If IWD Had a Hammer: 5 Questions With Hiscox CMO Russ Findlay


Hiscox IWD 2018 New York Times ad I'mpossible #SeeHer #IWD #EncourageCourage

Hiscox, the international specialist insurer, is kicking off the next evolution of its I’mpossible campaign with a full-page ad in The New York Times on March 8 in honor of International Women’s Day. This next phase of the campaign celebrates the courageous spirit and strength of female business owners and executives.

As an extension of the award-winning #EncourageCourage brand platform (which we featured in October), I’mpossible focuses on the positive power of risk-taking to transform the seemingly impossible into something possible.

Hiscox IWD 2018 hammer ad New York Times

The new print ad features a hammer and applauds the women who courageously continue to lead the charge of breaking through the glass ceiling. Produced in partnership with gyro, Hiscox’s marketing and advertising agency of record, the ad encourages women to shatter this barrier. It’s being supported on Hiscox.com and across its social media channels, along with additional I’mpossible print ads.

Hiscox I'mpossible stumble never fall ad

Hiscox website IWD 2018

Russ Findlay - Hiscox CMO“Hiscox remains committed to inspiring female business owners to overcome the impossible by fostering and supporting their courageous spirit,” said Russ Findlay, US Chief Marketing Officer at Hiscox. “We are proud to serve these business owners whether they are launching their businesses, hiring their first employees or creating new products. Not only today on International Women’s Day, but every day, Hiscox is dedicated to #PressforProgress by creating a gender-inclusive environment and challenging others to do the same.”

Hiscox IWD 2018 impossible print ad tattoos

Hiscox Encourage CourageThe print ads aren’t what you might expect from an insurance company, which is the point. Hiscox, founded in the UK in 1901, prides itself on being unique and something of an iconoclast in a traditionally stuffy business. Its Instagram bio, for example: “Some might think insurance is dull but life at Hiscox is anything but. We insure the unique and interesting, and our people reflect that. #LifeAtHiscox”

Hiscox is also proud to support #SeeHer with this campaign, a movement led by the Association of National Advertisers (ANA) whose mission is to increase accurate portrayals of women and girls in U.S. advertising and media by 20% by 2020, the 100th anniversary of women gaining the right to vote.

Findlay shared more insights in a Q&A:

Is this the boldest creative and campaign that Hiscox has run around gender equality and promoting women, IWD or not?

Yes. Hiscox has a proud history of highlighting courageous women entrepreneurs in our marketing and advertising.

Can you give us examples of what else #EncourageCourage does throughout the year?

Encourage Courage inspires small business owners to do more and be more. That message is reflected in a variety of ways, from sharing the stories of courageous small business owners in our marketing campaigns to sponsoring the annual “Courage Award” at the Austin Film Festival. Encourage Courage has also inspired our employees to do more and be more in their careers and through the charitable activities they participate in throughout the year.

Are more women small-to-medium size business owners coming to Hiscox for support in launching and protecting their businesses as they grow?

According to the Small Business Administration, 35% of small businesses in the US are women-owned. We are seeing a much higher percentage of women-owned businesses turning to Hiscox.

Hiscox impossible ad

What’s the makeup of your US workforce, C Suite and board in terms of gender balance? Where would you like it to be?

In the US, women represent more than half of the total employee population. We are taking deliberate action to increase female representation at the senior level. Some of these actions include: ensuring a 50/50 gender split amongst candidates shortlisted for senior level vacancies, monitoring the gender split on succession plans for senior-level roles and creating targeted plans to accelerate development where needed.

How does Hiscox support women, its employees and customers, year-round?

The Hiscox Women in Leadership program is just one example of an initiative that aims to support women within the organization by teaching female leaders how to project themselves in male dominated environments while retaining their authentic styles. This program also offers an international peer group support system that extends beyond the program.

In addition, we have recently removed potential barriers to women by enhancing our maternity pay and encouraging flexible working for all employees. We have also recently launched our Women’s Resource Network whose purpose is to help attract, develop, and retain female employees as well as to bring light to social issues while bridging disparity gaps between genders.


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