International women’s day series: An interview with Pravina Ladva, Group Chief Digital and Technology Officer at Swiss Re
International women’s day series: An interview with Pravina Ladva, Group Chief Digital and Technology Officer at Swiss Re
In an effort to help drive change in the insruance industry and to provide inspiration to all future leaders, we have interviewed some of the most senior figures who are speaking at Insurtech Insights Europe 2022.

Why do you think it’s important to recognise International Women’s Day?

An inclusive workplace with equal chances for everyone is a key success factor for us at Swiss Re. This requires inspiring more women to join us and having more women in leadership roles. We all thrive in a workplace that attracts and enables the most talented people of all backgrounds, experiences and genders to succeed.

And while we’re not yet where we would like to be when it comes to representation of women in our executive and senior management, we’re working hard to change this and we’re seeing women progressing to senior-level positions in greater numbers. Recognising International Women’s Day is one way we can show our strong commitment.

Together, on International Women’s Day we’re acknowledging contributions from women around the world to culture, politics and the economy, as well as to their communities and families. And although advancements have been made over the years, International Women’s Day draws attention to inequalities women still experience across the globe and helps spark further progress.

What advice would you give to young women thinking about their careers, or women pursuing senior leadership roles?

In my view, the key to professional success is all about delivering results, and that goes for any gender (or gender-identity). I would say it’s about being courageous, proactive and making the most of opportunities you are offered.

It means being clear on your professional goals (and going after them) and looking for role models in your organisation. For example, at Swiss Re we’ve got a great mentorship programme called ‘PowHer’ that pairs female talent and female leaders and helps mentees learn about the organisation, enhance their abilities and extend their networks.

Why do you think diversity in the workplace is so crucial?

We know from research that high-performing teams are diverse – and that diversity is critical for innovation. So, if you’re going to survive and thrive, and advance society, you need everybody onboard. That’s why diversity, equity and inclusion is a key priority at Swiss Re, alongside our business goals.

We work on solving exciting challenges for our clients every day – utilising technology and data to do that. To succeed, we rely on female talents – especially female digital talents – who can grow with us and build interesting careers. In addition, LGBTI+, Inclusive Leadership & Culture, Race & Ethnicity, Mental Health and boosting generational diversity are key focus areas to ensure we make our workplace inclusive for everyone. An all-embracing culture is key to any company’s success.

How do you feel about the state of diversity in the insurance industry – what can the industry do to improve on this?

There’s still plenty of room to improve diversity in general and gender equality in particular. The fact that Swiss Re and several other major players all rank in the Bloomberg Gender-Equality Index (GEI), however, is really encouraging. It shows that much of the industry is on the right track.

The index includes 380 firms in 44 countries and regions across 11 sectors that have demonstrated a commitment to equality, inclusiveness and women’s advancement in the workplace.

But there’s a long way to go. In the tech space, especially, hiring practices need to be revamped. I’d put it this way: When you’re selling something – in this case your company as an employer – you need to know who’s buying and what their needs and wants are. To be effective, you have to actively seek them out. And I don’t think the industry is seeking out the digital talent it needs in the best way just yet. We have to go beyond traditional methods of attracting diverse talent to be successful.

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