A chat with Delta’s Cecilia Lim on International Women’s Day

As part of International Women’s Day 2022 we want to take a moment to celebrate some of the amazing women who are part of the Delta Insurance Group family.

Meet Cecilia Lim, our awesome Finance, Administrative and Office Manager for the Asian arm of our business, Delta Underwriting, based in Singapore.

Cecilia will be celebrating five years with Delta in May, her first foray into insurance.

“Before I joined Delta, I worked in a number of other industries. Everything from manufacturing and trading companies to advertising, and a mall management company too. The skills in my role are so transferable and you learn something different from each industry that you can apply to the next…though they may be quite unique in their processes,” she says.

When asked about what it is about insurance, or Delta Underwriting, that has kept her there for five years, as a mum who works, Cecilia thinks it’s a very different environment to any that she’s been in before.

“Maybe it’s because of our culture, open and flexible – as long as we can get the work done. My daughter goes to primary school, and especially through the pandemic has needed special arrangements, picking up or looking after. I need to juggle the family and work. It’s not easy. So, the flexibility is very good for me, for us, for a family with young children.”

But it’s not just flexibility that Cecilia sees as important.

“I feel as though I have a voice. We can have our own say, we will give our opinions, we can voice whatever we think, and we listen to each other. We are quite open, and the team listen regardless of whether we have a good idea or not.

It’s great to have the chance to speak up and to plan our own work. It’s very different from other quite rigid cultures where you have to follow their procedures. You cannot change anything. But here we try working in different ways, then we find a better way and there’s an open attitude to change.”

Cecilia acknowledges that there are different qualities that women bring to the team, and that things have improved in terms of support in the home and at work.

“Yeah, I think previously woman have had less opportunity in the business market due to family commitments. But times are changing every day. Now men also have to take care of the family as well, so it’s no longer feels like just a woman’s role.

We can bring those qualities into the workplace – we do think differently and can be more sensitive to how people are feeling. Trust is such an important quality in insurance and sometimes two women can make a strong connection between them – that can help close deals and build strong relationships. We can definitely make a stand in the marketplace now.”

Like many, one of the most influential and inspiring women in her life was her own mum.

“She was not well educated; she didn’t even have the opportunity to finish primary school. But she can plan well, and she always told us that education is very important.

She taught us to be responsible so you can take charge of your life. You need to learn and be able to look after yourself to manage your own life.

Because she told me this, I’ve tried to upgrade my skills, so I have a double degree in finance and accounting. At the time I studied to get halfway there, and then I got pregnant. So, I had to stop for a couple of years, then pick it up again. But I completed the degree. Moving to Singapore on my own was another big step for me – there was more opportunity here and now I have my own family, friends and great colleagues.”

The advice that Cecilia got from her mother is what she is passing on to her own daughter.

“It’s important to be able to look after yourself and be independent. That’s important for every woman.”