It is always fascinating to visit Lloyd’s. Its history engulfs you and you are automatically drawn to its unique architecture. This sensation doubles up if you are waiting to see Inga Beale, the CEO of Lloyd’s.
We were expecting to see a stereotypical businesswoman; a blue suit, pearls and classic hair bob. However, walking towards us was an impressive woman in red animal printed trousers, a long black jacket and striking modern jewellery. We were already convinced that she was committed to modernising the London market and create a more diverse and inclusive place to work.
In a market that promotes diversity, Inga has a bigger job to do when only 3% of Executive Directors are women. She made history to be the first woman to be appointed as the CEO of the Lloyd’s of London in its 330-year-old history and to head the annual power list of the Top 100 LGBT executives. Inga encourages individuality, has supported initiatives such as Inclusion@Lloyds, Pride@Lloyds, the Dive In festival and set diversity targets. When Inga met the r10 team, she lightheartedly shared that she thought she would be asked to resign after setting up a diversity event in her first year as CEO; when they covered the lifts, escalators and almost the whole building with coloured flags. Although, it created a global movement. It demonstrated that initiating change does not always feel comfortable in any position; inspiring us to believe that as individuals and as a company we can be different!
“I would like to fundamentally empower women in business”, Inga said. While discussing her career route, she passionately described that it does not matter where you start you can achieve your goals if you have the courage to take opportunities! Inga did not go to university, but it has not stopped her from taking risks and being one of the most high profile CEOs in the industry.
Her determination to promote change in one of the most conservative industries, express individuality and dream big were undoubtedly inspiring. She left us enthused, determined and motivated to make a difference through r10.