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Increasing exposure to leaders

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Risk and insurance advisory firm Risk Cooperative recently launched a three-month apprenticeship that gives participants a chance to work in collaboration with company leaders.

Successful candidates in the rigorous, fast-paced program are sponsored by Washington-based Risk Cooperative to train for and pass the state insurance exam in one class of insurance, or to complete one course in a relevant certification, such as project or risk management.

“Our first successful applicant was a woman, and we are pleased that we are able to attract women to the trade because in addition to being a fairly advanced-in-age industry, we also underrepresent women,” said Dante Disparte, the Washington-based founder and CEO of Risk Cooperative.

The first graduate was Maggie Feldman-Piltch, 23, who sees a distinction between apprenticeships and mentorships.

“There's a significant amount of women interested in risk and strategy and security international business, but they are not so much seen because mentorships tend to be with people who gravitate toward people they relate to and see themselves in,” Ms. Feldman-Piltch said. “With an apprenticeship, you don't have to know somebody or be someone who came from the field.”

“Women are more apt to sign up for an apprenticeship program because largely we are not comfortable enough with our own expertise,” she said.

“Whether you have a degree or not, successfully seeing through the program could yield a job with our company, but at a minimum by the time you finish the program you have your state insurance licenses and you could take those skills with you,” Mr. Disparte said.