Now a junior liability claims adjuster for ArgoGlobal in London, Karishma Rathod was studying to be a lawyer when she attended a claims-handling presentation led by ArgoGlobal Liability Claims Manager Judith Fumero in 2017.
After the presentation, Rathod reached out to Fumero, who arranged for her to gain a week’s work experience at ArgoGlobal and also connected Rathod with other professionals to help expand her network.
“I made it my priority to introduce Karishma to as many female professionals as possible, particularly women from diverse backgrounds, to provide her with some accessible role models and prove that it is possible for women of all backgrounds to succeed in this market,” Fumero recalls.
The opportunity changed Rathod’s life. That initial week’s work offer opened many doors, she says, including additional work and internship experiences at a law firm, at a commercial insurer and with ArgoGlobal’s Risk team.
“Judith has been an amazing support for me,” Rathod says. “She has tirelessly guided me at every stage of my learning process, and even now that I am a permanent member of the ArgoGlobal team, she continues to motivate me to excel further. She has helped me to achieve things that I never thought possible, and I am honoured to have her as my mentor.”
The benefits of mentorship
Fumero, who began mentoring early in her career, sees the need to provide insight and direction to those who lack the connections that are so often instrumental when establishing a career. She pointed to ArgoGlobal’s participation in The Brokerage (a non-profit that fosters career opportunities for young people in London by matching them up with employers) as one example of how mentors can make a huge difference in many lives.
“These young adults have had to really push and be proactive to try to get a foothold into organisations,” Fumero says. “Without contacts it is very difficult for young people with no background or experience in the industry to gain access to job opportunities. They are very bright and impressive in their approach to seeking out opportunities and deserve our time and help to assist them in the process.”
Without mentorship, companies miss out on talent, she says.
“I think otherwise we look at too small a pool of people.”
Looking to the future
Mentoring makes a difference not only for the mentees, including those just beginning their careers, but also for the mentors themselves. Fumero recalls the support she received from a female claims manager who encouraged her to consider moving into claims. In her current role, she supervises a team of seven who handle business ranging from professional indemnity to cyber, and she actively mentors members of her team.
Rathod’s experience has inspired her to share the magic of mentorship. She has already sought out opportunities to help others find their way professionally.
“Wherever I can help them, I will always help them,” she says. “I do want to mentor as many people as I can.”
Gain more insights into the impact of mentorship through Argo’s Women in Insurance series.