Meet Emma Dadson, finalist in the Women in Insurance Awards 2022

Earlier in the summer of 2022, four women from Polygon UK were announced finalists in the prestigious Women in Insurance Awards 2022. The award works to highlight and celebrate women across all levels and sectors in the insurance industry.

Emma Dadson, from Polygon’s subsidiary Harwell Restoration, has moved up to the next round and is nominated for “Risk Professional of the Year”. Her nomination in this category reflects her work in helping clients with emergency planning and increasing resilience in the event of damage to their collections.

Harwell Restoration’s business

Harwell Restoration is a family business established in 1995 and specialises in the restoration of documents, photographs, books, and artwork in the event of a disaster. Harwell works with many national collections and prestigious institutions such as the Royal Household, British Library, and many UK universities and banks.

Harwell started to develop a consultancy service early in its journey, which helped shape Emma’s current role as Key Account Director. Harwell was responding to many fire and water flooding claims and saw how various institutions responded to emergency incidents, giving the team a unique perspective. Harwell could then convey these experiences and learned lessons to the heritage sector through seminars, courses, and in-house training.

“My role is very much embedded in that, looking at risks and how we can help our heritage customers to prevent fire and floods from happening. If something were to go wrong, we can also guide them in how they should respond most effectively. It’s gratifying; no two clients are the same, and every day is different. I very much enjoy what I do.” Emma explains.

Diversity in the insurance industry

Emma has been in the industry for 20 years and can see the diversity discrepancy. However, she is also seeing a change for the better when working with customers with women in higher management positions. Emma hopes this award category will also contribute to positive change.

“I think it’s vital to make this change more visible and having awards like this is a great way to do so. Hopefully, it will make women feel more positive about the industry and accelerate change where more diversity is needed. I also think it’s encouraging to see such a long list of different roles within the industry featured in the awards. It encourages women in all parts of the industry to celebrate their efforts,” Emma continues.

Flexibility is key

Having a manager who sees Emma’s hard work and understands the value in her dedication has made a big difference. For Emma, attitude and effort are also critical. Emma was also given flexibility within her role, while still working very hard has created an excellent foundation for Emma to succeed in her position at ‘Harwell.

“I think and hope now after the pandemic that working from home and more flexible hours will be a part of corporate policy, especially for working parents. My daughter is 15 now, and I have had that flexibility since the start, which has been very helpful. This flexibility has allowed me to work harder and give more to our customers. I should also mention that my role involves travelling, visiting customers in Ireland and Scotland, for example. I wouldn’t have been able to travel if my husband didn’t also have the same flexibility. So that is important for me to remember, and to provide that flexibility to others coming into Harwell,” Emma says.  

Tips to others

Within Harwell, many women have been internally promoted, which Emma believes stems from their positive work ethic and commitment. Other companies can also be a part of this positive change by allowing women to see other women in high management positions and providing opportunities to celebrate women’s achievements.

Emma’s advice for other women who want to work within the industry is simple; “Be ambitious for yourself, and if there is a position you are interested in and think would suit you and your experience – go for it! If you are communicative and work hard, the sky is the limit.”

Congratulations on your nomination Emma – and good luck with the upcoming award final!

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