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Chubb Custom Insurance

Warren, N.J.

Age: 52

Gail Soja began her career in insurance as a file clerk at Fireman's Fund Insurance Co. in Tennessee. She joined Chubb in 1984 as an excess umbrella underwriter and has been a career- long advocate for mentoring in the workplace. As a member of Chubb's Women's Development Council, she helped develop the organization's mentoring program, which has helped about 175 women advance their careers.

advice to young women: "You have to be a self advocate. I learned that the hard way. If you are making a contribution to the organization, don't be afraid to let people know that you are making a contribution, that you're proud of that contribution, that you're committed to the organization. You're the only person who can do that. Make sure that early in your career that you reach out to people that you respect. If you like the way someone leads, reach out to them and begin to build your network."