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Gender Equity Conference - meet Stuart Harrison, Chief Executive Officer of AXA China Region Insurance Company

Posted on 22/08/2016 by Marie Swarbreck

Meet panelist #5

Meet Stuart Harrison, Chief Executive Officer of AXA China Region Insurance Company

Question1: Can you introduce yourself in a couple of words? 

  • I am Husband of 35 years ( to the same lovely lady ) and father of two talented grown up Children  
  • I have worked in the insurance industry for over 35 years in Europe and Asia  
  • I enjoy keeping fit (boxing) trying Yoga my mind believes I can do it my body is rebelling!! 

Question 2: How has your company/position got you involved in the gender equality space? 

  • I look at an individual by his/her capability and commitment but not the gender 
  • At AXA, we strive to provide a work environment where gender is a non-issue 
  • AXA’s commitment to diversity and inclusion is an important part of how we conduct business. We view these efforts as core components of our success 
  • Our business is to better protect people and the community, and women is one of our key segments. We are committed to the on-going development and enhancement of our products and services, especially those addressing specific needs of women 

Question 3: What are you currently doing to improve gender equality in HK? 

We are moving positively in the right direction with clear strategy and actions and timeline to promote the success of women in the workplace.  

Building the talent pipeline 

  • We have mandated an equal opportunity between men and women 
  • About 65% of our employees are women 
  • About 59% of our managerial staff are women  
  • 40% of the Executive Committee are female 
  • About 68% of our agency force are women  

Retaining female talent by fostering a supportive work environment 

  • We have redefined the industry’s standard and are the first insurer in town to extend paid maternity leave to 16 weeks from 10 weeks for all AXA Hong Kong employees 
  • Flexible working: our staff can have the flexibility to adjust their ways of working, such as working from home or at different AXA offices, according to their needs and job nature 
  • Provision of part-time arrangement: our staff can apply for part-time employment to reduce business hours, helping them fulfil their family responsibilities 
  • Creating a mother-friendly workplace, e.g. provision of nursing rooms 

Devoted to the community and promote women’s rights 

  • We build long term relationship with different community partners to reach out to people from all walks of life. For example, we support the women-oriented works of Outlying Islands Women Association 
  • We conduct regular research to understand people’s life aspiration and concerns. This year in our annual AXA Stability and Prosperity Index, we particularly looked into the women sector to better understand their health concerns 

Question 4: What are you doing to inspire women in leadership? 

  • We fully endorse gender diversity and 40% of the Executive Committee today are female in AXA Hong Kong 
  • Our family-friendly and supportive work environment can help women fully realise their potentials and pursue their career goals 
  • The Women in Insurance lunch talk co-organised by us provides an excellent opportunity for women leaders to share their success and inspire other women professionals in leadership 

Question 5: What is your opinion on gender equality in HK? 

  • Hong Kong is moving on the right track on raising the awareness on gender equality 
  • The government and different business sectors have been making efforts in promoting gender equality but need to do more  
  • In insurance industry, women are of great potential as customers, distributors and entrepreneurs 
  • We see the need in empowering women in 3 ways: providing adequate protection for themselves and their family, providing equal opportunities to them in the workplace, supporting them overcome challenges in business. 

Question 6: What are some key challenges that HK is facing on gender equality?

  • Women are now the dominant workforce in different industries and sectors 
  • Working women still face certain challenges, e.g. striking a balance between work and life, especially working moms are even more challenged on time, energy and resources 
  • Hong Kong should do more to facilitate women to work while supporting them to take care of their family needs i.e. flexible working and work from home  

To learn more about how AXA's clear strategy and actions, book your ticket now. Seats are limited. 

For tickets, click here.