When Lori Dickerson Fouché was named president and CEO of Fireman's Fund Insurance Co., she became one of four women holding top executive spots in that company. It's true that Fireman's Fund has seen turnover in the executive suite; Fouché is the fourth person to hold this role in four years. But more notable is how quickly she rose within the ranks from her mid-level marketing role (less than six years) to sit at the helm. With academic credentials from Princeton, Harvard and Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University, Fouché obviously comes highly qualified for her new position.

According to Catalyst, a nonprofit membership organization that works to expand opportunities for women in business, only 2.4% of women in U.S. insurance and finance hold the position of CEO. In stark comparison, women comprise 57.3% of the industry's labor force, 19.1% of its executive officers, and 17.4% of its board members.

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