most of my time in Jordan, but also travel to the UK, the UAE and Iraq. I think it is really important to demonstrate commitment and to build loyalty by forging professional relationships in the insurance sector, which can be done by visiting insurance companies and clients.
Female staff at AAIB: important and valued
The CEO of AAIB, William Wakeham, says: “At AAIB we have some excellent people. The women who work here are a real asset and credit to the company and I’m proud of them and the contribution that they’ve made. Part of my role is to set the culture of the company and recruiting people with the right attitude is a very important part of this. Things like performance, teamwork and taking care of customers are essential. I can help to set the right environment and give support, but ultimately, it’s always up to the individual to make an effort and to take the opportunity to improve things, and themselves”.
Starting up a business
As I deal with companies in many sectors, we can ask: what do you need to consider when starting up a business, or even an existing business, whether selling domestically or exporting?
Entrepreneurial opportunities are always around. What’s sometimes needed to take advantage of these is capital, knowhow and certain skills. Businesses also need protection – insurance is an excellent way to provide this. Running a business, whilst bringing in income, also brings risks.
Getting insurance to cover liabilities, such as potentially injuring third parties or damaging their property, or protecting your assets, such as stocks or vehicles, etc., is important. Insuring your livelihood through a personal accident, disability or medical policy can also be done, and is essential.
Of course, we know that millions of women can and do play a productive role in a country’s economy, but this contribution can be improved if the right conditions exist. Among these are personal ambition, a support network, and access to capital, business set-up, planning expertise and training. All need to be considered, but the importance of having an inspiring vision of success should never be overlooked.