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Jackie Hyde was inspired to go far in the insurance business following a disappointing return-to-work experience after the birth of her first child.
“I had my daughter at 23, when I was already working as an account handler … but when I got back to work it was clear I was sidelined for being a mother.”
A determination to make a change for the better has been driving her career ever since, as well as defining her passion to give women a chance in the workplace and to encourage those at the bottom to rise to the top.
The first sign of that grit came as she chose to leave the insurer where she worked but had to apply to Stanmore Insurance Brokers Ltd. three times before winning a job.
She started at the bottom, but “the moment I spoke to the first customer I realized insurance broking was for me,” she said.
Her boss stressed that “no” was not an option and that clients expected brokers to find solutions.
“That has become my work ethic ever since. Finding solutions is what I do best,” Ms. Hyde said.
Her next breakthrough came when she was asked to find insurance for a local nursery.
Discovering that insurance for such childcare facilities was hard to find but essential to allow women to return to work as mothers, she set up a nursery insurance program in the 1990s that has since grown to £3 million ($3.9 million) in annual gross written premium.
The program remains the bedrock for Stanmore Insurance, a company that Ms. Hyde runs as managing director and has made her own, buying the final stake earlier this year.
Stanmore Insurance’s marketing manager Melanie Smith said Ms. Hyde “has an amazing eye for an opportunity and knows so much about insurance, our clients and how to run a very successful business. Her door truly is always open, and she goes above and beyond for the team.”