Kickstarting a step change in STEM

Spotlight on Sally NG, Change and Technology Delivery Director and Executive Sponsor of the Women in Tech committee at RSA.

6 March 2023

Photo of Sally NG

We’re really delighted to see the motivation and sense of community building around women in technology at RSA. We're meeting the need to encourage more women into STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics).

We've also heard from Charlotte Boscombe this week, and wanted to follow that up with another spotlight on a powerful advocate and inspiring woman in technology at RSA: Sally NG, Change and Technology Delivery Director. 

Let's start from the beginning. Who are you? How would your friends describe you? 

"I'm Sally, my friends would probably describe me as smart, fun, kind and perhaps a bit flakey!"

How did you get into insurance, and what keeps you here? 

"Like most people in insurance, I fell into the industry and am happily still here. I joined Accenture after university, and within the first week, I was assigned to RSA and asked to pack my bag and head up to Manchester for 6 months. And now, years later, I'm still in the industry and so happy to be back at RSA.

"I actually took a conscious decision to take a break from insurance and explore other industries before I became a ‘lifer’. But almost 3 years into my break, I missed it too much and chose to come back. Why? There's huge amount of untapped green space to innovate and transform; plus I missed the people, it's a tight network."

What excites you about the tech space you work in? 

"My area of focus is Specialty and Commercial lines insurance. This segment of the insurance industry in general is somewhat outdated on the technology front. I am seeing a genuine desire and demand to reinvent these disciplines, particularly with the acceleration in technology and data development, there's huge opportunity to leap-frog. It’s exciting."

The theme for International Women’s Day is #Inspire Inclusion. What does that mean to you? 

"To me it means creating an environment that enables all colleagues to bring their authentic selves to work, feel valued, respected and supported. Everyone can play a part in their day-to-day to make a difference, often in really simple ways. 

"A place to start is to educate ourselves about issues related to gender equality. Always be sure to amplify women’s voices and create an environment where people feel confident to share their perspectives. Promote diverse voices, and ensure they are represented and included in decision making processes. It’ll improve your decisions and add to a culture of inclusivity, which is to everyone’s benefit."

Are there any barriers you’ve experienced and overcome to get where you are today? 

"I suspect one of the biggest barriers for people might be self-belief and confidence in your abilities - it’s something I’ve struggled with. I have a tendency to obsess about needing to know and be good at everything - which isn’t a realistic bar to be aiming for. Something that has helped me with this is the support of others,. You can’t do it all yourself. I'm very fortunate to have had amazing people around me, who believed in me, and didn't give up making me believe in myself! 

"This is a key learning I’d recommend to others: where you can, identify and surround yourself with inspiring people. They’ll help to push your boundaries and stretch your ambition."

What qualities have benefited your career progression? 

"I've never had any real goal to be in a certain role (like a CIO, COO, etc.). I like challenges, learning new things, and when I feel like I've plateaued, I look for a new challenge. While I don't know what my destination is, I have a strong sense of self-worth. I know I work hard, deliver outcomes, and bring a different perspective to the table.

"So, as I progress in my career, I see each opportunity as a two-way street. Firstly, I want to be confident that I can add value. Secondly, and of equal importance, is what will I learn or gain from the role in terms of knowledge and experience."

What advice would you give to someone wanting to progress in their career? 

"Know what you want out of each opportunity. You don't need to necessarily think too long term, but be sure it's moving you forward. 

"Know your worth and be yourself. Make sure the organisation and team deserve your commitment and effort. 

"Stick to your principles, have an opinion and commit - build your own personal brand and a strong network. Respect and endorsement by your network goes a long way."

What’s your happy place? 

"My happy place... there're a few, depends on the situation.

"If I've had a long week, it would be a countryside walk. I relish the fresh air and being able to look at somewhere far out into the horizon (and not at a screen!). 

"If I've had a stressful day or feel my head spinning, I do yoga to stretch, de-stress and reset my mind and body. 

"If I fancy a little indulgence, I’ll make a cheeky trip to Selfridges! I don't need much convincing - I’m a big believer in retail therapy. 

"Last but not least, and it doesn't need to be a reason, anywhere with great food is definitely my happy place."

RSA is going through a transformation in terms of technology, data and customer experience. It doesn’t matter what background you come from, if you're proactive, curious and want to get stuck in, we’ve got loads of opportunities for exciting careers that make a difference. If you’d like to learn more please visit our careers pages.