Breaking the bias: how women are transforming our business

Women are a key component when it comes to transforming our business. They are our customers, our employees and our leaders. So we’ve been working hard to ensure that every woman at AXA UK&I feels empowered to make change, supported to reach their full potential and valued for their commitment.

Break The Bias

We celebrate women and their achievements all year round and when it comes to International Women’s Day, we use the time to reflect on the progress we’ve made towards equality and set our sights on where to go next. This year, the theme is #BreakTheBias.

Headshot of Katherine Webster, Director of Governance, Risk and Conduct, AXA Commercial and Executive Sponsor of AXA Balance

#BreakTheBias is such a powerful phrase; one which is full of optimism and opportunity. We’ve come a long way on our journey towards creating a fairer workplace and I’m proud of what we’ve achieved so far. But there’s still more we can do to break down barriers for women and generate more open discussion, for example, around women’s health issues. So this IWD, join in – let’s raise awareness of bias, call out stereotypes and, above all, celebrate women’s achievements.

Katherine Webster, Director of Governance, Risk and Conduct, AXA Commercial and Executive Sponsor of AXA Balance

Increasing gender diversity

We’ve signed the Women in Finance Charter for six years running because we want to build a diverse culture. Driven by the HM Treasury, the initiative is a commitment from firms to work together and support women into senior roles in the financial services sector.

Our commitment for the future

We want to increase female representation, so we’ve set ourselves targets.

By the end of 2026


of women in senior management roles

Our progress so far


of our senior management are women


of our board are women

4 of 12 positions


of our executive roles are held by women

Up 9.3% since 2020

Building a supportive environment that works for you

When you join us at AXA UK&I, we'll empower you to be the best version of yourself. Whether that’s helping you turbocharge your career, find a better balance with work or giving you the space to have honest conversations. Our 2021 inclusion survey shows that 82% of our people feel they can be themselves at work and 80% can see others like them. We have a number of initiatives in place to help you:

Focus on your family

No matter what your family situation, if you’re looking to welcome a new child into your home, our Parental Leave Policy has you covered. And our employee network, AXA Balance, gives you the chance to speak to others and connect with people in similar situations. The group also raises awareness about gender equality and the challenges facing working parents.

Talking about menopause

Everyone’s experience of menopause is different. Our Menopause Policy helps to encourage open conversations and remove the taboo around the menopause. It provides clear guidance to all our employees about the impact of menopause, so that together we can offer support to anyone who needs it.

Flexible working

Our Smart Working Policy offers people a flexible way of working that’s better for them, for our business and our customers. We’ve combined home, office and remote working to give everyone the chance to find the right work/life balance. And we’re making better use of our offices and introducing technology to help us connect and collaborate better, no matter where you are.

Grow your career

Our talent development programme, Emerge, offers you the chance to grow and develop your skills. It’s been created specifically to help us diversify our expertise by giving women and colleagues from ethnic minority backgrounds the opportunity to gain valuable skills and experience. We currently have over 50 people taking part in the first two cohorts.

Transforming for the future

Headshot of Claudio Gienal, Chief Executive Officer, AXA UK and Ireland

Our new blog series puts a shining spotlight on the women who are at the forefront of transforming our business for the better, from looking at our customers’ changing needs to identifying how we enhance their experience, they’re building resilient teams and driving our business forward. And celebrating the success of these women is important to inspiring all of us. I’m incredibly proud of what they have achieved.

Claudio Gienal, Chief Executive Officer at AXA UK&I

The talented senior leaders taking our business into the future in a way that suits them

Headshot of Shali Vasudeva, Chief Operating Officer, AXA UK and Ireland

Shali Vasudeva


Headshot of Melanie Kill, Claims Transformation Director, AXA UK

Melanie Kill

Claims Transformation Director, AXA UK

Headshot of Aisling Hayes, Chief Operating Officer, AXA Ireland

Aisling Hayes

COO, AXA Ireland

Headshot of Anna Flemming, Chief Operating Officer, AXA Retail

Anna Fleming

COO, Retail Insurance, AXA UK

Headshot of Anna Matty, Chief Operating Officer, AXA Health

Anna Matty

COO, AXA Health

Headshot of Sam Bagnall, Commercial Transofrmation Director, AXA UK

Sam Bagnall

Commercial Transformation Director, AXA UK

Don’t just take our word for it. Compiled by gender equality experts at Business in the Community, we’ve been named one of the Times’s Top 50 Employers for Women 2021.

Award logo for The Times Top 50 Employers for Women 2021 in partnership with The Princes Responsible Business Network

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