To celebrate International Women's Day, we asked some of the fantastic women in the QANW team to tell what they #ChooseToChallenge this #IWD2021

Gemma Swankie - Head of Sales

How many years have you worked at QANW?

Nearly 13 years!

How do you help contractors/members?

I work with in the sales department and we work with contractors across all home improvement sectors, glazing, roofing, structural waterproofing, renewables, damp, timber treatments and much more.  My team makes onboarding contractors as easy as possible so that they can provide insurance protection to their customers, giving them an edge over their competitor.

I work with associations, such as, NFRC, the PCA and NHIC to support their members with projects and to spread the word on Insurance Backed Guarantees (IBGs).  I also work with Competent Person Schemes such as, Certass, NFRC CPS and FENSA to support their scheme rules and onboard contractors so they can have access to relevant financial protection for their customers.

As we are insuring solvency of contractors and businesses the financial situation of companies and people is scrutinised however we have lots of flexibility to work with them to onboard them with good or bad financials.  One thing we don’t want is to make it difficult for companies to do what they are good at!

What are you choosing to challenge this International Women’s Day:

I challenge that woman in the construction, home improvement and financial industries are as qualified and competent as their counterparts – we don’t need things dumbed down, we get it!

Out of work hobbies:

I love hillwalking and I live in Scotland so I am spoiled.  The biggest hill I have climbed is Ben Nevis.  I also enjoy a cheeky holiday to the sun!

Favourite thing about working at QANW:

The people, cheesy as it sounds, there are some good folk at QANW and we support each other all the way. We also have a good social element and enjoy days out as a business which is a bit unique these days.

Woman in business you admire and why:

Not in business but amazing all the same...Dame Jessica Ennis-Hill – an amazing athlete who never gives up!

Taking gold at the London Olympics on Super Saturday in 2012 and then takes a break to have a family, like many women.  However, this lady doesn’t return to a boardroom, she is back training and a year after having her baby she wins the world championships in Beijing.  I find this grit and determination amazing and inspirational.