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Women leaders recognized for diversity efforts

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NEW YORK — In celebration of the 10th anniversary of Business Insurance's Women to Watch awards, the magazine recognized three past honorees with Impact Awards for their exceptional contributions to diversity and inclusion in their industries.

The magazine's Impact Awards, handed out last week at the Women to Watch gala in New York, honored the contributions Marsh USA's Inc.'s Bonnie Boone, Vanderbilt University's Corbette S. Doyle and Lloyd's of London's Inga Beale have made in the commercial insurance, risk management, employee benefits and related fields in the decade since the Women to Watch awards began.

These three women “really stand out for their continued contributions to improving diversity, each in their own unique way,” said Gavin Souter, Chicago-based editor of Business Insurance.

Ms. Boone, now senior vice president at Marsh USA in New York and a 2008 Woman to Watch honoree while senior vice president of Alliant Insurance Services Inc.'s health care division in Chicago and New York, was the first Impact Award winner.

“I love insurance,” Ms. Boone said. “I feel passionately about my work in the industry and passionately about helping junior, minority women have a place in an industry that has been good to me. I feel very passionately about getting our industry to recognize the contributions of women of color.”

Ms. Boone organized a meeting at the 2015 Risk & Insurance Management Society Inc.'s conference in New Orleans to connect junior women of color with older, more experienced women of color to offer sponsorship and mentorship.

“Not just focusing on gender diversity, she serves as a mentor, officially and unofficially, and is a role model for professionals of color in our industry,” said David North, CEO of Sedgwick Claims Management Services Inc. in Memphis, Tennessee, as he presented Ms. Boone's award.

Ms. Doyle, lecturer on organizational leadership in the Department Of Leadership, Policy and Organizations at Vanderbilt University's Peabody College in Nashville, Tennessee, and a 2006 Women to Watch honoree while global chief diversity officer at then-Aon Corp. in Chicago, also was honored with an Impact Award.

“If you believe you have a culture of meritocracy and you look around at your leadership team and your leadership team is very homogenous, then your lens is flawed,” Ms. Doyle said. A true meritocracy, she said, would have a diverse leadership, which means, “We have a long way to go.”

Brian Little, senior vice president and head of human resources for Zurich North America in Chicago, called Ms. Doyle a “pioneer in the field of diversity” as he presented her award.

Ms. Beale, who is Lloyd's CEO and was a 2006 Women to Watch honoree as then-CEO of Converium Holdings Ltd. in Zurich, could not attend the awards event.