Chairman, Willis International
Insurance Category Winner 2013
I am absolutely delighted to have won this award. In the insurance industry, we are still short of women in leadership roles and short-sighted in recognising the positive contribution that women will make to our business. I am passionate about advancing the cause of women in the industry and I am confident that this award will help me and others succeed in our mission.
Sarah Turvill is Chairman of Willis International responsible for the insurance broker’s global retail operations outside of North America, comprising 7,000 employees and US$1bn in revenue. Sarah has spent all her professional life at Willis Group, starting in the legal department. She was instrumental in the establishment and development of the Group’s International presence through a series of acquisitions and start-ups, culminating in her running the fastest growing area of the Group as the International Chief Executive for ten years from 2001.
Mindful of the lack of role models in the insurance industry, Sarah has created a networking forum for female employees at Willis with the primary aim of providing support to enable high performing female middle managers to achieve their potential and advance to senior executive level. Sarah acts as a mentor and coach. Sarah is also Chair of the Council of Exeter University and a bencher at Gray’s Inn.
Judging Panel Comment
Sarah Turvill has been hugely successful in her 35 year career with Willis. At times she was the only woman leading Willis’ international acquisitions negotiations. She established the Women at Willis network which supports women through networking, mentoring and professional development. She also mentors and coaches a number of women personally.
Retiring from full time employment with Willis at the end of this year, we were impressed by her passion to continue working with Willis’ new group CEO to create a more diverse work force. She sees this as a business imperative and is dedicated to boosting the profile of the insurance industry as a career destination of choice for young women to organise more events for women across the sector.