2020 Women to Watch: Dana LodgePosted On: Dec. 2, 2020 12:00 AM CST
Chief financial officer
Everest Insurance Co., part of Everest Re Group Ltd.
Liberty Corner, New Jersey
Dana Lodge was drawn to her present role as chief financial officer of Everest Insurance Co. by “the opportunity to lead my own team at the CFO level,” she said.
“I have not held the title of CFO before. That was one of the reasons that led me to this opportunity,” which she took in March 2020, coming over to Everest from Sompo International Holdings Ltd., where she was senior vice president, director of finance.
She also appreciated what she learned of the culture at Everest during the interview process. “The culture is active,” she said, including “a focus and drive to increase awareness of diversity.”
To that end, the company recently formed a diversity, equity, inclusion council, with Ms. Lodge as its chair.
She said her career success has spurred her to take a role that lets her give back.
“I really appreciate the career opportunities that I have received as an accountant,” Ms. Lodge said. “I’ve been able to travel the world, work with very smart people, be exposed to different projects, which really helped me.”
Her drive to give back has taken her beyond her own company as well. “I wanted to encourage other people of color to consider careers in accounting,” she said.
Through the National Association of Black Accountants, Ms. Lodge helps conduct outreach at the undergraduate level with university events and conferences.
She took to accounting early. “I was pretty purposeful about it, making the decision around grade nine,” she said. “I liked math and took a business course in grade nine and really enjoyed the accounting component of it.”
Her placement through a cooperative program at Brock University in St. Catharine’s, Ontario, which allowed her to work while in school, was at Ernst & Young, where she was assigned to the insurance audit group, establishing her connection to the insurance world.
Ms. Lodge says that while the insurance industry is getting better from a diversity standpoint, “we definitely need more.”
She believes strong guidance can help. “I don’t think that you can really succeed in your career without having those champions who are going to give you a chance, assign you opportunities to succeed and coach you.”