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Risk & Insurance Management Society Inc.
Mary Roth began her career at RIMS in 1985 as a research analyst after spending a couple years in research and development at Group Health Inc., a large nonprofit health services organization in New York. Ms. Roth steadily rose through the RIMS organization, assuming the position of assistant director of research and the director of membership and chapter services before being tapped for deputy executive director and then chief operating officer. Ms. Roth assumed her current position in October 2004.
Q: Who has had the greatest influence on your career and why?
A: "First and foremost, it was former RIMS Executive Director Gene Ricci,” who headed the organization from 1991 through March 1997. “He told me, ‘You someday should have my job.’ And after that, he was very supportive” in ensuring that Ms. Roth was involved in budgeting and strategic planning for the organization. “He also encouraged professional development. He put in my mind that someday I could be executive director of RIMS.” Also, a group of RIMS leaders, including many RIMS presidents, were instrumental “in supporting my rise to this position and encouraging it."
Q: What advice would you give young women entering the industry today?
A: "First, embrace a mentor,” who should be someone working in an area of keen interest. Next, “join a professional organization and network with people who are your peers or will be your peers.” Also, continuing education is “an important way to gain mobility within the industry."
Q: If you had the ability to change one thing about the industry what would it be?
A: "The one thing I’d like to change is to see greater recognition of the value of risk managers at the board level and in the C suites.” With the insurance industry, “I’d like to see an improved reputation of the industry with the public. The industry does a lot of charitable things. They don’t get recognition for all of the good things they provide."
Business Insurance's report on "Women to Watch" is our attempt to identify some of the women who are leading change in commercial insurance, risk management, employee benefits and related fields.