When May Ng was first asked to be involved with Chubb’s diversity, equity and inclusion (DE&I) work, she recalls being “extremely doubtful if I was the right person.”
“I had been involved in many other initiatives at Chubb but not ones that involved DE&I, and so I wondered if I was ‘cultural enough,’” she said. “Would I be able to commit from a time and workload perspective? More importantly, would I be the voice an initiative like Mosaic needed in Canada? But of course, turning down new challenges and opportunities wasn’t me, so I naturally said ‘yes.’”
Ng joined Chubb’s Mosaic as a co-chair for Canada in 2019 and in 2021 sat on the Leadership Board for Mosaic in North America. Mosaic is one of the company’s Business Roundtables (BRT), which are employee-led teams, comprised of individuals with a mix of background and experiences, that support the onboarding of employees as well as the company’s programs to develop and retain talent. The Mosaic BRT is made up of three different alliances – the Mosaic Asian Alliance, which Ng co-founded, strives to bring awareness, advocacy and celebration specific to the Asian and Asian-ally communities.
Just two years after joining Mosaic, Ng, a Global Client Executive for North America Major Accounts, was recognized by Insurance Business magazine as a Canadian Leader of Change. She was selected for her contributions to Chubb's DE&I work as part of her leadership role in the Mosaic Asian Alliance.
Ng’s recognition came just as she was celebrating her 10-year anniversary with Chubb. Her experience with mentorship over that decade has played a role in how she approaches her work with Chubb’s diversity initiatives.
“There are many other individuals, even of different cultures and backgrounds, who may have had a similar upbringing as me but may not have had the mentorships that I had,” says Ng. “I have had some of the best mentors and colleagues who had helped guide me through the years, and so I really wanted to start giving back. I can use my own personal experience and career path as a guide for how I want to make a difference.”
Ng was born and raised in Toronto, Canada, the eldest of three children of first-generation working class Chinese immigrants. Before she learned English, Ng spoke two other languages. Her family retained some Chinese customs and traditions, Ng says, even as they assimilated to Canadian culture seamlessly.
“I had always been told that if I work hard, results will come. I did not believe in ‘no’s’ and obstacles – challenges only motivated me to do better and find another way,” Ng recalled. “It wasn’t until I was listening to other colleagues’ experiences in their careers that I really understood that maybe I did have different challenges than others. It never occurred to me that it was my cultural background or upbringing that gave me a disadvantage.”
For others who want to make a difference, Ng says that getting involved in DE&I “does not necessary mean committing to roundtables or specific initiatives. We are fortunate to work at a company that has so many resources and diverse colleagues, so attending a roundtable discussion, presentation – or simply a dumpling-making event – equates to getting involved.
So where does she see the industry going from a DE&I perspective?
“Only forward, and for the better,” Ng said. “The fact that diversity, equity and inclusion is a predominant and constant topic means people are interested, and interest means education. I truly cannot wait to see where the next decade takes us.”
– May Ng