Find out how we’re celebrating Pride in London at AXA

posted by on 5 Jul 2017

AXA UK is proud to be one of the sponsors of Pride in London 2017, an annual celebration in support of the LGBT+ community.  

With over 100 AXA people expected to join the parade on Saturday 8th July, we caught up with a few friendly faces to learn about their involvement in our AXA Pride UK Employee Resource Group*, and find out what they’re most looking forward to on the day.

Photograph of Arlene Stewart

Arlene Stewart

Job title: Senior Operations Manager
Office: Glasgow
Joined AXA Pride UK: Two years ago

What does AXA Pride UK mean to you? It’s an opportunity to meet and work with new people. It gives me a feeling of achievement by being involved in helping AXA achieve its Diversity & Inclusion strategy.

Have you taken part in a Pride parade for AXA before? Yes, I organised (with Declan) and attended Glasgow Pride 2016. Despite the rainy weather (you can’t rain on our parade!), we had 30 AXA Allies, including friends and family, walk in the AXA Pride group. I also travelled to Manchester last year to represent AXA at their Pride parade.

What are you most looking forward to about Pride this year? Having fun, representing AXA, meeting new AXA colleagues and riding in the AXA open-top bus!

Photo of Declan RooneyDeclan Rooney

Job title: Business Insurance Advisor
Office: Glasgow
Joined AXA Pride UK: Last year

How has AXA Pride UK helped you? It’s helped me greatly as it’s allowed me to expand my professional network, given me a fun goal to work towards and given me great confidence in my abilities at work. I’ve also been able to channel my new confidence into my personal life!

How was Glasgow Pride 2016? Honestly, with Arlene and I being the only two people in our office identifying as LGBT+ at the time, I didn’t expect a big turnout. But 30 people from the office, along with their friends and family, took time out of their Saturdays to come along and march with us in the city centre despite the pouring rain! It was a great experience and really gave us a great feeling of unity and team spirit.

What are you most looking forward to about Pride in London 2017? I’m looking forward to seeing the size and diversity that Pride will offer in our capital city. I can’t wait to see everyone’s hard work pay off. I’m also really looking forward to Glasgow’s march in August. Hopefully we’ll see an even bigger turnout than last year!

What’s the best thing about being able to be yourself at work? The world still has a lot of work to do before it feels completely safe to be openly gay, and it can be disheartening knowing you need to hide who you are, but my team and everyone at AXA has been so accepting of me and every aspect of my character, so I have no need to worry in work about being true to who I am. That’s something I can only give a genuine thank you to my office and colleagues for.

Photo of Dan TownesDan Townes

Job title: Team Coach
Office: Ipswich
Joined AXA Pride UK: Almost two years ago

What are you most excited about for Pride this year? Ticking it off my bucket list! I couldn’t take part last year, but I have been a spectator previously and it’s something I’ve always wanted to do. I’m really excited for the chance to interact with the public and show my support.

What’s the best thing about being able to be yourself at work?

The knowledge that I’m allowed to be myself, and that I can be myself without fear of being looked down on. AXA allows me that. I’m able to talk about my relationships and problems without the worry of feeling prejudice.

Photo of Nicola WheatonNicola Wheaton

Job title: Receptionist
Office: Tunbridge Wells
Joined AXA Pride UK: Three months ago

What are you looking forward to about Pride this year? I’ve never taken part before, so showing support and representing AXA in one of the most important annual events in London. I’m really looking forward to it!

How do your colleagues support you to be yourself at work?  I feel completely comfortable with my colleagues, enough to not even have to worry about being anyone else. Everyone I work with is just so friendly that I find I don’t need to hide any personality quirks!

And finally, what’s the best thing about being able to be yourself at work? Having a great environment to work in - which makes the work you produce better. It’s always easier to work without having to worry about anything else.

AXA Pride UK logoAlan Devaney

Job title: Customer Experience Co-Ordinator
Office: Glasgow
Joined AXA Pride UK: Seven months ago

How has AXA Pride UK helped you? Being part of the Pride group has helped me feel more comfortable about myself at work.

What are you most looking forward to about Pride this year?  It will be my first time at Pride in London and I’m particularly looking forward to meeting other AXA colleagues from around the UK, and of course the event itself!

And finally, what’s the best thing about being able to be yourself at work? It’s more relaxing and also more productive. My sexuality is never questioned and nor should it be. I feel very comfortable to be who I am and not someone I’m not.

AXA Pride UK logo

Thank you to everyone for answering our questions. To you and everyone marching this weekend, we hope you have an amazing Pride!

If you can’t make it, keep an eye on #PrideinLondon and #LoveHappensHere to see all of the pictures and updates from the event.

 

*AXA Pride UK is an Employee Resource Group set up to foster a culture of inclusion for LGBT+ employees, supported by Allies who don’t necessarily identify as LGBT+ but who strongly support and contribute to creating an environment where people can bring their whole selves to work. Find out more about what it means to be an Ally at AXA.

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categories: AXA and the community  AXA Pride 

Ideas, innovation and engagement – what our AXA Academy’s all about

posted by on 27 Jun 2017

Here at AXA, we pride ourselves not only on our technical excellence but also on our commitment to growing our people internally. Our Bolton Liability Claims Academy is the culmination of both these things – and it’s proving to be very successful. But what exactly is it and what makes it so great? We asked Senior Unit Manager, and Academy sponsor, Dan Summers to tell us all about it.

About the Academy

Why would someone want to join the Academy – and Liability Claims? It’s a line of business that is interesting, challenging, rewarding and difficult – it’s definitely not your rinse and repeat call centre type environment, it’s more niche and technical. The Academy’s open to people who aren’t yet established in the insurance world and are keen to get into it and try something new. Whether they have a bit of experience or none at all, in our Academy they’ll have the freedom to do what they want – to explore an industry that interests them.

About Liability Claims

I’m responsible for the delivery of both the operational teams in Liability Claims and the Academy that provides us skilled people for them. A career in the insurance industry can be very rewarding and fulfilling – particularly within AXA. Culturally, Liability is (in my humble opinion) the best Claims department bar none. Both the culture and the work is very different from people’s traditional view of insurance. Car insurance is probably the insurance that everybody understands; I buy an insurance product, I claim against the insurer, job done. Liability (also known as Injury or Casualty claims) is a little bit different to that in that we don’t really represent the claimant. Essentially we represent our policyholder on claims made against them for accidents either within the workplace or in public places such as shopping centres or restaurants. It’s a little more complex than that but essentially, what we do is represent our insured’s interests against their claimant.

About the training

The technical training we provide is first class. We utilise a range of support mechanisms – from our internal handlers to our panel of legal firms – who are there to share their expertise and lend a hand wherever needed. And behind the technical journey is the stuff I really try to instil in the Academy which is around the culture, particularly what we refer to as the high performance culture. We are moving away from old-school insurance techniques and moving into a much more input led environment, where you’re focusing on performance not metrics, how you do your job not what happens. By focusing on people doing the right things, in the right way – this allows the outputs to come out in the right result - that’s the key bit. Our HR team are aligned closely with us from a cultural perspective. We’re driving a lot of the cultural messages in looking at minor tweaks in performance, one degree upgrades, we call them, little increments of improved performance that deliver a much better outcome.

It’s matching the two together, you get your cultural journey and your technical journey, and ultimately that brings well-rounded handlers. My vision long term, is they will then filter into the unit - I keep calling it a cultural bleed, and that high performance mind-set will then bleed into the rest of the department. Ultimately helping those that are a little bit more ‘traditional insurance’ in approach to adapt.

About the people

Whether they’ve got zero experience or come from a financial services background, those who join our Academy have a very clear common goal; they want to develop a career within AXA, they’re passionate about working here and taking that first step into becoming case managers. Working for a great organisation was a key driver that brought them all here.

We are looking for raw talent. So it doesn’t matter if you’ve been in financial services or not. We’re after driven, ambitious, keen, engaged people that are able to come in and make a difference. What we don’t want is just 9-to-5-ers, interested in just a job.

We want people to be ambitious, we want people to excite us and be energised about this journey. If that sounds like you, make sure you apply.

Have you got the drive and determination to succeed at the Academy? Sign up for our job alerts to be the first to know when the Academy is open for applications!

categories: AXA people  Claims  Liability Claims Academy 

Another great turnout for #AXACRWeek

posted by on 12 Jun 2017

For the seventh year in a row, AXA employees around the world have united to take part in another successful Corporate Responsibility (CR) Week.

At AXA, we’re passionate about being a socially responsible organisation, where our people are encouraged to get involved with helping their local communities and chosen charities as much as possible. That’s why we have a whole week dedicated to giving back.

As the only truly global event in the AXA calendar, CR Week gives all of our people the chance to come together to work towards reducing our environmental impact and support local initiatives important to them.

From charity fundraising, volunteering and recycling, to learning about the health and wellbeing of ourselves and others, AXA people around the UK have been taking part in a multitude of activities themed around how AXA and our partners can empower ourselves, our customers and all of society to live better lives.

Here’s a snapshot of what went on:

And that’s not all! AXA has teamed up with Impact Hub to find social innovators in the areas of preventing health, safety and cyber risks. We narrowed the contenders down to three very strong and worthy projects, and our people have been voting for their favourite to win. Find out more and watch the innovators videos on axa.com.

categories: AXA and our charities  AXA and the community 

Five reasons why AXA is a great place to build a fulfilling career

posted by on 24 May 2017

Kirsty Jones joined our office in Haverhill nine years ago, straight from college. Since then, she’s progressed in a number of different roles, won awards and developed on an exciting career path. We caught up with her to find out why she’s ‘never looked back’.

1. The career progression is brilliant

I joined AXA when I was 17. At the time, I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do with my career and a friend recommended the role at AXA to me. After six months on the team, I knew that it was the place for me. A lot of that was down to the career development opportunities here. Right from the beginning, I saw people progressing into different roles and it was clear there were a number of paths you could take. My own career path has been very varied. I went from my original role to a New Claims role and then moved into the Personal Injury team, where I was dealing with bigger clients and more complex claims. From there, I felt I’d be best suited to a people management position and my current role as Operational Process Senior is a stepping stone to becoming a Team Leader.

2. AXA really cares and the support you get is great

You’re very well supported – both professionally and personally. As part of my role, I have monthly catch-ups with people on the team to discuss how things are going and their long-term career aspirations. I then work with them to make sure they have the coaching, mentoring and support they need to progress towards their ambitions. When I decided I wanted to go travelling, AXA allowed me to take a six-month sabbatical and it didn’t hinder my career prospects at all. In fact, two weeks after I came back I went for the job as Operational Process Senior and was successful!

3. The opportunities mean you never feel stuck in a rut

With so many different teams and roles you can move into, if you want to progress, there’s always somewhere you can go. That could mean trying out a different area of the business or just taking on some additional responsibilities. For someone like me who started from college, I’ve really been able to shape my own career path and achieve my ambitions.

4. High morale, a happy team and plenty of fun!

Like every job, there are times when things can be challenging but the team spirit here is great. You have a brilliant bunch of people around you and the culture is upbeat and positive. We often get together for lunches, dinners and nights out outside of work. It helps that the office is right in the middle of the high street so there are plenty of places around us to go!

5. You’re recognised for your hard work

As well as being able to grow and develop, AXA makes the effort to recognise how much people put into their roles. We have the AXA Awards once a year where we all get together and people can vote for their peers to win different awards. I was lucky enough to win two at the last ceremony – Leader of the Year and AXA Hero. Very exciting.

If you’re looking for a career with good prospects and great people in Haverhill, you've come to the right place! Take a look at our Customer Service Claims Advisor vacancy to find out more about what we can offer you.  

categories: AXA people  Claims  Employee story  Life at AXA 

5 things you thought were true about apprenticeships

posted by on 16 May 2017

As an apprentice, you’ll just get stuck making coffee and doing the jobs that no-one else wants, right? Not at AXA. We’ve put genuine care into crafting quality apprenticeship development programmes that can be tailored to suit your individual skills and interests. But don’t just take it from us. We asked IT apprentice, Tom, to help us tackle some common misconceptions surrounding apprenticeships and tell us what life’s actually like as an AXA apprentice…

1. You don’t get to do anything exciting as an apprentice. You’re just there to make the tea and do the filing

via GIPHY

Tom: I actually get involved in some really exciting work here. I started in Testing where I got to experience what it’s like to be a full-time tester – that was really interesting. And I’m currently working on a project that’s like an independent investigation - we have a project goal and have to work out our own way to reach it – it’s really fun!

2. Only school-leavers do apprenticeships

via GIPHY

Tom: I joined AXA’s IT apprenticeship in October 2016 after completing my degree in Computer Games Design. Even though I already have a degree, what I learnt at University is very different to experiencing life as a tech professional. Here, I get to see how professional coding and testing practices actually work and gain invaluable hands-on experience whilst I learn. 

3. Apprenticeships are for people who don’t get the grades to go to university 

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Tom: I did go to University! I joined AXA’s IT Apprenticeship after graduating because it was a great way to gain further qualifications and real-life experience. Everyone leaves university and starts entry level roles, I wanted to continue to gain qualifications and get paid to do so!

4. You’ll probably get stuck doing something you hate

via GIPHY

Tom: AXA are keen to help you find where your interests lie by exposing you to various areas of the business. After your 1st year, you should have an understanding of which area you want to spend the next year developing your skills in. AXA enable you to pursue your passion – they want you to enjoy your work and encourage you to try new things. 

5. Apprenticeships aren’t very well paid

via GIPHY

Tom: My apprenticeship is actually surprisingly well-paid. I have friends from University who are earning less than me in their roles – and they’re not working towards gaining more qualifications. Don’t presume that all apprenticeships are badly paid – make sure you check the details first. 

So, there you have it – there’s more to our apprenticeships than you might expect. Intrigued? Head over to jobs.axa.co.uk/apprentices to find out more and apply.

categories: Apprentices  Life at AXA