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2020 Women to Watch: Lisa Bartlett

Lisa Bartlett

Lisa Bartlett
President, U.K. and Ireland
Crawford & Co.
Age: 48

A lockdown with a dog and two boys, ages 12 and 9, has meant Lisa Bartlett has been extremely busy through 2020. Add to that a first year as president for U.K. and Ireland at Crawford & Co. and she is the archetypal woman, spinning plates and balancing a hectic home and work life.

Ms. Bartlett launched her insurance career like many others by joining an insurer after leaving school and then never leaving the sector. After starting off at Aon PLC in 2009, she later moved on to Towergate Insurance Brokers and then Willis Towers Watson PLC before joining Axa in 2015, leading the U.K. northern region. Even now she very much sees herself as a broker.

She joined Crawford last year as chief client officer, and when the company’s president, Clive Nicholls, announced his retirement five weeks later, she applied and won the job. Since COVID-19 struck earlier this year she has been busy ensuring the company and its staff are well looked after.

“COVID-19 is both a challenge and an opportunity,” she said. “We went from 80% office based to 100% home based within two weeks. It was stressful, but it was also fun. It has given us the opportunity to reassess our office structure, and we don’t envisage everyone going back to an office full time.”

It has been essential to ensure the whole team remains engaged and focused, and that their mental well-being is been taken care of, as well, she said. 

A firm advocate of diversity and equality, Ms. Bartlett believes diversity strategies produce results for individuals but also for employers. She said she looks forward to nurturing young talent and attracting it to the insurance profession.

Lisa Tolley, commercial director at Arthur J. Gallagher & Co. in Birmingham, England, said Ms. Bartlett has an ability to spot talent and get the best from people.

“Her interpersonal skills are fantastic, she can work with anyone at any level, she is able to assess a situation very quickly and has a unique ability to be a problem solver on the spot,” she said. “She never seems fazed and maintains a sense of calm even if all around is chaotic.” 

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    The Business Insurance Women to Watch awards program highlights the achievements of female leaders in the insurance sector to celebrate their success and promote gender diversity in the industry.