To celebrate International Women's Day, we sat down with the incredibly inspiring Maunika Caines, who spoke about her career journey, biggest accomplishments, and advice she would impart to her younger self.
Maunika is a Risk & Compliance Advisor with Kinnell Holdings Group. With over 20 years of underwriting, governance, risk, compliance and business development experience, Maunika provides an independent review and practical solutions that help ensure organisational success. A bit quirky, and extremely adaptable, she knows that one size never fits all and works to ensure that solutions are tailored to simply and easily fit the need. An MBA graduate of Manchester Metropolitan University, and the holder of numerous professional certifications, Maunika identifies with the cultural challenges faced by the financial services industry and is keen to play her part in the shift she believes lies ahead. She advocates for gender equality and has led an employee resource group that championed diversity of thought and brought awareness to inclusion issues in the workplace. When she’s not being a GRC superhero, Maunika enjoys life in Manchester with her partner and two daughters where she’s currently pursuing her LLM in Regulation and Compliance.
What got you into financial services?
I got into the insurance industry by chance. I was working as a receptionist for Willis and a colleague wanted the company taking her insurance certification. Feeling unfulfilled in my current role, I said yes. Once the certification was completed, I quit my Willis role determined to get a junior role in the industry. Within a three-week period, I landed a technical assistant role at Starr Excess. The role turned out to be the best thing that ever happened to me. I had an amazing manager that pushed me every day to be better and helped catapult my career.
What have been your biggest career and personal achievements?
My biggest career achievement was being placed on an international assignment in Ireland. Not necessarily because it was a dream job but because I was one of the first black Bermudians to be placed on an international assignment by the company at a senior level. It was an amazing accomplishment and a visual win and tangible inspiration for all the young Bermudians behind me. My biggest personal accomplishment was the completion of my MBA. With a sick toddler, a full-time role, and no undergraduate degree, the commitment and sacrifice it took to complete the program pushed me past my limits on many occasions. My desire to prove to my daughters that you can do anything if you put your mind to it was the only thing that kept me going.
Who is your role model?
My grandmother is my role model. She taught me the value of hard work and of kindness. She instilled a set of morals and standards in me that has carried me through many challenges. She was my hero.
What advice would you give to your younger self?
Study hard, never settle and never allow anyone to compromise your integrity; you’re smarter than you think and stronger than you feel!
Thank you to Manuika for her time and useful insights. We can all choose to challenge and call out gender bias and inequality. We can all choose to seek out and celebrate women's achievements. Collectively, we can all help create an inclusive world.
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