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Spotlight Series: Amelia Lowe, Vice President of Operations at SquareTrade, an Allstate Company

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ARTICLE SUMMARY

Meet Amelia Lowe, Vice President of Operations at SquareTrade, an Allstate Company and hear all aobut her journey.

I am currently the Vice President of Operations at SquareTrade, an Allstate Company. Allstate is a Fortune 100 company with a market cap of $40 billion and SquareTrade Europe is a FinTech/InsurTech business that was acquired by Allstate in 2017.

 We provide insurance and extended warranty products for smartphones, consumer electronics and major appliances to over 120 million customers globally.

Previously, I have consulted for a range of clients including LVMH, Unilever and Heinz, as well as a variety of startups across multiple industries. I am a postgraduate alumnus of Cambridge Judge Business School, a fellow of the NEF Fast Track program, which is run by the Centre for Entrepreneurs, and a Non-Executive Director & Board Member. 

How did you land your current role? Was it planned?

I have been with SquareTrade for 9 years, before joining my background was in consulting, e-commerce, and technology focused consumer products and services.  I joined SquareTrade as an Analyst when our business operated in just one European market, insuring one product category (smartphones).  Over the last 9 years I’ve had multiple roles across the breadth of our operations department. 

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Today, I lead our operations department covering all of Europe, which services 14 European markets and 20+ product categories.  I’ve had the privilege of building the operations team from 3 people to over 35 people with 300 outsourced support staff.

What are the key roles in your field of work, and why did you choose your current expertise?

We are a technology company that sells our products B2B, however we service our products B2C.  It is for this reason that we see ourselves as a customer led business and deliver value to both our channel partners and our end customers by leading our industry in innovation – resulting in technology driven, customer focused propositions and sustainability leadership.  

As an operations leader in a high growth technology focused business, I have always been attracted to the challenge of building the foundations for sustainable growth. This requires achieving a balance between top line growth and increasing profitability. Throughout my journey before and with SquareTrade, I’ve gained significant experience working in high-growth and international businesses, honing my skills in operations, sustainability, strategy, and innovation. I am driven by the opportunity to lead high performing teams, deliver real transformation, and tackle complex business challenges, excelling in leading through change.

Historically, there was often a trade-off between commercial business objectives and customer experience. However, with the advent of digitisation capabilities and new technologies like AI, we can now achieve transformational cost reduction while simultaneously improving customer experience and delivering increased customer value.

Did you (or do you) have a role model in tech or business in general?

Absolutely, there are several people I look up to. Hannah Mills is an extraordinary female leader who excels in promoting sustainability and building high-performing teams. She has launched businesses focused on sustainability and technology, and has made a significant impact on these areas. Of course, she is the most successful female Olympic sailor of all time and a passionate advocate for encouraging women to pursue careers in STEM, I admire her deeply. 

Another role model is Kathryn Parsons, the founder of Decoded, a groundbreaking digital learning company that aims to demystify coding and make it accessible for everyone. Her company is known for its ambitious promise to teach people with no prior computing knowledge how to build an app in just one day. 

Finally, I think Martha Lane Fox is incredible. She co-founded Lastminute.com in 1998 which totally revolutionized online travel booking. Since then, she has become one of the UK’s most influential digital campaigners, appointed the government’s Digital Inclusion Champion and later becoming the youngest female member of the House of Lords, and she continues to advocate for digital inclusion and innovation using her powerful platform. 

These are all women who have made significant contributions in their respective fields and continue to inspire through their leadership, innovation, and commitment to making a difference. 

What are you most proud of in your career, so far?  What is your leadership style and how does it ensure diversity and inclusion are fostered?

I am most proud of the high-performing teams I have built at SquareTrade. My leadership style is very much rooted in my personal values, emphasizing integrity, trust, transparency, and respect. I do this by focusing on fostering a team culture that inspires, promotes wellbeing, and encourages informed risk-taking. By providing clear structure, governance, and setting well-defined expectations I have found that it is possible to create environments where team members can thrive and perform their best. 

With this approach, not only are high-quality results possible but it also ensures that the process of achieving these results is as important as the outcomes themselves, which ultimately helps to bring teams together in really meaningful ways. It allows for continuous improvement through learning from mistakes and understanding failures. 

Moreover, by prioritising these values and creating a supportive and inclusive culture, I ensure that diversity and inclusion are integral parts of my leadership. This inclusive environment respects and values each team member’s unique contributions, driving both individual and collective success.

Are there any specific skills or traits that you notice companies look for when you’re searching for roles in your field?

In a high growth technology company, leaders must be able to effectively lead through change, foster innovation, create high performing teams and thrive on managing uncertainty. Thriving amidst uncertainty is crucial. One question I often ask candidates is whether they are “comfortable being uncomfortable.” This ability to embrace and manage discomfort is essential for success in such dynamic settings.

Has anyone ever tried to stop you from learning and developing in your professional life, or have you found the tech sector supportive?

The technology sector has always been supportive of my development, however it requires all women to push themselves and break down barriers, and shatter glass ceilings. It’s essential for women to challenge predisposed notions and support each other and future generations.  London is a diverse and dynamic city, however there is a long way to go and plenty more opportunities to increase diversity in our industry.

Have you ever faced insecurities and anxieties during your career, and how did you overcome them?

Of course, I think this is a very common thing to face for many people.  It is essential to believe in yourself and seek opportunities for development and learning. Connect with people you admire, whether it’s through a mentor, a podcast, or other means. Surround yourself with a supportive group—family, friends, connections, and colleagues—who can be crucial at different points in your journey. Most importantly, don’t let fears and doubts get in the way of your ambition. When you trust yourself, stay true to your values, and actively seek growth opportunities, anything is possible.

What advice would you give other women wanting to reach their career goals in technology?

A colleague once shared some feedback for me and it’s stuck with me, it’s so important that we support each other;

Women are often told that to be successful in life you need to be less or more of something. Be less sensitive, be more assertive. Put yourself out there more, but not too much. But what I have come to realise is that you don’t have to conform to anyone else’s standards. True leadership lies in embracing your unique strengths and leveraging them as your superpower. Instead of trying to be someone you’re not, focus on honing your skills and making a meaningful impact. Whether it’s through your calm demeanor, empathetic nature, or supportive attitude, you have the power to inspire confidence in those around you. Encourage others to stand up for their beliefs, take risks, and continuously strive to become the best version of themselves.

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