In recognition of International Women’s Day (8 March 2019), we’re running a month-long series and placing some of our Gallagher women ‘In Focus’.
Alison Bain

From apprentices and team leaders to divisional leaders and Executive Committee members, we wanted to showcase some of our great talent but also highlight the diverse range of opportunities and specialist areas a career at Gallagher can offer. Up next, we’re pleased to introduce you to Alison Bain.

Tell us about your role at Gallagher

I am Head of Marketing and Communications EMEA. My team and I’s role is to build awareness of the Gallagher brand, and to create demand for its products and services in order to accelerate growth.

What was your very first job and what did that teach you?

My first job was as a babysitter when I was 13. It taught me about responsibility and trust… and how to change a nappy!

Did you have a childhood career ambition — and are you prepared to share it?

As a child, I wanted to be a Fairy …I’m still waiting for my wings to grow.

How did you come to work in risk management & insurance: choice or chance?

Pure chance. I have a degree in applied Biology, but I didn’t like lab coats.

What excites you most about the industry?

The advice and guidance we provide to our clients every day helps them face the future with confidence.

What has been your career highlight so far?

My career highlight to date is definitely launching the Red Card at American Express – a card designed to help eliminate AIDS in Africa. Within the first 5 months of launching, we generated over £1M for the cause.

What one piece of advice would you give to your younger self / What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever received?

Always speak loudly and with conviction.

The insurance industry as a whole continues to face the challenge of an under-representation of women at senior level — what do you believe could help ‘move the dial’?

Across the board, I’d say a zero tolerance policy for the old ‘boys club’ behaviours – many of which are sadly still too common in the industry.

Describe what you like most about Gallagher in 5 words….

Our amazing, people-centred culture.

What do you see as the industry’s greatest challenge?

Probably responsiveness – being a dinosaur when it comes to digital transformation

Which three inspirational famous people — past & present — would you invite to a strategic offsite to devise a plan to overcome that challenge, and why?

David Attenborough for his understanding of evolution, survival of the fittest, the need to adapt to change; Steve Jobs for his vision and innovation, and Anita Roddick for her pioneering business built on doing the right thing and not being afraid to be different.

And finally, tell us something about you which people might be surprised to learn

I gave birth to my daughter on my bathroom floor.