International Women’s Day: Christina Cosma, Pricing Actuary and mentor


In celebration of International Women’s Day, today we’re meeting Christina Cosma, Pricing Actuary, who is based in Zurich.

Tell us about your job and what your day-to-day looks like.
I am a Pricing Actuary for the Life Re team here in Zurich. We have a global remit to work on life reinsurance opportunities, so a typical day will be discussing new and ongoing opportunities, liaising with brokers, and data and pricing analysis on new or existing businesses.

What do you find most enjoyable about your job?
I love working with the Life Re team and how varied the work is. We work together on many opportunities; one that stands out to me is our discussions of our approach to pricing or data analysis. These also allow me to learn from my Life Re colleagues and the wider LA&H team. Moreover, we get a lot of exposure to vast reinsurance opportunities because we are open to global opportunities.

Which of our values resonates with you the most, and why?
Solution Driven – I take great pride in being able to work on and deliver solutions for our clients, as well as demonstrate our expertise and “can do” attitude. The Life Re team is relatively new, and I am in awe of what we achieved in such a small timeframe.

What advice would you give to women who are at the beginning of their careers?
Life is too short to do a job you hate. Don’t feel you “have” to do a particular job or “should” go into a certain industry. Find what it is that you enjoy and go for it. No one gets it right on day 1 or job 1, but I think it’s useful to think about your skills and try to marry that with elements of a job that you may enjoy. Speak to different people about what jobs entail and get some experience. Learning what you dislike leads you to what you enjoy, so don’t be discouraged by trying things out or going into something you may not have originally planned.

How did you get into the insurance industry?
By accident actually! I had studied Maths at university but was unsure what to do next. I originally went into teaching but soon realised it was not for me. Then a recruiter came across my CV and put me forward for an Actuarial role at a UK life insurer, and it all just fell into place. The company was looking for someone who was mathematical but also someone who enjoyed working with multiple internal and external stakeholders – the variety of the role was what appealed to me.

Who is the most influential woman you know? How does she inspire you?
A former colleague from the UK inspires me. She is a public health doctor passionate about providing health education content for developing countries. She initiated a specific women’s health program, giving vital information to females with limited access to traditional health information channels and often were too embarrassed to seek help.
In addition to her public health role, she is also involved in local politics. She was an inspiration to work with and strives to make a difference, both on a small and large scale. The UK would be lucky to have her in Westminster!

How do you empower women around you?
A previous boss once told me to ‘be a woman that brings up other women around you, not one that treads on them as you get to the top.’ I think many women would be able to recognize both types of women in the workplace. She was the former, not the latter. I learned a lot from her and aim to be that type of woman too.

This year, I have enjoyed mentoring a university student through a Women in Business initiative. This has been an interesting initiative to be part of and we have had some great discussions. It’s also good to keep in touch with the next generation of soon-to-be employees – we have a lot to learn from Gen Z and need to think about how we ensure that the insurance industry moves from a traditional mindset into the future so that we can attract a bright and innovative new generation.

Written by SiriusPoint