As part of our series of interviews this week to mark International Women’s Day, we hear from Lisa Parmenter, Claims Manager, who talks about what it’s like to sometimes be the only female in the room and highlights the women within Polygon who inspire her on a daily basis.
What does International Women’s Day mean to you?
For me, it’s about highlighting and celebrating the success of women and all the positive changes that have happened in the workplace, while ensuring we get rid of any complacency around this subject.
How do your female colleagues across Polygon inspire you?
I have a large network of female leaders around me - in my immediate team and my reporting line. My manager is a very strong female leader who believes in empowerment. She has encouraged me to be assertive and present my ideas with passion.
I have learnt a lot from her and now feel I can bring some of these qualities to my daily tasks. I will speak up and challenge situations if needed, knowing I always have her support. I would like my career to develop on a similar pathway to my manager’s, so I will take all the inspiration and encouragement from her that I can.
It's really good to see female leads in the senior management team of a very male-led industry, and long may this continue. A new starter recently commented on how it was really refreshing to see so many female managers here at Polygon.
Are there barriers women are likely to face in an industry such as this, and, if so, how can they be overcome/what measures can be put in place to remove them?
I have previously been the only female in the room at meetings. It can be quite daunting, but as long as you know your subject and have the confidence to present to the room, it can be done. For me, knowing I had the support of my manager and team made those occasions easier, but they’re now quite rare as more and more females are present in those situations.
What advice would you give to women just starting out in the industry?
Starting out in any new industry can be intimidating, so take advice from the people around you. Learn from your peers and have the confidence and conviction behind your decisions and thoughts - you will always have support from Polygon.
This year’s IWD theme is #ChooseToChallenge, because “challenge leads to change”. What change do you hope a day such as IWD might achieve in the future?
I hope that women feel empowered to break the status quo - go for that promotion, attend that meeting and be the only female in the room, encourage and lead other females within the industry.
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