March is Women’s History Month.
As we reflect on the tremendous value women create, we’re would like to spotlight some intriguing profiles of our women leaders. For being agents of change, using their voices to #breakthebias and taking action to modernize the male-dominated insurance industry.
We sat down with Sharon Fox our Head of Sales, Alicia Sandlin our Director of Strategic Initiatives, and Jackie Cermola who is leading Carrier’s Sales team to ask some questions about their career, beliefs, and initiatives.
“I love the opportunity to positively influence others in my day-to-day. What inspires me to work at an insurtech start-up is the ability to contribute to positive change in the insurance industry that has been really good to me.
What also inspires me to drive forward is the fact that you can pivot and change your career path at any time. I have been in insurance, risk management, mining, power, and now technology. I am constantly seeking out new challenges that give me the opportunity to learn and grow.”
“There’s no one size fits all, and ultimately what motivates you personally will also help propel you professionally. My motivators are my insatiable curiosity, love of learning, and enjoyment of new challenges.
While I have spent almost 20 years within the insurance industry, my career path has not been linear. Early on, I didn’t realize why specific roles presented themselves. Upon reflection, my motivators made specific opportunities more appealing than others. When choosing your path, it’s essential to select one that works for you and not one that you think has been defined for you by others.”
“I’ve been lucky enough throughout my career to be surrounded by women who have achieved a great deal of success. Their accomplishments have fostered my ambitions and strengthened my values. I also have the privilege to work alongside strong, motivated women. I feed off this and it pushes me to create bigger goals for myself and my career. I also love the opportunity to learn new things and, with a career in insurtech, there is no shortage of opportunities to learn and grow!
What inspires me to an even greater extent, though, is my daughter. I want to instill in her the confidence to live passionately, believe in herself, and know her value. I want to teach her to never give up. Things won’t always go as planned but there is always a way to achieve your goals.”
“I think it’s important to observe Women’s History Month because there are so many women around the world still seeking basic rights and it’s important that we bring attention and awareness to the macro and micro issues that come with gender inequality whether it is in the workplace or in different societies. Observing #WHM allows companies to look within and find ways to continuously improve DE&I initiatives.”
“Observing International Women’s History Month is critical. We have come a long way as women, but we still have a long way to go to #breakthebias. Until there are equal rights across the globe for women, we must continue to raise awareness. Many notable women have helped pave the way to today, but the fight for women’s rights is far from over.
For perspective, UN Women state:
That rate of change should be unacceptable to everyone, and observing is critical.
“Representation matters – it’s crucial that we, as women, continue to raise awareness and understand the contributions women have made throughout history to #breakthebias. By celebrating these accomplishments young girls can feel empowered to know that their options are limitless.
In the workplace, the pandemic highlighted the issues women face. There is still a long road ahead to achieve gender equity. Observing Women’s History Month helps to promote a culture where more women role models in the forefront nurture young girls’ confidence to see possibilities and know they can make a difference.
“I would love to see more allyship for women in the workplace. Not through ERgs but day-to-day championing each other, ensuring we are including other women in conversations as well as focusing on developing young female talent. Companies need to be more proactive about providing leadership opportunities to women to groom and develop them for future leadership roles. The insurance industry needs to be more intentional about elevating unique voices in every arena.”
The ultimate goal is for women to have an equal seat at the table, voice, and representation. Companies need to actively train staff on unconscious bias for women and all underrepresented groups until there is equal representation. There are double standards for women, and that should not be acceptable. In fact, McKinsey’s recent study on Women in the Workplace found:
That should not be normal. Women mentoring other women is important for growth and development for both mentors and mentees.
“Women in leadership still only make up a small % of executives overall. I’d like to see more women in leadership take on an active role in mentoring young women. Mentoring helps develop leadership potential and the courage to take more risks. And when we do take risks, we should hail each other’s each other’s successes – big or small. “
“I love to travel and all the things that come with it, cool hotels, restaurants, museums, neighborhoods, arts. I am also really into comedy and music and am in my element when being at live shows. I am a summer person and love being outdoors, kayaking, going to the beach, pool or cottage with friends and family.”
“Outside of work, I enjoy spending time with loved ones and a whole bunch more. My addictions are live music of all types, and international travel (40+ countries), even better combining the two! Capturing the world and expressing creativity through photography is a great escape. My dream retirement would be as an international rock and roll photographer.”
“When not working, my daughter, Wren & I love to spend time outdoors. Kayaking, boating, hiking, and festivals are a few of the things we enjoy with our family and friends. Traveling also tops the list – I love to meet people from all over and learn about their culture. I hope to get back to doing more of this soon. One of my biggest goals is to show Wren the world and instill in her a love to travel!”