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Business Insurance's "Women to Watch" feature is our attempt to identify some of the women who are doing outstanding work in commercial insurance, risk management, employee benefits and related fields.
Fifty women are profiled beginning on page 10. They represent senior executives and innovators at a variety of organizations serving the buyers of commercial insurance, reinsurance, risk management services and employee benefits.
This list was compiled from hundreds of nominations by readers as well as information supplied by senior staff of Business Insurance. Narrowing down such a large list to only 50 was not easy (see related story). Inevitably, many very talented and hard-working women did not make this year's list.
Business Insurance intends to make the Women to Watch an annual feature and highlight the work of a different set of women leaders each year. We consider the Women to Watch 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 remains 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 has produced two previous special reports on women. The first, in October 2000, looked at women's career contributions. In 2006, our Women to Watch report spotlighted current leaders as well as those who were 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 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 2007 Women to Watch feature biographical information and answers to questions we posed, such as: Who was your role model? What advice would you give to young women entering the industry? What did you want to be when you grew up?
We hope their answers will inform and inspire others working in this industry--both men and women. While we have published answers to just one of the three questions in the magazine, the complete profiles with the women's answers to all the other questions can be viewed on our Web site at www.BusinessInsurance.com/ women2007.