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’.
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Anna Gomes

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’d like to introduce you to introduce you to Ana Gomes-Freire.

Tell us about your role at Gallagher

I am an Apprentice Account Handler for the Financial Lines Unit in Leicester

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

My very fist job was as a sale assistant for a high end clothing retailer. That’s where I first learned about customer service and realised that I enjoy giving a good service and make a positive impact to the customer’s journey.

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

At first I wanted to be a model, which was heavily influenced by watching Naomi Campbell strut her stuff on TV. After realising that I was a few inches too short, I decided that law was my thing. I was studying law at the time, and I thought the world could do with more women making decisions and bringing about a positive social change.

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

Like many colleagues would say ‘I fell into insurance’. After working for 4 years as an optical consultant for a local optician, I was seeking a change. I knew I enjoyed technical work and numbers. It was either accountancy or insurance – I chose the least boring one.

What excites you most about the industry?

When things go wrong insurance keeps small businesses afloat. Insurance keeps employees from large organizations from being laid off when the trading ability of the business is interrupted. Insurances take away the financial burdens when the breadwinner suffers an accident.

What has been your career highlight so far?

Completing the CII Certification. I had no clue what brokerage was before I applied for this job. All I knew was that I was a single mom with a goal to find a more fulfilling career, where I didn’t have to sacrifice weekends with my little girl because of my job.

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

There are more successes in your past than battles in your future.

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’?

Women have a problem recognising their worth and accepting that it is ok to have high professional goals. We need to work on unapologetically going after what truly makes us happy in every aspect of our lives. Too often we are forced to negotiate between what others expect of us and what we truly desire.

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

I’m encouraged to be me.

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

Keeping up with the risks that are emerging with technological and social advances. Along with tailoring our expertise to successfully broke these risks.

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

Albert Einstein, for his genius and resiliency; Oprah Winfrey for her stellar example owning ones strengths in the face of adversity and keep striving towards your goal. Finally, Marie Forleo – she’s a female boss. No other reason required.

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

I am obsessed with mindfulness, spirituality and self help content. The world we see out there is a reflection of the world we feel within us. I am of the opinion that when you make yourself sparkle from the inside soon your whole world will glisten.