Women in Insurance: Leading by Example

Women in Insurance: Leading by Example

Lina Hantas, senior executive officer for ArgoGlobal Dubai, wants her work and position in the industry to inspire other women in insurance.

Women at Argo Lina Hantas

“Lina, there is nothing a man can do that you can’t do.”

That’s the mantra Lina Hantas always heard from her parents – a schoolteacher mother and engineer father – and she has carried it with her throughout her career, first as a banker in Beirut and then as an underwriter turned casualty manager in the insurance industry.

“In my experience there is no difference between men and women,” she says. “I was greatly supported by my managers. Some of them acted as my mentors and shared their knowledge and expertise openly. I learned a lot from them about best practices in the industry.”

After six years with ArgoGlobal Dubai, Hantas was promoted to senior executive officer. In that position, she manages day-to-day operations and marketing opportunities with producers, works with compliance authorities, and motivates underwriters and the rest of the Dubai team to build a profitable portfolio for the business.

“I am very passionate about my team and the great job we are able to achieve together,” she says.

Women in insurance lead at all levels

In more than a decade in the industry, Hantas has seen the face of insurance transform.

“Especially in the last few years, the industry has evolved greatly,” she says. “We see more women in leadership positions within companies and regulatory entities.

“At Argo, I see more women leading on the front lines, and this is great for the inclusion and diversity of our businesses.”

Every year, Hantas attends Dive In – a festival for diversity and inclusion in insurance organized by Lloyd’s in Dubai. It’s one of the learning and networking resources she uses to grow, develop and support her team, while being active in the industry in order to encourage more women to work in insurance.

“My relationships in the market, along with my education and expertise, have helped me to build a great team,” she says.

Opportunities based in expertise

Hantas says the opportunities that came her way were based on people believing in her potential, not on her gender. At the same time, the insurance industry – and all industries – can improve their efforts toward women overall, she says.

“Women should be offered equal pay and flexibility in the workplace,” Hantas says. “It is highly important that employers avoid biases and recruit based on expertise.

“Their selections should be based on knowledge and experience, regardless of sex, age or ethnicity.