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Leaders, innovators are selected as 'Women to Watch'

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Leaders, innovators are selected as 'Women to Watch'

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.

The 80 women profiled beginning on page 18 represent senior executives and innovators at a range of organizations. These women are leaders, but they are not the only women worthy of note. Choosing this list was difficult (see story page 47), as we received many nominations for women who are doing outstanding work in their organizations.

We like to think of the Women to Watch report as a starting point, not an endpoint, for discussing the importance of women in the industry. Even though more women are taking on high-profile jobs, senior management in the insurance business has remained largely male. BI believes that diversity--whether through gender, race or ethnicity--is important for an industry that serves people and businesses in all walks of life.

BI last produced a special report on women in October 2000. That report looked at women's career contributions. This year's Women to Watch report was intended to spotlight current leaders as well as those who are about to take on senior leadership positions.

In general, the women on our list are in executive roles, serving risk managers, benefit managers or commercial insurers and are visible to those clients. Women who are involved behind the scenes in administrative roles are no less important, but our focus for this report was on leaders whose efforts are having a more direct impact on buyers.

The profiles of the Women to Watch feature biographical information and answers to three questions we posed: What advice would you give to young women entering the industry? Who has had the greatest influence on your career? What would you change about the insurance industry, if you could?

Their answers provide insight that we hope will inform and inspire others who are working in this industry--both men and women. While we have published answers to one of the three questions in the magazine, the complete profiles with the women's answers to the other questions can be viewed online at www.BusinessInsurance.com/Women2Watch.

The Women to Watch are a special group who can help attract other talented people to this business. BI is looking forward to reporting on the contributions women are making and the changes they are leading.