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2006 Women to Watch: Alice Edwards

Hilb Rogal & Hobbs Co.

Alice Edwards

National Practice Leader

Hilb Rogal & Hobbs Co.


Age: 45



Alice Edwards began her career in 1980 as an aviation underwriting assistant with the Insurance Co. of North America in London. She later joined Tomas Howell and spent six years as loss adjuster in Jakarta, Indonesia. In 1997, she joined Cunningham Lindsey in Atlanta as global business unit manager. She became senior property claims consultant with the Hobbs Group in Atlanta in 2002. Hobbs became part of Hilb Rogal & Hobbs Co. the same year, and in 2004, Ms. Edwards was named national practice leader of the brokerage’s Complex Property Claims operation.



Q: What advice would you give young women entering the industry today?

A: "Young women often have a confidence problem. They feel that they have to prove themselves and keep proving themselves. My advice is to get the best professional designation you can, such as a CPCU or ARM, put it on your business card, and then get over the need to keep proving yourself. You’re as good as anyone out there—if you believe it then so will everyone else. I also feel that women, more than men, need to have a long-term career strategy. The reality is that women still do most of the child-raising in our society. The best way to balance work and family, in my view, is to take a long-term approach. Build knowledge, street smarts and contacts early on. Get some early achievements under your belt. Then, if you need to, you will be able to go into maintenance mode for some years in the middle of your career while you spend some time with your small children. During that time, try to take on some high-profile or higher-risk projects that continue to build experience and add strength to your resume. Once (your children) are more independent, you can throw yourself back in to work as the center of your life."



Q: Who has had the greatest influence on your career and why?

A: "That is so difficult to answer. There have been several male managers that I have reported to who came up in what was almost an exclusively male industry, who saw how the industry was changing, and what opportunities were going to open up for able women. There have also been outstanding women that I wanted to emulate."



Q: If you had the ability to change one thing about the industry what would it be?

A: "We have taken great strides in recruiting and promoting able women. Now, we need to work hard to make our industry more attractive to minorities—once we successfully mirror our clients and prospects by reflecting and embracing the broad spectrum of American society, we’ll be able to fully understand and respond to their needs."


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