Sema Musson

General Manager - Governance, Customer Advocacy and Social Impact

“Flexibility means different things to different people.”

Life is a balancing act. I’m a mum, a director on a not-for-profit board, an executive coach, a published author and a General Manager at Allianz. All these roles fulfil me in different ways. That’s why flexibility is so important to me. It allows me to do more. And perhaps in a lot of ways, be more too.

Actually, I’m really fortunate in what I do at Allianz. I’m involved in work that helps both our customers and our employees every day. Through advocacy, governance, transforming our culture and how we do things - I have the ability to make a real difference. And best of all I get to achieve it in a highly flexible workplace.

Flexibility means different things to different people. It can mean part-time working arrangements, or condensed working weeks. It might mean varied start or finish times. I say ‘yes’ to flexibility before I say ‘no’, because with a positive mindset you can always find ways to make it happen.

As a General Manager, it’s important to lead by example. Especially when it comes to balance and supporting people’s needs at work and home. A great example is my side-hustle as an author. My first book, ‘Being Brave,’ promotes positive empowering themes for young girls, showing that being brave is hard, but not impossible when armed with the right tools and support. The book features two female lead characters, one of which is Chinese. This was important to me as most books for tweens have male leads and lack ethnic diversity. I co-wrote the novel with my best friend, inspired by conversations we’ve had with our daughters. When young girls reach out and tell me how they’ve connected with the characters in the book – it’s a very nice thing. It makes me feel like I’m leaving a really positive legacy.

I’ve also personally found Allianz to be a highly empowering place to be. Particularly through the range of experiences you can have and share in. Recently I was invited to speak on a panel with Paralympian Madison de Rozario for International Women’s Day. Allianz even gave everyone who attended that day one of my books. It was a really wonderful experience for everyone.

Having work flexibility means that I know that I can deliver. And not just on my next manuscript! It has allowed me to grow in my life, my career experiences and become a better executive. And most importantly, it means I can always be there for my children when they need me.