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Women leaders inspire with personal reflections on their success

September 19, 2019

The Women in Leadership Panel at RIMS Canada brought together top executives in the insurance industry to share stories about their career journeys.

A panel of distinguished leaders in the insurance industry inspired hundreds of attendees in the ballroom at RIMS Canada in Edmonton with personal tales of embracing career challenges, mentoring others and achieving a work-life balance.

The Women in Leadership Panel immediately followed the opening ceremonies Monday, September 9 at the annual gathering of insurance and risk professionals. The session promised “first-hand and inside views of our profession from the lens of several of our most successful and powerful women in industry from within Canada as well as globally.”

Yvonne Steiner, Head of Property, Zurich Canada, shared the stage with Lynn Oldfield, President and CEO of AIG Canada; Sarah Robson, President and CEO of Marsh Canada; Christine Lithgow, President and CEO, Commercial Risk & Health Solutions for Aon; and Gloria Brosius, current RIMS President and Director, Risk Management & Insurance, for Pinnacle Agriculture Distribution.

Steiner spoke about having mentors throughout her career to help guide her way, but she was also willing to take chances. “I was challenging myself to take the roles that nobody else really wanted,” she said. “Always pushing myself to be a little bit out of my comfort zones has been really rewarding.”

 Steiner said she learned to be more forthright while working in Switzerland. Her mentor at the time told her that as the only North American woman on the team, she was expected to speak up and voice her opinions. He called it the “foreigner forgiveness factor.”

In the short video below, Steiner talks about advice she would give to young women entering the insurance industry and how leaders today are more open to new ideas.