Bringing Gender Equity to the Table
As the director of the Legal Department of Assurant Solutions Brazil, Ana Paula de Almeida Santos is responsible for corporate legal matters, providing services to other areas of the company and working as a business partner of lines in operation in Brazil.
Santos’ colleagues say she clearly understands the importance of diversity and inclusion. As the sole female director on the board of Assurant Brazil, she works to bring gender equality to the table and is accountable for creating various women’s business programs at Assurant.
Santos says a woman leader should always be part of the solution, think like an owner and provide accountability. “It’s important to take full responsibility for your actions, and work with your peers to find the right solution that achieves your leader’s vision,” she said.
She says while women comprise a majority in the Brazilian insurance market, men occupy most of the top positions and earn more than women. This disparity is even greater when looking at the C-suite. “I am fortunate to work in a company that values women and diversity, promotes the empowerment of women at work and in our society, and is working towards achieving a good balance between genders,” Santos said.
Santos describes her biggest career leap as adding a new department under her umbrella of responsibility when she assumed management of the Ombudsman Department. Her five member team grew to 12, creating the challenge of integrating everyone. Together they created an Ambassadors Development Program, with the goal of building a cohesive team by educating each member on the team’s activities, knowledge, and experience. As a result, Great Place to Work gave the department the highest approval and satisfaction rating at Assurant Brazil.
She says her team is critical to her success and delegating responsibility is a key ingredient to having an engaged and successful team. “The secret of having a successful team is working with people who are more talented than you,” she said.
Santos holds a degree in Social and Legal Sciences from Universidade Mackenzie, a Masters of Corporate Law from Ibmec, and has completed The Women’s Leadership Forum at Harvard Business School, and Digital Law program at Faculdade Getúlio Vargas.