Empowering Success: Maria Fraga’s Leadership Journey at Lockton Companies

Maria Fraga

In the dynamic landscape of business leadership, success is not merely measured by individual achievements but by the collective growth and development of those under one’s guidance. Maria Fraga, Senior Vice President at Lockton Companies, embodies this principle through her commitment to nurturing talent and fostering inclusive environments. With a distinguished career spanning over three decades, Maria’s leadership journey serves as a testament to the transformative power of compassion, resilience, and dedication. This article delves into Maria’s role at Lockton Companies, her insights on leadership, and the guiding principles that define her path to success.

Lockton Companies: A Beacon of Excellence

Maria offers a comprehensive introduction to Lockton Companies, a prominent figure in insurance brokerage and consulting services on a global scale. At Lockton, Maria explains, success is deeply rooted in their commitment to independence. This independence empowers Lockton’s workforce of over 10,750 Associates spread across 140 countries to dedicate themselves wholly to addressing the diverse and evolving needs of their clients.

Maria highlights Lockton’s reputation, built upon pillars of expertise, client-centric service, and a vibrant workplace culture. Lockton’s commitment to excellence has earned the company prestigious accolades, including the distinguished title of being recognized as a “Best Places to Work in Insurance” for an impressive streak of 15 consecutive years. This feat speaks volumes about Lockton’s dedication to fostering an environment where Associates can thrive, innovate, and deliver unparalleled value to their clients.

Introduction to Maria: Embracing Evolution in Career Trajectory

Maria Fraga’s professional journey encompasses over three decades of growth and evolution. Beginning as an accountant at her previous employer, she immersed herself in mastering financial analysis and management. However, as time progressed, Maria realized that her true passion lay in human resources (HR), where she could engage directly with people. This epiphany led to a pivotal career transition, marking the shift from numbers-focused roles to the dynamic field of HR. Over the course of 20+ years in HR, Maria ascended the ranks to become the Global Head of Benefits and Wellness. In this role, she spearheaded various initiatives aimed at enhancing employee well-being, notably advocating for the removal of financial barriers to mental health care. Her tenure in benefits and employee welfare fueled her interest in benefits consulting, ultimately paving the way for her current role at Lockton Companies.

Today, as a Senior Vice Present- Senior Consultant and the East Region Account Executive Leader, Maria leverages her diverse career trajectory to empower organizations and their employees in the complex global marketplace.

“Life is 10% what happens to us and 90% how we react to it.” – Charles R. Swindoll

Leadership Philosophy and Operations at Lockton

Maria holds a pivotal position at Lockton, where she assumes the responsibility of overseeing the operations of the account executive team specifically catering to the East region. In this capacity, her primary focus revolves around providing clients with comprehensive global benefits consulting and management services. At the heart of Lockton’s operational framework lies its core value of prioritizing its people, a principle that resonates deeply with Maria’s leadership philosophy.

At Lockton Maria is dedicated to creating a workplace culture where everyone feels empowered to excel. She emphasizes collaboration, inclusivity, and diversity-driven excellence as key values. Lockton’s solutions are tailored to meet the unique needs of each client, embracing a diverse range of perspectives. As a leader, Maria champions these values, empowering the account executive team to provide exceptional support and expertise, enabling clients to navigate complex global benefits with confidence.

“Success is not about climbing the corporate ladder, but about lifting others as you rise.” – Unknown

A Day in Maria’s Work Life: Navigating Complexity with Resilience

Maria Fraga epitomizes resilience in her approach, a quality that defines her professional work. Each day is a dynamic blend of collaboration, problem-solving, and meaningful connections. Commencing with calls to colleagues across Asia-Pacific (APAC) countries in the morning, Maria seamlessly transitions through interactions with teams in Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA), Latin America (LTAM), and North America as the day progresses.

Despite the diverse challenges posed by each client interaction, Maria thrives on the opportunity to unravel complex issues and foster growth. The unpredictability of her daily tasks invigorates her, as she embraces the chance to learn from different cultures and approaches. Each interaction not only contributes to her professional growth but also underscores the significance of building meaningful connections in the global landscape. Through her resilient spirit and unwavering dedication, Maria navigates the complexities of her role with grace and determination.

Lessons Learned and Roadblocks Overcome

Maria offers reflections drawn from the challenges she has faced on her professional journey, each serving as a stepping-stone towards her growth and development. Born into humble beginnings as an immigrant from a small village in Portugal, Maria encountered early obstacles that tested her resilience and determination. Despite the constraints of her upbringing, marked by a lack of basic amenities like running water and electricity, Maria learned to navigate adversity with resourcefulness and unwavering resolve.

One of the defining moments in Maria’s journey came when she confronted career barriers head-on, transcending limitations through her relentless pursuit of higher education. Despite being informed during an interview process that her career progression would be capped due to her educational background, Maria refused to accept this as her fate. Instead, she made the bold decision to pursue a bachelor’s degree, even amidst the responsibilities of being a parent to three young children, including twins.

Maria’s pursuit of higher education was not just about academic achievement but also a commitment to personal and professional growth. Balancing studies, work, and parental responsibilities, she demonstrated resilience and dedication. Her bachelor’s degree opened doors to career advancement. Maria’s journey taught her the importance of resilience, adaptability, and continuous learning. She saw challenges as opportunities for growth and self-discovery, highlighting the power of perseverance and the limitless potential within everyone.

“We need to accept that we won’t always make the right decisions, that we’ll screw up royally sometimes – understanding that failure is not the opposite of success, it’s part of success.” – Arianna Huffington

Empowering Success Through Leadership

Maria Fraga is a visionary leader who believes success is achieved through the growth and advancement of her team members. She provides robust support, resources, and mentorship to empower her team. Maria measures success not just by personal accomplishments but also by the achievements and progress of her team. She fosters an environment where her team feels empowered to reach their full potential, investing time and effort in talent nurturing and professional development.

Maria Fraga’s leadership style fosters camaraderie and collaboration within her team, prioritizing growth, and advancement. This fosters a shared purpose and achievement, resulting in innovation, creativity, and mutual support. Maria’s unwavering commitment to empowering others, through robust support, mentorship, and genuine investment in their success, inspires them to reach new heights and leads them towards greater achievement and fulfilment.

Milestones of Leadership

Maria underscores two pivotal milestones that have shaped her leadership journey: fostering the growth of her team members and spearheading transformative initiatives in mental health advocacy. These milestones not only reflect Maria’s unwavering commitment to empowerment and innovation but also epitomize her compassionate leadership style.

Firstly, Maria takes immense pride in nurturing the growth and development of her team members, exemplifying her dedication to their professional advancement. One such milestone is her mentorship of a team member who embarked on a path toward advanced education. By providing unwavering support, encouragement, and ample opportunities for growth, Maria played a pivotal role in empowering her team member to reach new heights in their career. Witnessing this individual’s progression, from taking on new challenges to assuming greater responsibilities, provides Maria with profound fulfilment and underscores her effectiveness as a leader.

Secondly, Maria’s leadership extends beyond conventional boundaries, as evidenced by her advocacy for transformative mental health initiatives in the workplace. Recognizing the critical importance of mental well-being, Maria spearheaded groundbreaking efforts to remove financial barriers to mental health care for employees. Through her leadership, Maria successfully implemented a pioneering initiative—a $10,000 per employee and per dependent per year mental health benefit in Canada. This initiative not only prioritized the mental health and well-being of employees but also set a new standard in employer-sponsored mental health support.

These milestones serve as tangible manifestations of Maria’s compassionate leadership and unwavering dedication to Associate well-being. By nurturing the growth of her team members and championing innovative initiatives, Maria has established herself as a trailblazer in leadership, leaving a lasting impact on both her team and the broader organization. Her commitment to empowerment and advocacy underscores her belief in creating a supportive and inclusive workplace culture where every individual can thrive and succeed.

Navigating Challenges as a Woman in Leadership

As a woman in leadership, Maria acknowledges the biases and disparities she faces but views them as opportunities for growth. She confronts these barriers with resilience and determination, aiming to inspire future generations. Maria is a strong advocate for equality and diversity in leadership roles, aiming to inspire and empower other women to pursue leadership positions. She seeks to create an environment where everyone, regardless of gender or background, can thrive and succeed.

Maria is a leader who promotes inclusivity and diversity, advocating for gender equality and equal opportunities. She drives positive change within her organization and the industry by championing diversity in leadership. Maria’s vision of leadership emphasizes success not just in personal achievements but also in the collective progress of her team and the inclusive culture she cultivates.

A Commitment to Legacy

Beyond her professional endeavors, Maria Fraga is driven by a commitment to leaving a legacy of empowerment and inspiration. Central to her aspirations is the desire to serve as a role model for her children, especially her daughter, and aspiring women in the industry. Throughout her career, Maria has championed the importance of self-belief and embracing one’s unique strengths.

Her message to aspiring women is rooted in the belief that every individual possesses the potential to effect positive change and shatter barriers. Maria advocates for fostering a culture of support and collaboration, emphasizing the transformative impact of uplifting one another. By challenging the status quo and breaking barriers, she envisions a future where inclusivity and equity prevail. Maria’s commitment to leaving a legacy of empowerment is a testament to her resilience, determination, and compassion, guiding her as she inspires others and leaves an indelible mark on the world.


Maria Fraga’s leadership journey at Lockton Companies epitomizes the transformative power of compassion, resilience, and unwavering dedication. Through her visionary leadership and commitment to fostering inclusive environments, Maria inspires others to embrace resilience, drive positive change, and redefine success in leadership. As she continues to chart new horizons, Maria remains a beacon of inspiration, empowering individuals, and organizations to reach unprecedented heights of success.