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Global head of liability risk consulting, client risk solutions
American International Group Inc.
As a female safety engineer and loss prevention specialist, Kim Kramer has been a pioneer.
When she first started in her profession, “it was very much a male-dominated world,” said Ms. Kramer, New York-based global head of liability risk consulting, client risk solutions, at American International Group Inc. It has only been in the past 15 to 20 years that more women have entered the field, she said.
Ms. Kramer has personally contributed to that trend, acting formally and informally as a mentor, helping women already in the field and any newcomers, “making sure they’re really focused on what companies are offering them” to advance their careers, she said.
One of her role models was her paternal grandmother, a “trailblazer” who was in New York University’s first graduating class. “There was no box that could contain her,” she said. “If she wanted something and it was only available to a man, it didn’t matter, she was going to get it.”
Ms. Kramer started out as a pre-med student in college, until the difficult organic chemistry course derailed her plans. She accepted a job at Chubb Corp., although, she said, “I didn’t even know what an insurance company was.” Originally assigned to the executive protection department, upon learning of her background in science and pre-med, Chubb “moved me across the hall to the loss control and safety engineering department,” which began her three-decade career in engineering and risk consulting, she said.
Ms. Kramer has been at AIG for about 12 years. “I love what I do. I’ve done everything from caring for 10,000 mice for a client” to help the company understand ergonomic issues, to watching wine grapes being harvested, to seeing tens of thousands of precision-made machine parts going onto military aircraft, said Ms. Kramer, who is married to an employment attorney and has two grown children.
Whenever there is something that needs to be done, Ms. Kramer is almost always “the first to raise her hand,” said Bob Klepper, Charlotte, North Carolina-based head of AIG’s client risk solutions business. “She’s got a real passion for the business.”
The Women to Watch awards program has been significantly expanded this year.