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Denise Gordon North American broking leader, life sciences

Willis Towers Watson PLC


What began as an administrative job at a broker more than 20 years ago has grown into a fulfilling career for Denise Gordon.

“I knew someone who knew someone, and started as an administrator and worked my way up,” Ms. Gordon said. The experience gave her “an appreciation for the importance of each role in an organization,” she said.

“Most days I see myself as a professional problem solver, and I enjoy a good challenge.”

For the past 17 years, she has worked at Willis Towers Watson, which is where she became interested in her current specialty.

While her insurance career began as a “fortunate accident, my decision to specialize in life sciences was very intentional,” Ms. Gordon said.

“Our clients consist of companies and organizations that research, develop, manufacture and distribute these products and services,” she said. “It’s a rapidly evolving area that requires me to be constantly learning and expanding my knowledge.”

Her clients also have unique needs and business challenges, “which makes industry specialization so important in insurance and risk management,” she said.

Ms. Gordon said she believes that “as a female leader, I have an obligation to mentor and support other women in our industry. In a historically male-dominated environment, it’s essential for women to support each other so we can continue to close the gender gap in business.”

James Sallada, casualty leader, North America, at WTW, said, “Denise has been at the core of WTW’s success in the life sciences industry for many years. She is a leader within broking, combining a demand for excellence with a vision for future growth.”

Mr. Sallada noted that Ms. Gordon took on a large leadership role this year “and has been instrumental in mentoring both the team who report directly to her and to teammates from around the organization who rely on her for insight and guidance.”

“Denise has built a team culture within life science broking, focusing on development, professionalism and client-first principles,” Mr. Sallada said.

Caroline McDonald