Inspirational Woman: Gill Marples | Head of IntegraLife International Limited, Isle of Man

Gill Marples - Isle of ManFrom an early age my burning ambition had been to work as a Beauty Therapist and following my A levels I took a two-year Higher National Diploma in the subject. 

After leaving college, I found the reality of working in the beauty industry did not live up to the picture I had painted in mind.  Therefore, I drifted into a career in financial services and took on an administration role for a UK based insurance company.

Most of my career has been based on the Isle of Man (IoM) working in the international life insurance industry specialising in compliance and operations.

I’m currently Head of IntegraLife International Limited (ILInt)’, which is the IoM subsidiary of Integrated Financial Arrangements, the provider of the Transact platform. 

I am also President of the Insurance Institute of the Isle of Man and a board member of Finance IoM an Executive Agency responsible for promoting and further developing the financial services sector on the Island.

Did you ever sit down and plan your career?

Having found a home in the financial services industry I cannot say that I have followed a formal career plan.  We planned our move to the IoM based on career progression prospects for my husband.  However, we continue to live on the Island due to the direction my career has taken.

Have you faced any challenges along the way?

I would say one of my main challenges has been developing the self-confidence to believe in my ability to fulfil senior roles.  Imposter syndrome is real!

What has been your biggest achievement to date?

One of my biggest achievements to date was gaining my MBA later in life which required a commitment to study whilst also working over a four-year period.

The study has had a positive impact on my personal life, in terms of boosting self-confidence, and in my business life, in terms of developing relevant understanding and skills.

What one thing do you believe has been a major factor in you achieving success?

I have always strived to do the best job I can in whatever role I am undertaking.

How do you feel about mentoring? Have you mentored anyone or are you someone’s mentee?

I have never been in a formal mentoring situation, but I know of situations where it has proved highly effective.

Informally, I have a network of individuals who have inspired me and who I would class as my mentors.

If you could change one thing to accelerate the pace of change for Gender Equality, what would it be?

I think it is difficult to force the pace of change in any area of equality.  Education can change attitudes but only if they are open to being changed.  Legislation can be useful if proportionate and applied fairly and consistently.

I feel highlighting positive examples of diversity and equality and the impact they can have on a business is a good way of demonstrating the value equality.

If you could give one piece of advice to your younger self what would it be?

Take every opportunity that comes your way to listen and learn.  Get involved in work-based projects and with external bodies such as trade and professional organisations as this will provide exposure to a variety of issues and build confidence and skills e.g., communication especially public speaking, and organisational.

What is your next challenge and what are you hoping to achieve in the future?

My ongoing work-based challenge is to develop the ILInt team to meet and exceed our business objectives and deliver positive stakeholder outcomes.

Outside of work Finance Isle of Man has an important role in the post-Covid economic recovery of the IoM and I am looking forward to playing a part in this

I am also looking forward to my second year as Insurance Institute President and offering our members more networking and education opportunities in a post-pandemic environment.

What makes the Isle of Man’s financial services sector unique?

The IoM financial services sector is highly diverse meaning that the scope of services we can offer to a range of business and individual customers is unique.  There is a strong sense of community and cooperation within each industry and across different sectors which means a collaborative approach is often taken to non-commercial issues for the benefit of IoM ‘PLC’.

This diversity is also evidenced by the number of women who hold senior roles within the financial services sector.  The Island has a modern, vibrant, progressive business culture which is committed to encouraging inclusion.

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