With this issue, Insurance Networking News celebrates its 15-year anniversary and presents its annual Women in Insurance Leadership. The combination led me to start thinking about accomplishments-how far we've come as an industry, the accomplishments of women in business and of course, the successes of this year's 10 WIL award winners.
All of these women are positively affecting their individual businesses (page 14), which won them recognition. But after talking to many of them, they're also blazing a trail for the industry-making advancements in diversity, technology, regulation, talent acquisition and other areas.
This year's WIL winner list contains more C-level women at tier-1 insurers than the past six years. Seraina Maag, chief executive, North America Property & Casualty, XL Group, Insurance; Noreen Randazzo, VP and CIO, Enterprise Solutions, The Hartford Financial Services Group Inc.; and Mary Springberg, VP and CIO, Allstate Financial Technology, Allstate Financial are among those assuming leadership positions. They've all faced unique challenges, playing a part in where they are today. Maag put it best: "It's very satisfying if you can solve problems and look back on your achievements and leave your mark on an organization."
Many women have and there are more to come. Right now there are 19 women CEOs in the Fortune 500. In 1997, there were two. What a difference 15 years makes. Also, currently, 888 women serve on the board of a Fortune 500 company, compared to 444 in 1997, according to nonprofit membership organization Catayst. And, women make up 18.3 percent of board directors in the finance and insurance industries in Fortune 500 companies.
As these accomplishments are worth celebrating, so are the ones our industry has made over the 15 years INN has been covering it.
As our editorial advisory board members point out (page 8), we survived Y2K, improved business models, developed standards, got the whole Internet thing down. So, what's in store for the next 15 years? Self-driving and electric cars, mind-boggling Internet speed and processing power and storage? Contributor, Novarica partner Chad Hersh, says maybe (page 10).
What is certain: Leaders are a must-have to make these things happen. And, one thing I've learned from all of this reflection is that what each of us is doing right now, today, will impact our industry in the next 15 years.
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