Thornton Tomasetti Associate, Helen Collie recently attended the Women in Claims ‘Power through Body-Talk’ presentation led by Dr. Gwenllian Williams at Lloyd’s of London. Below, Helen shares her experiences from the day…

I attended my first Women in Claims event on Wednesday 23rd March, as a representative of Thornton Tomasetti who are proud to be sponsoring the next event (look out for details on T2). I wanted, of course, to network and make contacts, while learning what Women in Claims was about, but was also intrigued by the topic of the evening’s talk: Power through Body Talk. As someone walking into a room full of unfamiliar faces afterwards, I was hoping the talk itself might equip me for a confident start to the evening ahead.

Dr Gwenllian Williams was an accomplished and engaging speaker, mixing practical exercises (some involving staring into a stranger’s eyes which, while at first awkward, quickly broke the ice) and audience interaction with interesting and sometimes surprising facts. For example, how we communicate is made up only of around 22% words: the rest comes from our body language, and our tone.

One of the great things about the talk was how easily it generated discussion afterwards. During canapés and drinks I easily fell into conversation about the difficulties of keeping your head at 90 degrees (the ideal angle for a confident entrance!), who had the most confident handshake, and the differences in body language between men and women. From there, we chatted about all manner of things, and not only did I have a fantastic time but I learned about the roles of at least ten women in claims, a primary aim for me at the event. I felt really welcome, despite my relative newness to the industry, and met women working in areas and companies ranging from forensic accounting at MDD, (an event sponsor) to claims specialists at Liberty, Chaucer and Amlin and adjusters at Cunningham Lindsay.

As this was my first WiC event I can’t comment on how it compared to others, but with over 100 attendees, lively discussions, and a substantial amount of money raised for a great charity (Samuel’s Charity, which coincidentally funds improvements to the children’s wards in my own local hospital: see here), it seemed to me a roaring success and I very much look forward to the next one. I’d also like to thank Trina Gore, Tokyo Marine Kiln and Barrie Beer of Martin, Disiere, Jefferson & Wisdom, LLP for making me feel especially welcome and introducing me to so many fantastic people.

Why not take a look at the Women in Claims – BodyTalk top tips or keep up to date by joining the official LinkedIn group.

You can take a look at the other events that Thornton Tomasetti will be attending here.

Image: Dr. Gwenllian Williams speaking at the Women in Claims Power through Body-Talk Presentation (© Thornton Tomasetti)