In 2014, Inga Beale became the first female CEO of Lloyd's of London, a leading specialist insurance market.
To be a chief executive takes a lot of confidence and management skills to steer a company forward. However, when Beale was offered her first-ever promotion in the insurance industry, she didn't think she was good enough to manage even one person.
"I can remember, it was in the 1990s and I had been working in the insurance sector for about 14 years and I was offered my first promotion. This was going to be the first time I was going to manage one person at work, and do you know what? I said 'No,'" Beale told CNBC on Thursday.
"I look back at that 32-year old Inga and I don't recognize her now — but that's how under-confident I was. I didn't think I was ready or good enough to take the job."
Luckily for Beale, she was "fortunate enough" to work for a business that incorporated a pro-active talent management program that encouraged promoting women and female leadership.
"It was only through that, that they then had to persevere with me and then persuaded me: 'You can take that job, you've got the confidence to do that,'" she said.
As the debate surrounding pay disparity gathers momentum, companies are being pressed to publish their own reports on how much they pay each sex. British firms that have more than 250 employees are legally required to publicly release their gender pay gap data by April.