The underpinning factor of the word diversity is the word “difference(s)”. Once this concept is truly understood, it then becomes easier to define diversity in its practical sense. 

Mary Alade


Strategy Officer Reinsurance Solutions  – Aon

An Interview with Ms. Mary Alade


What does diversity mean to you in a practical sense?

The underpinning factor of the word diversity is the word “difference(s)”. once this concept is truly understood, it then becomes easier to define diversity in its practical sense. Practically, Diversity is the acknowledgement and acceptance of differences in people, their way of life; thought, speech, mannerisms, culture, religion, food choices, sexual orientation, gender, height and many more. Diversity isn’t therefore a buzz word used in the corporate space but is applicable in your everyday life as you interact with individuals, even from the same culture, but accepting that there are also diversity, differences between you and the next person. It’s as micro as that. Diversity is all around us.


What would the person you are today say to the person you were on your first day at work?

I would tell them not to feel intimated by the shiny buildings you see in the city. They are filled with people more like you realise and they have been in your position before so don’t worry.  Don’t feel overwhelmed, you will learn what you need to in time and you will be brilliant at what you do. Give yourself time to develop.  Take genuine interest in the people you work with and the tasks that you do; be enquiring. Always ask questions! You will be grateful that you did.


What is Aon Insight Week? 

In my time of working in the insurance industry, I realised that there was a gap in the knowledge that (young) people had about the industry and what the industry is actually about. I wanted them to not only know about how the industry works, but to also know that it’s an industry that has a place for everyone regardless of their Educational & Ethnic backgrounds. I wanted people to know that they can have successful careers within the insurance sector such as compliance, legal, actuarial, catastrophe modellers, marketing, broking, underwriting and much more. It is on this basis that I decided to organise Insurance Insight Week, whereby a group of young students from different ethnicities came into Aon to learn about what Aon does and within that, dedicate a day for them to learn about the role of an underwriter.  The overall aim was to equip them with enough knowledge about the insurance industry and encouraged them to consider having a career in insurance, now, or at a later stage in their lives.  Since the inception, we have hired many individuals from various backgrounds.



Launched in 2016, Women in Reinsurance is a non-profit, volunteer-run association consisting of
Committee Members working across the reinsurance industry. With over 600 network members, WiRE hosts events to inspire and motivate young talents to pursue their ambition and achieve their full career potential as future leaders.  Our events include mentoring, personal development workshops and networking events. 

  • Facebook - Grey Circle
  • LinkedIn - Grey Circle

To join the WiRE network, please click on our Membership page.

© 2016 by Women in Reinsurance (WiRE)