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Chief Operating Officer, Travelers National Accounts
St. Paul Travelers Cos. Inc.
Pamela Carpenter started in the industry as an account executive with Travelers in 1977, and later served as a manager in commercial lines in the Hartford, Conn., field office. In 1990, she became underwriting officer for the national accounts Northeast region. In 1998, she moved to the Hartford base of operations as a chief underwriting officer and continued to work in commercial underwriting and marketing until assuming her current duties this year.
Q: What advice would you give young women entering the industry today?
A: "I would encourage them to pursue opportunities in the underwriting and marketing areas and to fix their sights on management positions. Although progress has been made, women are underrepresented in these roles in our industry and there is great opportunity for young women in this industry in the coming years. By staying focused, doing your job with integrity and accepting challenges, any young worker can build a foundation for a promising future."
Q: Who has had the greatest influence on your career and why?
A: "I’ve been fortunate in my career to have been influenced and assisted by a few special individuals who served as mentors. Over the years, each of them reinforced a common theme, which was to continually focus on results without sacrificing integrity. Any business environment offers opportunities for risk and creativity, but at the end of the day, if you’re not producing positive results—at whatever level of responsibility you may have—your future growth will be limited."
Q: If you had the ability to change one thing about the industry what would it be?
A: "The insurance industry, like many others, is extremely cyclical in nature, which poses challenges in planning and often results in the industry appearing reactive in the market. As an industry, I think we should work toward being more proactive."
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.