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Women to Watch: 2006


Leaders, innovators are selected as 'Women to Watch'

By Regis Coccia, Editor

Published on Oct. 9, 2006

Business Insurance's report on "Women to Watch" is our attempt to identify some of the women who are leading change in commercial insurance, risk management, employee benefits and related fields.

The 80 women profiled below represent senior executives and innovators at a range of organizations. These women are leaders, but they are not the only women worthy of note. Choosing this list was difficult (see related story), as we received many nominations for women who are doing outstanding work in their organizations.

We like to think of the Women to Watch report as 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 has remained 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 last produced a special report on women in October 2000. That report looked at women's career contributions. This year's Women to Watch report was intended to spotlight current leaders as well as those who are 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 who are 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 Women to Watch feature biographical information and answers to three questions we posed: What advice would you give to young women entering the industry? Who has had the greatest influence on your career? What would you change about the insurance industry, if you could?

Their answers provide insight that we hope will inform and inspire others who are working in this industry--both men and women. While we have published answers to one of the three questions in the magazine, the complete profiles with the women's answers to the other questions can be viewed online at /Women2Watch.

The Women to Watch are a special group who can help attract other talented people to this business. BI is looking forward to reporting on the contributions women are making and the changes they are leading.

How the women were chosen

By Regis Coccia, Editor

Published on Oct. 9, 2006

Business Insurance had a difficult time selecting the 80 women profiled in this issue.

The magazine invited readers to nominate women working worldwide in commercial insurance, reinsurance, risk management, employee benefits and related fields, such as law and consulting. Readers responded by submitting many nominations. BI staff also contributed information about women in the industry, from which an overall list was compiled. A panel of senior Business Insurance editors then pored over the list, with an eye to identifying the "Women to Watch."

The selection process took several weeks and applied criteria including: recent professional achievements, influence on the marketplace and contributions to the advancement of women in business. BI editors gave special consideration to the contributions of women in the past three years who are in leadership positions that have a direct impact on the buyers of commercial lines insurance, reinsurance or employee benefits programs. For this reason, women doing outstanding work within their organizations but chiefly in administrative roles generally do not appear on the list. Reflecting Business Insurance's editorial focus, women executives at organizations that specialize in personal lines business were excluded from the list.

The list of Women to Watch is not intended to be exhaustive, nor should the women on it be considered the only ones worthy of note. BI's goal was to bring to buyers' attention many of the senior women leaders who are helping change the industry for the better.

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