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Equality & Diversity

Part time working: attaining balance in different areas improves performance in all areas.

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Admiral Pioneer

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Blog

** DEFAULT postresults.publishdate - en-GB **

26/03/2021

Summary

For me, part time working boils down to a simple philosophy: attaining balance in different areas improves performance in all areas – Gunnar Peters, CEO Veygo. So, who am I?   I’m German, born and raised, and came across the channel before Abitur (German equivalent of A-levels) to experience a new culture and actually learn English (some may question when this will actually start). I met a girl and, after a few years’ long distance, found myself engaged and heading back to the UK to study Maths at Cardiff University. I quickly fell in love with Wales and Cardiff and decided this was where I wanted to settle. My life in Admiral started as a Pricing Programmer in 2008 and I worked my way up in different functions like New Products, part of large-scale programmes, IT and much more. As you can probably tell by now, I never had a clear vision of what I wanted to do – this continues to the present day. I essentially always wanted to find something that I was good at and then making sure that I like it, not the other way round. My latest adventure is leading Mobility within Admiral Pioneer. I am part of the Admiral Pioneer Leadership team, which is really exciting as we bring the best talent across different industries together to concept and launch new ventures. Mobility is currently synonymous with Veygo, which I have been heading up for nearly a year now. However, Mobility will be broader than Veygo and insurance as we explore electric vehicles, ride sharing, green fleet and mobility as a service. It has its own setup and functional organisation and operates as its own business, which is exciting and we have some very ambitious goals.  In spring 2017, I made the decision that I wanted to go back to University and do a Msc in Applied Statistics. Admiral was kind enough to support this, even though it meant that I would only be in the office for 4 days a week for most of the year, during exam periods even less so. Between deciding on and starting the Applied Statistics course, I applied for the role of Head of Telematics (also known by many as Black Box Insurance), taking over a team of 20 and the Profit and Loss account responsibilities for the product. My 4-day week was acknowledged and supported throughout the interview process and so I started a new role in the same summer as I went back to school after 10 years of no formal education. The following 2 years taught me that being busier than ever before can be energising! Strangely, the stress of one took away from the pressure of the other. It provided me space away from work and thus perspective. It also helped my team. They knew when I was not in the office and knew that they did not have to run everything past me. Being in the office 4 days a week provided a weird sense of clarity between us all. Reflecting on this time, I realise that this helped the team feel more empowered. The one day out of the office means that the team had to step up to fill the void on those occasions, which I believe enabled them to have increased exposure in the business and to develop their own abilities while knowing that support was available at the end of the phone if they needed it. Several of my direct reports have themselves been promoted into other roles, which would suggest that this process has helped us all. Everybody who knows me also knows that I struggle to switch off, my mind is always going, and I work very hard. But I have learned the hard way that just like when you work out in the gym too hard for too long, you need recovery periods to continue to perform at the same level over a long time. A 3-day weekend gives additional recovery time and a chance to recharge to bring more energy to the working week. So, in autumn 2019 I asked to formally go to 4 days, while reducing my hours to 90%. It also means I am more present for my 2 children and can actually be of real help with the childcare duties. I have now been promoted twice since working a 4-day week and it has had multiple benefits to me, my team and family: ·       I work hard and, whereas I previously worked myself towards burnout when things got tough, now there is an energy buffer that enables me to step up and carry the team in these moments. Working 4 days gives me enough time to recharge and be there, really there, for my team. ·       The extra day also gives me the time to develop myself further. Doing an Msc and creating real space for a coach and mentor to make the most of their valuable input rather than trying to squeeze this in. Having a day off allows time to digest wider reading and previous conversations, allowing space for creative solutions to present themselves in a way that rarely happens in a day packed with meetings. ·       The team has more obvious opportunity to step up: delegation is necessary, not an option. This gives development opportunities and empowers the team. Did I mention that many of my direct reports are succeeding in their careers too? ·       My Children and wife have more quality time with me (mind you, they may see this as a negative) ·       My wife has more freedom because I pick up more of the childcare burden and as a result has taken on additional responsibilities in work. ·       I keep my lightness and unique character for work and home equally, reducing the risk of mood swings. Admiral have even set up a new initiative to embrace new Ways of Working (WoW) that give even more flexibility in where and how we can work. The idea will be for our business to run in a hybrid working environment with people at home and people in the office at the same time. There will be a lot of testing and learning as we go, but it’s a really exciting project and I’m looking forward to seeing the changes that are made in the future. If you consider reducing your hours, working different times to others or dropping a day here is some advice from me: Understand why you want to do it. How will it benefit you, your family, your team, your career? Creating this clarity will help you feel confident enough to ask. There is still a stigma that reducing your hours or the number of days you work means you are not ambitious, you want to step back, you are disengaged, etc. This stigma is likely internal as well as external: challenge the little voice in the back of your mind that doubts what can be achieved by part-timers! But if you understand why you are asking then you can tell a true story, you can ask with conviction and you know how you will measure the success of the change. If you decide, like me, to drop a day, make sure you drop it fully. No access to work! The team can always reach you on the phone if they truly need something from you, but otherwise, you are off. Do this for a few months as otherwise it is difficult to get the benefit you desire. And make sure you enjoy the day and achieve what you wanted to on that day. For me, it was self-development and doing the school runs to spend time with the kids. What is yours?

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Allison Martin

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Allison Martin

Allison Martin

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Allison Martin

A Day in the Life of a Senior Business Analyst at Admiral

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Admiral Tech

Content Type

Blog

** DEFAULT postresults.publishdate - en-GB **

29/12/2020

Summary

We spoke to Kirsty Williams-Henry a Senior Business Analysis at Admiral who has worked for the company for over eight years. Here she tells us about her role and what it’s like for a woman in tech. Tell us about your career so far and what led you to a career in Technology? I would say I fell into my career in technology due to my love of all things tech from a young age: I was the first of my friends to have a PC and I used it for almost everything! I pursued my love of technology at college by doing an A-Level in computing where I was the only girl in a class of eight. I found that I had a natural flare for technology as it aligned with my love for problem solving and the logical way my brain works. I soon realised that technology was the future and I wanted to be a part of it! I went on to achieve a first-class degree in Computer Forensics at the University of Glamorgan. After graduating I became a coder and developer for a company that had forty-three men working there and me, alongside one other woman who was not in a tech-related role. After this I joined the IT Graduate Programme at Admiral where I have found a home for the past eight years. On the Graduate Programme I got to dip into lots of different roles and ended up as an IT Business Analyst, something I would never have imagined myself doing prior to the programme. What does a typical day in your role at Admiral look like?  No day at Admiral is typical! During a day at work lots of things could crop up, such as live bugs that might pull me away from other projects and diversify my day. Admiral is very good at allowing employees to try new things. Each day allows you to put a different hat on, you have a lot of freedom to explore. My day often involves meetings and discussions with Product Owners and Project Managers.  I need to be able to understand systems from their point of view and how they would be using them. This means I can explain things to them and put guides together to aid their understanding. Most of my time is spent with the Developers and Testers within my team. I translate the requirements from those on the business side of the company to those on the IT side, enabling problems to be solved. Attention to detail is key as a Business Analyst - the smallest of details must be correct for systems to function correctly. Admiral have also been great at flexible working: they have been very accommodating to me and my changing needs and have also been great at enabling us to work from home effectively during the pandemic. If you could begin your career path over, would you change anything? I would never change my job role; I love it and feel like it is a great fit for my skillset. If I had to change one thing it might be to investigate different areas of IT and more specifically IT Security as I find it an extremely interesting area. How does your work impact Admiral and its customers? My role as a Business Analysist means that I am involved in the business end-to-end. I meet those in business Operations to see the reality of how the technology that I work on is being used throughout the business, as well as any problems that might occur. From there, it is about them collectively working out what they may want from IT and the system and then it is translated into something that the IT team can take forward and work on. Being able to see how the changes really impact those working within the business services and the call centres of Admiral really inspires me to work harder and is one of the most rewarding parts of the job. Do you have any advice for women that want to start a career in Technology?  It can be difficult for those in Technology to put themselves into other people’s shoes whether it be the customers, those in call centres or those in business support areas, and I have found that the women in tech that I have worked with have been excellent at doing this. The language of development and IT can also be intimidating but I encourage people to spend a day with my team so that they can see that they would easily pick it up. No one should be afraid of Technology; anyone can do it if they give it a chance! I would advise women to find the part that interests them within Technology and run with it. For example, if you have a creative mindset, there are many creative elements to IT.  You need to be an artist to write code!

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Kate  Williams

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Kate Williams

Kate  Williams

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Kate Williams

Culture at Admiral – One dream, one team

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Contact Centre

Content Type

Blog

** DEFAULT postresults.publishdate - en-GB **

24/06/2020

Summary

Admiral’s four pillars help define our unique workplace culture and have been the basis for some of our greatest achievements, including being on the Sunday Times Best Companies to work for list for the 18th year in a row. Communication - our first pillar is centred on ensuring that everyone in the company feels involved; everyone knows what’s going on and feels part of a collective endeavour. It’s just as important that communication goes both ways, with people feeling that they can approach any level of management with an openness and willingness to share problems.Equality - we ensure that there are no obvious signs of separation with managers sat amongst their teams on the floors so that everyone is made to feel equal . One of the other ways that we ensure there is equality is by awarding up to £3,600 of shares every year to everyone, at every level in every part of our business.Reward & Recognition – staff are rewarded in terms of incentives, bonuses and in the form of shares. Of course, there is more to rewards than money. It is extremely important to us that we praise people when they do a good job – we give constant feedback and say thank you for doing a good job day in day out.Fun – Our philosophy is that ‘if people like what they do, they do it better’ - staff are encouraged whenever and wherever possible to have fun and spend time with colleagues – this makes life more enjoyable and helps get to know each other better with team away days, afternoons out, Christmas and summer parties and regular competitions and ways to get involved as part of our ‘Ministry of Fun’ offer ways to do this.How does the culture differ to other companies?Unlike many other companies, Admiral has an informal working environment where staff are trusted and have autonomy within their roles. Through Admiral’s flat hierarchy, decisions are made collaboratively and quickly to respond to change and these changes are implemented almost immediately, whereas, in many corporate companies, decisions are made at the top and can take a long time to implement. Management here are flexible, approachable and are there to help you flourish and develop in your role with a good work / life balance encouraged. We spoke to Amiee from People Services - ‘‘My manager approached me and asked if I was finishing early on the day that my daughter was starting high school – it was the thoughtfulness of it all that makes it such a nice place to work here.‘‘They go out of their way to make you feel appreciated and that you’re useful. When I first started I was introduced to the Head of People Services on one of my first days and I had no idea that he was such senior management – you don’t get a sense of the ‘big shots’ here, everyone is down to earth and very approachable. I work with such lovely people and I love that I have job security here’’.We have everything you’d expect from a large FTSE 100 company, like a contributory pension scheme, free shares and dental care, amongst others. However, our commitment to providing staff with the services and support they need to ensure that they are happy and healthy in their working lives ensures we are offering more than the basics.Admiral’s laid back atmosphere means that staff can wear what they feel most comfortable in to work – be it jeans or joggers.There are also endless opportunities to advance your career with regular internal job postings, support and training. By investing in our people and maintaining a supportive workplace, we can assist our staff in achieving their career goals and personal aspirations.Follow us on Facebook for a peek inside Admiral!

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Kyle Meacock

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Kyle Meacock

Kyle Meacock

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Kyle Meacock

International Women’s Day: Deborah’s Story

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Business Support

Content Type

Blog

** DEFAULT postresults.publishdate - en-GB **

12/05/2020

Summary

For International Women’s Day we wanted celebrate the women in our business and their achievements. As a company with 51% female staff, and 52% of all internal promotions going to women in 2019, we’re keen to raise awareness against the bias and take action towards equality.We thought this was the perfect opportunity to catch up with Deborah, our Executive Learning and Development Manager. Here’s what she had to tell us about her experience at Admiral…‘’I joined Admiral in October 2016 as a Graduate working within the Business Development team. I got to work with very talented individuals who helped me shape the way I looked at my career. After 6 months, I became the Executive Recruitment Manager for the Group. I recently started leading our Learning and Development initiatives for middle and senior managers; making sure we spot, train and develop the best talents within the business!’’ I think I have a natural aptitude to build strong relationships and trust with people. I tend to combine this with creative thinking and a capacity to learn fast. This has allowed me to work on various projects and adapt quickly to different audiences.

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Samantha Bevan

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Samantha Bevan

Samantha Bevan

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Samantha Bevan

International Women’s Day: Tabatha’s Story

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Admiral Tech

Content Type

Blog

** DEFAULT postresults.publishdate - en-GB **

06/03/2020

Summary

Let’s celebrate the women in our business! As the UK’s third Best Workplace for women in 2019 we’re keen to raise awareness against the bias and take action towards equality.We spoke with Tabatha, a Product Owner within our Online Department to hear about her career experience in Admiral and celebrate her success. ‘’I joined Admiral in 2015 as a Claims Handler. After I passed my probation, I went on to join a specialist team within the department. I was lucky enough to be asked to complete a full review of our claims journey which resulted in me heading into the Project Manager world. As a Project Manager I was responsible for several. Recently, I have moved to our Online Department where I am now the Product Owner for our online journey.’’                                            ‘’A lot of the projects I have been involved with have required a good understanding of processes. One of my strengths is that I can quickly pick up a new process and understand where improvements can be made and how these can be implemented. With so much interaction working with different business areas, I am constantly learning and developing my understanding of the business and its processes, this gives me the confidence to ask questions and challenge why we do what we do.’’ Talent can be found in so many different places not just work.  Don’t be afraid of pushing yourself outside of your comfort zone and taking risks in work and your personal life. I believe that talent shines when you are happy doing something, so spend time in understanding what makes you happy and what you enjoy!  ‘’Admiral has great management; they took a chance by giving me exposure to projects that potentially could have been better off with someone more experienced. This trust and support has allowed me to grow in confidence and go onto bigger projects, without being nervous of failure.’’

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Samantha Bevan

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Samantha Bevan

Samantha Bevan

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Samantha Bevan

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