Aneesa Sharif

Since September 2016 I have been working in the PwC insurance audit practice. My focus has been on global insurance clients across both general and life insurance.

During my first two years at PwC, I split my time between the Insurance and the Stakeholder Assurance team within Asset Wealth Management. A turning point in my career came in 2019 when, having completed a particularly difficult insurance audit, I was given the opportunity to join the Stakeholder Assurance team within PwC. I decided to stay with the Insurance practice, despite knowing how challenging the work would be. I was keen to build on my experience and felt I had a clear idea of my strengths and how to build on them. I’ve felt the impact of my progress as my clients have fed back their appreciation for my ability to overcome challenges and deliver high quality work.

I’ve always understood the importance of taking every opportunity to build on my experience as well as the importance of knowledge sharing and collaboration. I’ve acted on this by leading regularly scheduled meetings for all Managers in the Insurance team. The purpose of these meetings is to discuss key technical issues and hot topics in the market; relating to both Lloyd’s of London Syndicates and the wider general insurance market.

Besides client work, I am devoted to the wellbeing of the teams I work with and have been working to break the stigma around mental health. One of the initiatives I implemented across my projects has been to introduce a ‘team charter’ setting out team behaviors. Individuals are encouraged to share their commitment to the team and are empowered to commit to certain boundaries for themselves.

I’m also passionate about Diversity & Inclusion. Knowing how important this is, I have led conversations, sharing my own experiences by opening up and showing vulnerability and encouraging regular discussions within my teams. In turn, I have built trust within my team, where we communicate openly about issues which may affect individuals in the workplace and work flexibly to support those from different experiences.

One of the things I’m most proud of is that I’ve been able to create a comfortable and safe working environment which in turn adds to the levels of collaboration on my team, delivering high quality audits for global insurance clients. Being told by team members that they want to continue working on my teams is fulfilling and makes me proud of all I have achieved.

Lastly, and perhaps the most rewarding and fulfilling job is my role as coach to 4 junior members of our audit practice. I support them throughout the year, but more prominently through our busy season which can be an adjustment for those who have just graduated from university or have not worked in a similar role before. This support may simply mean being there for a chat over a coffee, or guiding them to the appropriate PwC resources to help them with any hurdles they may face. I have continued this role even as those I have coached have left PwC and they continue to look to me for mentorship and professional advice.