Women around the world have come a long way, and this year we are celebrating the women at GCG Financial on International Women’s Day.
In honor of the incredible group of women at GCG, we asked a few of our teammates to share their experience working in the insurance industry as a woman, the biggest changes they’ve seen in the workplace, advice they have for other women looking to further their careers, and words of encouragement to share with other female professionals.
What’s it like to be a woman working in the insurance industry?
“It’s an interesting challenge working in a male dominated industry. The producers and the individuals recognized for successes are almost all men. However, we are very lucky at GCG to have powerful women that we can look up to in prominent positions across all departments.” (Abby Drazner, Operations Project Manager, P&C)
“This industry has its challenges – 57% of entry-level positions are held by women, but women hold less than 25% of C-Suite roles. It can be hard to get a seat at the proverbial table, and even harder for your voice to be objectively heard. That said, ours is also an industry that is doing important work: getting the right and best insurance into the hands of consumers while working to influence the insurance landscape so that it meets the needs of the communities that we serve. Because I am passionate about the work we do, the people we serve, investing into and developing talent, and furthering inclusion, diversity and equity within our industry, I see our industry challenges as opportunities and am grateful to be part of working for change.” (Carla DeMello, President, Employee Benefits)
Over the course of your career, what is the biggest change that you’ve seen in regards to women in the workplace?
“I have seen more and more women recently secure much deserved dominant and senior leadership roles within organizations. This makes me excited for the future and the endless possibilities that will be available.” (Tiffany Brown, Specialty Benefits Manager, Employee Benefits)
“Having more women in leadership has helped position our organization to better serve our clients every day. It makes me excited to see the influence of these women and how they continue to impact the overall success of our team.” (Richard Levitz, Managing Partner).
“We now celebrate our diverse backgrounds and life experiences which create a culture of collaboration that is unmatched. Women have become more prominent figures in wealth services and insurance, and at GCG we are always looking for talented individuals to join our team.” (Basia Pokorny, Director of Marketing)
What is your advice for women looking to further their career?
“Find a good mentor; someone who will help you to succeed. Always ask if you can take on more responsibilities. Learn as much as you can.” (Dyla Touff, Senior Account Manager, P&C)
“Know your value! Your gender will only hold you back if you allow it to. Build a network around you of mentors that will not only give you positive feedback, but also encourage you be/do better.” (Kim Slavik, Select Account Executive, P&C).
What words of encouragement would you like to share with other female professionals?
“There are more opportunities available for women, so don’t be afraid to ask for them! Other men and women in your industry want to empower women to trust their instincts, make decisions, and lead with confidence.” (David Levitz, Managing Partner).
“The [insurance] and financial services industries are some of the most challenging businesses, especially for women who juggle work life and family life. You must have faith in your ability, find your niche and your tribe. Be honest and true to yourself, and remind yourself every day of the value we bring to clients. Sure, our job is to help clients become financially successful but more; we help our clients spend quality time with grandkids, dance at their children’s wedding and take those spectacular once in a lifetime trip(s) and this is truly the value we bring.” (Gigi Verrey, Vice President, Wealth Services).
While we’ve made so many strides, this day reminds us that there is still a long way to go to ensure equality for all women everywhere. Take time today to appreciate the women in your life and the hard work they do.