Today’s guest on Women in Business is not an ordinary woman; she was classified by Forbes magazine as one of the 100 most powerful women in the Middle East and North Africa. A woman who fought in the insurance sector, which is perceived as a restricted sector for men, in order to reach the position of the General Manager of the National Insurance Company.
The insurance sector in our societies has always been perceived as an exclusive sector for men not women, due to many social considerations. Our guest today challenged this reality and overcame all barriers and obstacles to get what she wanted, a success story.
Manal Jarrar: Honestly, since I started working, I have always had a goal right in front of me, a goal to be something, to do something extraordinary.
Manal Jarrar has started her career from the insurance sector as an IPO officer, it was a coincidence. She moved gradually in positions until she became today the General Manager of the National Insurance Company.
Manal Jarrar: There was an advertisement in the newspaper, they needed insurance employees, I went and applied for the post. I was a fresh graduate and I started in the insurance sector, it was never planned, it just happened. I am the first woman in the Middle East and North Africa who could reach the position of a General Manager for an insurance company.
It is a success story that we’re proud of in Jordan. She never worried about many obstacles and barriers in her way, that’s why the American Magazine,Forbes, classified her as one of the strongest women in the Middle East and North Africa. The question is how did Manal Jarrar affect the insurance sector and how do we perceive this sector today?
Manal Jarrar: I was able to spread awareness regarding insurance since I was anIPO employee in the insurance company until I reached my current position. I spread awareness by giving lectures, teaching at universities and training a large number of employees in the insurance sector. When I came to the National Insurance Company, I tried to gain the market share that such a company deserves, because similar companies founded at the same time had a bigger market share. All that I tried to do was gain my right market share and after I achieved that we were happy that we got what we aspired for. Our plan now is proceeding likewe normally should towards growth, because sometimes growing too fast is unhealthy for companies. I can say that happened at the beginning in order to achieve taking our market share, but now we’re going steady, which means around 10% profitability and installments. Unfortunately, the situation of insurance in Jordan is deteriorating. The main issue we are facing is the auto insurance sector, which is the third party insurance and this is what most insurance companies suffer from, many have collapsed because of this type of insurance. The whole economic situation in the country is affected by the margin and profit of insurance companies. In the sense that a citizen whose salary is 500 JOD is barely capable of meeting his basic needs, so if car insurance were not mandatory, he would not do it because he has other priorities. As for the future, we made a qualitative leap for insurance companies, in the beginning of 2018 we will become under the umbrella of the Central Bank, so I assume things will improve, taking into consideration the new governance. I am optimistic about the future.
Voice over: Manal Jarrar has talked about the National Insurance Company, about the insurance sector in Jordan today, her career, excellence and success. Some people believe that life is as vast or narrow as one’s courage, Manal Jarrar had the courage to believe in herself, she excelled in her job and becameone of the most successful women in this country.