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Guy Carpenter & Co. L.L.C.
Kathleen R. McCann is a reinsurance broker who has been the branch manager of Guy Carpenter & Co. L.L.C.'s Boston branch office for more than two years. During that time, she has expanded the broker's Northeastern client base and directly worked with clients on reinsurance strategies to meet their risk and capital management needs. Ms. McCann also works with London and Bermuda reinsurers as co-lead of Guy Carpenter's Assumed Reinsurance Initiative, which taps account executives throughout the company to help reinsurer clients diversify and mitigate risks through retrocession. To help other women professionals, Ms. McCann chairs Guy Carpenter's networking and resource group for women employees and is helping the group establish a mentoring program for Marsh & McLennan Cos. Inc. Helping those less fortunate and supporting young women's causes are important to Ms. McCann. She serves on a Marsh & McLennan steering committee to raise funds for Plan International, which works to alleviate child poverty in developing countries, specifically the “Because I Am a Girl” initiative to fight gender inequality and promote girls' rights. In her own area, Ms. McCann is a member of the Mansfield, Mass., Mother's Club, a nonprofit aimed at supporting parents through activities that enrich children's lives and projects that benefit local families.
WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE TO WOMEN ENTERING THIS FIELD?
My advice is for women in general, not just women in this industry: Being able to articulate and develop your ‘personal brand' is so important. By that I mean women must be able to eloquently explain what they do, how they do it and why it is relevant. Put it into words that people not in the business can understand. I also advise women to learn something specific. Pick an area of business that is not necessarily one that you planned on entering, and become a ‘go-to' person and clear resource for the organization for which you work. Take tough assignments, take chances, get out of your comfort zone.
WHAT IS THE MOST INTERESTING THING YOU'VE LEARNED IN YOUR CAREER?
I think the most interesting lesson I have learned is that you can work really hard and still run into dead ends. But the work may lead to another avenue that is even more interesting than the one you were previously hoping to find.
DID YOU HAVE A MENTOR EARLY IN YOUR CAREER?
I feel that I had a sponsor early in my career. A sponsor is someone in a position to discuss your capabilities with others who can help you advance your career. I had a gentleman who took me under his wing early in my career and gave me great assignments and advocated for me.
WHAT IS YOUR DREAM JOB, OUTSIDE OF YOUR CURRENT ROLE?
My dream job would be to own my own floral shop. I would solely want to be a floral designer and leave the business end to someone else. Flowers make me happy and make other people happy.
OUTSIDE OF FAMILY AND COLLEAGUES, WHOM DO YOU ADMIRE MOST?
I definitely admire people who are confident about making tough decisions, such as changing a business model and affecting teams of people or an entire organization. People who can do that well are successful. In both professional and personal situations, it's hard to make tough decisions that go against the grain.
WHAT'S YOUR CAN'T-MISS TV SHOW?
“Sons of Anarchy,” which is a about a California motorcycle gang that wants to save its outlaw lifestyle while also protecting its town. What I find interesting are the personal dynamics among the gang members.
BEYOND WORK, WHAT ONE THING DO YOU WANT TO DO OR ACCOMPLISH IN LIFE?
I want to try to make a positive change that has a major effect on a large group of people. I love volunteering my time. It's definitely fulfilling.
DO YOU USE SOCIAL MEDIA? IF NOT, WHY NOT?
I use LinkedIn and Facebook on a limited basis due to time constraints. Social media are a great way to link up with former colleagues and friends.
Business Insurance's annual Women to Watch feature recognizes individuals doing exceptional work in risk management, benefits management, commercial insurance and related fields.