Each week we present an influential woman whose career and style have inspired the team at Silkarmour to aim higher and dress better. The third woman of this series is Inga Beale, the first female CEO of Lloyd's of London in its 327-year history; an even more impressive feat considering the first woman allowed to enter the dealing floor was only 40 years ago.
Inga Beale started her career in the insurance industry in the 1980s, as the only female in a team of 35 underwriters.
Finding the male dominated culture and the bullying antics of her co-workers unbearable she left her job defeated to travel Asia and Australia.
During a short stint as a receptionist within the BBC she was inspired by the way in which her female manager commanded respect from everyone within the team – with colleagues focusing on her abilities as their boss rather than a woman. Shortly afterwards Beale returned to the insurance market, this time armed with a template for success and the knowledge that the path to respect which once seemed barred to women could, and previously had, been walked (and fearlessly).
Rose & Willard - Debel Drape Wool jacket, £250 |
Body Frock - The Ella Dress, £180 |
Bonessi Ballerinas - Yas ballet flats in navy blue, £230
The key according to Beale to success?
No not that kind (comforting as it may be on low days): Performance, Image and Exposure.
Whilst good work will get you far and is the most crucial ingredient, it alone will rarely take you all the way to your goals. Quietly doing your job well will often only ensure you stay exactly where you are. The other necessary ingredient for career progression, carefully taking care of your image, will positively influence how others perceive you. According to Beale, whether others perceive you as appropriate for the job you want is of vital importance. Beale herself is known for her neat tailored blazers and dresses, pearls and an always immaculate bob.
Once these two steps have been completed it is time to get noticed, whether through networking, taking the initiative on projects and presentations.