It took enormous courage to walk into Lloyd’s for the first time and into the underwriting room—also known as “The Room.” I was a very junior broker with absolutely no experience, tasked with having to find Mr. Smith on Box 390 and get my endorsement agreed. On entering The Room with a map of the syndicate locations, it was just a sea of gray and black suits across two floors. It was such a daunting experience that I walked in one door, through the room and straight out of another!

Executive Summary

When Vicky Carter, Guy Carpenter's chairman of Global Capital Solutions, International, started working in the insurance industry 40 years ago, she was one of only a handful of women. She reflects here on how the industry has changed and the opportunities that exist today.

I began my career studying medicine at St Bartholomew’s Hospital in London. During a gap period, my father was insistent I go and earn some money and encouraged me to take a job in the city. At the time, I could not think of anything more boring—it was not my scene. In those days, the city conjured up images of pale, stale and male.

My very first job was in an underwriting names agency, where I think I reduced the average age by a few decades. Every Thursday we would meet the underwriters at lunchtime in the Green Man in Moorgate. They very quickly suggested I move onto a box and train as an underwriter. But I was swiftly notified, “Sorry, no females on the box.”

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