Here at Eastern Insurance, we pride ourselves on being a women-led company, with 2/3 of our staff, and our managers, being female. In honor of National Women’s History Month, we’re sharing a few stories and pieces of advice from some of the women of Eastern Insurance.
“Most people I know didn’t go into insurance specifically, we seem to fall into it. For me, my kids were all in school and it was a bet from my husband that I couldn’t get a job! Well, shortly after calling my sister who worked in the insurance industry, I had a part-time job working mother’s hours and learning the world of insurance. Over 20 later, I still love my job and have been working with many of the same people.
There is always opportunity to learn and grow in insurance. Whether you are a number cruncher (underwriter), like working with people (service team or sales), or enjoy research and marketing, there are so many opportunities within the industry. It is also inclusive from a demographic perspective as the formerly male-dominated industry is now roughly 60% women. I feel supported and empowered at Eastern Insurance by being part of a team and helping the growth of the organization, as well as my own career.”
Account Executive/ Service Team Manager
Eastern Benefits Group
“As the insurance environment is always changing, embrace it, don’t fear it! Always continue to learn and commit to advancing your knowledge. Seek out a network of mentors and colleagues you trust. They will be able to provide you with important and impartial input as you move through your career, as well as encouragement and support. remember that you can’t assume the people around you know your talents or what you are capable of. Be visible and involved.
When you feel like you are making a difference in the lives of others, insurance will become more than just a job. Also, find a company that values diversity and can give you real examples of it.”
Diane MacDonald, CIC
VP – CL Service Manager, Lumber Division
“I don’t think many people intentionally grows up wanting to work in the insurance industry, but over 25 years later, I can say that this has been a truly rewarding and challenging career. When I started, I had no idea what binding an insurance policy meant, but I listened and learned. I found mentors and teachers who were willing to teach me and that made all the difference in my career.
Some of my daily responsibilities are technical and transactional in nature, but a big part of my role is client management. My job is more than placing insurance, it involves listening to clients and trying to solve their problems, whether it is reducing costs, solving a claim issue or communicating to employees how their medical benefits work. Clients are what it is all about. I have had the privilege to work with small and large employers – small shops where the employees build fences, large pharmaceutical companies trying to find a cure for an illness, and mid-size animal rescue foundations. The insurance industry impacts all employers and employees!
I have learned a few things through the years, such as to trust your instincts, because most of the time, you are correct. Look for the mistake in your work before submitting it, as it is usually there. Be grateful to the champions that you have in your corner who support you daily. Volunteer for the assignment, client, or project that no one else wants. If you have a chance to find a mentor, eagerly learn from him or her.”
Joan Marasco | Senior Vice President
Eastern Benefits Group
“I started out my career in the insurance industry right out of high school at one of the insurance companies doing processing. Over a nearly 40-year career, most of it in the insurance agency side of the business, I progressed through several positions, learning new skills and passions as my career grew. As an Account Manager I found I had a love for training when helping coworkers and new hires. Through the opportunities available in the insurance industry, I was able to nurture and develop this passion, and I now head the training department at Eastern Insurance as Vice President of the Technical Training Unit. The insurance industry is a close-knit community where everyone seems interconnected and willing to help one another.”
Christine Kirkpatrick, CISR, CPPL
VP Technical Training Unit