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Senior Vp, Field Operations
Specialty Risk Services L.L.C.
Pamela Rippens landed a job with The Hartford Financial Services Group Inc. right out of college. Four years after joining as an account claims representative, she became assistant manager in SRS’s Brea, Calif., hub office. By 1993, she was named assistant vp in Hartford’s national accounts underwriting area. Ms. Rippens moved into her current position in 2001, and is responsible for the results of the third-party administrator’s 1,300 field employees nationwide.
Q: If you had the ability to change one thing about the industry what would it be?
A: "There is a belief that insurance and financial risk management is a male dominated, old school, good-old-boys industry. If women accept this view, then they will shy away from this field, and they shouldn’t. I want to debunk this myth. Women should challenge this perspective of the industry. In my experience, women have a variety of career opportunities in the insurance industry that are personally fulfilling as well as have an impact on the growth of the business."
Q: What advice would you give young women entering the industry today?
A: "Dream big and challenge yourself. Look past perceived constraints, biases and stereotypes. Be decisive and follow your passion. Challenge yourself to do things even when you are afraid. Do not feel tied down by those perceived constraints."
Q: Who has had the greatest influence on your career and why?
A: "My parents, my mother in particular, have had the greatest influence on my career. The things that stick with you are the things that your parents give you all through your life. Both pushed me to be the best I could be and not settle for good enough. They taught me to put my heart and soul into whatever I do. They taught me that I could break down barriers with knowledge, compassion and communication."
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.