While female professional leaders perform as well or better than men in many areas, they are not perceived to be as strong as men when it comes to articulating a vision of the future and translating that vision into a strategic direction for the organization. This is what research from INSEAD, an international graduate business school and research institution based in Fontainebleau, France and Singapore, concludes. INSEAD professor Herminia Ibarra, who headed the leadership assessment research, says that this (or this perception) may be what is keeping some women from the executive level in some companies. If this truly is the case, the women profiled by INN's editors on the next eight pages must be exceptions to the research. These six women in insurance leadership and four notable achievers are blazing the trails for other female executives. We can tip our hats to many insurance companies' efforts in promoting growth for women. But, Insurance Networking News wants to recognize individual unique accomplishments of the industry's prominent female leaders.

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