International Women’s Day: Jennifer Souza, SVP Global Head of Finance Transformation


In celebration of International Women’s Day, today we’re meeting Jennifer Souza, SVP Global Head of Finance Transformation, who is based in Bermuda.

Jennifer is a proud SLT sponsor of the WISP (Women in SiriusPoint) Network.

What motivated you to become engaged with WISP (Women in SiriusPoint)?
I had a wonderful mentor at the first company I worked for in the industry. She saw something in me that I didn’t quite see myself. She encouraged and motivated me to be curious and find ways to engage in opportunities which I could learn and grow from. She played a significant role in my success by advocating for me behind the scenes. It was a gift that I would like to pay forward to other colleagues in the industry. Everyone needs a cheerleader supporting, encouraging, and nudging you to stretch yourself beyond what you think you can achieve and to dream big.

Tell us about your job and what your day-to-day looks like.
Most days are spent collaborating (mainly on teams) with colleagues across the group on various projects or developing solutions that will assist with future standardized processes and systems that will ultimately allow for a more effective and efficient finance function. One that will hopefully allow us to perform more value-added work and have a little more fun each day.

What do you find most enjoyable about your job?
Easy…the people. Relationships are very important to me. I have met so many great people across the team over the last three years and look forward to meeting more. Additionally, I love variety and do enjoy change (as weird as that might sound to some). Change brings many new opportunities – new relationships, challenges, projects, perspectives, learnings, and ideas.

Which of our values resonates with you the most, and why?
Tough to choose. I can relate to all, but my top choice would be collaboration because I enjoy working as a team, hearing different perspectives, and evaluating new ideas. Collaboration with a diverse group of individuals will always get you to a solid outcome.

What advice would you give to women who are at the beginning of their careers?
Believe in yourself! You can learn and do anything with a curious mind, a positive attitude, and a bit of grit. Don’t be afraid to ask for things: a promotion, a new role, help when you need it, feedback, opportunities to work on new projects, etc. If you don’t ask, you have essentially missed an opportunity. There is no downside in asking, but you are eliminating a ton of potential upside if you don’t.

How did you get into the insurance industry?
A bit of luck, but certainly moving to Bermuda where the industry is the economic pillar helped. I moved to Bermuda in 1997, for a relationship. I know what you are thinking, but I was young and naïve, and I have been married for 25 years now, so I guess it wasn’t too bad of a decision. When I arrived, there were not a ton of opportunities for an expat with a biology degree. I managed to get a work permit and a job as a waitress at the Swizzle Inn Restaurant. Not an ideal job, but it was fun. I had a regular customer who came in with his wife once a week and worked for XL Capital Ltd. He encouraged me to do a business degree and apply to work for the company as soon as it was a viable option, so I did. I went back to school to work on a business degree. Then, I applied for an assistant insurance accountant position that I saw in the local paper, and he gave me a great recommendation. XL took a chance on me. The rest is history. This was such an amazing couple of years. I learned so much and this is where I met my mentor.

Who is the most influential woman you know? How does she inspire you?
My Mother. I grew up in somewhat of a volatile home resulting from the presence of alcoholism. My mother and father separated the year that I went off to university. Through a very tough time of change, my mother demonstrated incredible bravery, strength, and resilience. She left the family home with basically nothing and moved to another community, hours away, that was more affordable with my three younger siblings and knew no one. She worked at the local diner and at a small publishing company to support the four of them. At 41 years old, she went back to college and got a degree. She continuously strived for better and pushed us to do better. Her genuine, kind nature and fierce tenacity are what I admire about her most. She loves people and people love her. I hope that others see me in the same light that I see her as I think that I may have been lucky enough to have inherited a few personality attributes from this incredible woman.
Side note – I am a Glennon Doyle and Brene Brown junkie. I am always inspired by their simple honesty, authenticity, and genuineness.

How do you empower women around you?
I think the best way to empower others is to be inclusive and provide them with opportunities to engage and participate in activities, projects, and discussions that showcase their strengths and talents. Additionally, I think it is important to develop a safe and trusting environment for the team members to voice their ideas, concerns, interests, etc. Let them step on your toes (please don’t break them 😊), and thank them for correcting you when you are wrong.

Written by SiriusPoint