Meet the team


The Women in Protection Network is run by 5 dedicated women who are passionate about protection, diversity, inclusion and accessibility.

They run the Women in Protection Network in their spare time on a voluntary basis.

Have a read below and meet the Women in Protection Executive Team.

Emma Thomson

Emma is the Founder and the Chair of the Women in Protection Network, and has been an advocate for the protection industry for nearly 20 years. Renowned as a thought leader who pushes the market forward for the right reasons, Emma has been recognised with several industry awards including Insurance Person of the Year and Inspirational Leader of the Year.

Over the years, her work with insurers, advisers, reinsurers and journalists has been a notable driver of positive change in the industry. Emma was the inaugural Chair of the Protection Distributors Group leading it to become a well-respected industry lobby group and is currently a PDG board member. She also contributes to other industry organisations such as the Income Protection Taskforce and Association of Mortgage Intermediaries.

In April 2021, Emma joined Sesame Bankhall Group and is their Head of Protection Development.


Catherine Trimble

Catherine has over 30 years of financial services experience. She has a passion for protection products and a real belief in the value they deliver. She enjoys working alongside advisers and distributors looking at ways to develop and enhance their protection strategy. The execution of a strategic vision for sales lies at the centre of any successful business, but for protection it’s about embracing and blending the critical importance of product understanding, soft skills, high quality analytics and sales motivation to ensure a customer’s needs are fully covered.

The Women in Protection Network gives Catherine another platform to raise awareness of just how important protection planning is when providing holistic advice to customers.

Shelli Bentley

Shelli is highly experienced in the Protection market, having held a number of sales focused roles within the industry since 2007. Shelli joined Royal London as face-to-face BDM for the Southwest in 2014 and was subsequently promoted to Regional Distribution Manager for the South in 2017 and currently holds responsibility for a team of 8 BDMs. Through this role she promotes a consultative selling approach within her team which focusses on enhancing end customer outcomes, within a keen focus on life stages and ongoing support for members and advisers.

Shelli joined the Women in Protection executive committee in 2019 and is passionate about understanding the barriers to engaging women in protection to ensure more women are having the right conversations about protecting their financial futures.  She is also keen to encourage more women to start and develop their careers within Protection through her role as a sales manager and mentor.

Shelli 2

Stephanie Hydon

As Director of Client Distribution, Stephanie is a tenacious advocate of technology being used to enable growth in the UK Protection market. Partnering with intermediaries to put in place processes and technology that has transformed their performance and raised the quality of client outcomes. As a member of the Women in Protection Network Exec, Stephanie is focused on ensuring our industry remains relevant to the next generation of consumers and the underserved female market, challenging the status quo, seeking positive change and action. Stephanie has been recognised with several industry awards including, Women of the Year Technology, Women of the Year Protection, and Outstanding Contribution to the Industry. 

Georgia d'Esterre

Georgia has worked in Financial Services marketing for over 20 years, and she loves all things marketing orientated. Georgia is passionate about promoting the importance of financial inclusion and raising awareness around the importance of savings, mortgages, and protection, and throughout her career she has led and delivered many educationally focused marketing communications and campaigns. She is currently Head of Marketing at the West Brom Building Society and has held senior marketing appointments at AXA and smaller mutuals like Holloway Friendly. During these roles she has built high performing marketing functions, led award-winning rebrands, developed and executed marketing strategies as well as creating omnichannel marketing campaigns. Georgia also sits on the Executive Committee of the Women in Protection Network, which is a voluntary organisation with over 200 members which meets quarterly and hosts a flagship conference every Spring for the wider Protection industry. In her spare time Georgia likes to spend time with her family, enjoying the outdoors and sneaking off for a well-deserved spa day!