International women’s day series: An interview with Sirma Boshnakva CEO, Allianz Partners & Member of the Board, Allianz
International women’s day series: An interview with Sirma Boshnakva CEO, Allianz Partners & Member of the Board, Allianz
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 is important to celebrate International Women’s Day?

This day means two things to me:
On the first hand: it reminds us that we have achieved a lot. The fact that a company like Allianz, who is actively transforming the insurance industry, has a clear policy and strong commitment towards inclusion and equality is something to be proud of, especially as Allianz is now a top inclusive employer. And I am really proud to see that the drivers behind this are our employees: they are the ones championing and supporting our actions towards equality and gender diversity.

On the other hand: current world events remind us that more than ever, we must continue working together for inclusion and equality to be truly believed and lived throughout society. Businesses alone cannot change the entire game, we need everyone to play a part – NGOs, Governments and people. So this day reminds us that there still are many challenges ahead to overcome.

Inclusion, gender diversity and equality are part of building a sustainable world – a seamless and borderless world. We cannot do without it. If we can get the next generation to consider it a given to the point they no longer need to address it as a topic, then we will have achieved a lot.

What are you most proud of achieving?

I have always loved helping the next generation – young women and men – to grow both their confidence and their better selves. My biggest reward is when they achieve their personal ambition, a key project, or the next step of their career. I have helped and supported so many young talents, sometimes even children, and this gives my career full meaning: giving back is really important to me, simply because the next generation deserves it! We often hear that women are over-mentored and under sponsored, and this says it all: we have certainly accomplished a lot these past decades, but we still have a lot to do to achieve complete equality and gender diversity.

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

To me it is quite simple: whatever the business, industry or geographical location, an organisation loses precious value, creativity and impact when diversity is not as strong as it could be. Diversity brings so many benefits, from personal growth to greater productivity, and this has been proven many times in recent years.

There is widespread belief in the richness that different cultures and faiths bring to the world, and this is the same for businesses. In fact, I would say we simply cannot do without diversity! So our key focus in years to come is to first, protect and grow diversity everywhere needed, and second, grow diversity in industries where it has yet to be strongly championed.

What is the most important message you want to send out to young women thinking about their careers?

Believe in yourself. Go for it. Help each other. Invest in your knowledge and your skills. Be optimistic. Be authentic. Equality and gender diversity is everyone’s duty, so aim for the positions you dream of, and make the borders and barriers disappear. And remember: you don’t need to be a super hero to balance it all out.

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