Celebrating International Women’s Day at Polaris

In honour of International Women’s Day and this year’s theme of ‘Inspiring Inclusion’, we sat down with some of the women in our team to ask them what they enjoy most about working in tech and how Polaris has supported their growth and development over the years.

Read below to find out more:

What do you enjoy most about working in tech?

Sarah: “It’s ever changing and ever advancing so there is always something new to learn and an interesting project to work on. As the tech world advances, processes become slicker and we can find clever ways to work smarter with less tools.

Polaris plays such an important part in the industry, sitting at the heart of insurance digital trading and it’s nice to be part of a company that is not only about making profit or selling products, Polaris provides useful tools and technology that aim to speed up the efficiency of digital trading, so knowing that what we are doing supports a bigger picture gives purpose to what we do every day.”

“I also enjoy problem solving with teams inside and outside of Polaris. While we have the flexibility to try out new ideas, the majority of what we do is helping better support the industry, so there is variety.”

Angela: “What I find most enjoyable about working in tech is the diversity of roles and opportunities available beyond traditional programming. Contrary to popular belief, you don’t need to fit the stereotype of a computer science coding whizz to thrive in this industry.”

Jess: “I enjoy the opportunity it provides for skill development and creativity. Every project presents a unique challenge, allowing me to delve into different technologies, methodologies, and problem-solving approaches which keeps me very engaged!”

What challenges have you faced while working in this industry and how did you manage to overcome them?

Shannon: “One of the primary challenges I faced was grasping the technical components of our products and how they work together to support the insurance industry. Although I had previously worked in tech, I didn’t understand technology within insurance. Through marketing and talking to my colleagues within Polaris, I slowly became aware of how all our products are integrated.”

Sarah: “When I joined Polaris, I was the first key marketing team member, so I had to go back to basics to understand the brand and products. I also didn’t come from an insurance background. I started with a lot of listening and learning from the Polaris team and made sure I was involved in a range of projects to deepen my understanding.

Together with the help of the marketing team, and backing from the senior managers, we have modernised the brand, improved our brand presence and as a business we now have a clearer more defined understanding of who we are, our audiences, and how our products fit those audiences.

I also upskilled on my design skills on Adobe Illustrator and InDesign as well as undertaking a UX Design course (for which I got top marks!).”

What accomplishment are you most proud of that you’ve achieved at Polaris?

Jess: “The imarket v11 upgrade for me was a significant accomplishment. Working closely with the rest of the ops team, wider teams at Polaris and IBM to achieve this upgrade was a huge achievement. Despite facing some challenges along the way, it was incredibly rewarding to see the upgrade go live successfully.”

Angela: “What I’m most proud of is my ability to turn vague concepts into clear implementation stages which enables us to have discussions with the market and with suppliers. I make sure all the work I do is customer centric, building on the background I have working for technology providers, brokers, and insurers, all of which gives me a good insight into what is required.”

Sarah: “Becoming a manager has been a really rewarding experience. I started at Polaris as a Marketing Executive in 2019 and in 2021 became a Marketing Manager. Since then I’ve experienced managing 3 team members and Polaris have supported me through training to help me effectively manage. Watching the team members gain confidence, take ownership of projects and grow their skills has been great to see.”

Reflecting on your time at Polaris, how has the company provided training and support to help you in your role?

Sarah: “I’ve done a variety of training at Polaris from public speaking to various Adobe design training to UX Design to Management etc. All of which have helped me progress in my career and have benefitted the projects I have worked on. Polaris as a whole, the management and employees are open to help one another.

So, I am confident if I need help or guidance on a subject where someone can lend a hand, it’s never any trouble for them to help. It’s a nice place to work in that sense, that we all willing and want to share our skills and knowledge.

That also goes back to who we are as a business. We collaborate with the industry to build and develop our products to be robust and useful and naturally we are very collaborative in nature internally.”

Shannon: “I appreciate the company’s commitment to providing training and support and I’ve personally benefitted from a Digital Marketing course which has improved my skills in my role. I also think that Polaris fosters a supportive work environment where employees are encouraged to voice their ideas and contribute to the company’s growth.”

What advice would you give to other women aspiring to pursue careers in the tech industry?

Angela: “Embrace your unique perspective and advocate for diversity and inclusion within teams, as this fosters creativity, challenges the status quo, and ultimately leads to better outcomes for users from all backgrounds. By actively contributing your diverse insights and experiences, you can help shape a more inclusive and innovative tech industry!”

Jess: “My advice would be to start researching different areas within tech to find what resonates with your interests and skills. The tech field is very big so it’s essential to explore various roles and specialties. Once you’ve identified your path, focus on educating yourself, building a strong network, seeking mentorship, and staying confident and persistent in pursuing your goals.”

Sarah: “Be open to getting involved in different projects and trying out new skills as you never know what it might spark and where it might lead you. Don’t be afraid to think differently as teams need diversity.

“Expect not to be good the first time doing something new and spend less time worrying what others think. Never stop learning, even trainers need trainers. Help others where you can, whether it’s knowledge/skill sharing or mentoring or charity.”

Click below to read last year’s interviews for International Women’s Day: