Insurance coverage chief displays on “intentional risk-taking”
Wood’s son was also represented in the run-up to her promotion to Executive Vice President of Global Relationship Management in Zurich in 2010. In this role, she led a global team based in New York and Atlanta that was responsible for maintaining and expanding Zurich’s largest customer base, coordinating the product lines of multiple global businesses to provide diversified solutions.
“When the job was open, I was six months pregnant,” she mused, “but I really wanted to. I wanted to be able to run a bigger area, and these jobs rarely come up, so I pushed for it. At the time, we had a brand new CEO busy traveling around the country and I just couldn’t reach him. So I called his assistant and made an appointment with him at an airport. At this point, I was nine months pregnant, it was a hot day and I remember feeling really uncomfortable. But I went into this meeting with one goal – I would know by the end of the interview if I had the job or not. “
Wood got the job and she took it just weeks before the birth of her son. She admitted it was a risk – assuming a new role that would require moving cities before having a baby. “Sometimes you just have to follow the swing,” she said.
The deliberate risks that Wood has taken in the course of her career – for example when she moved with Zurich to Atlanta in 2007 to lead the large accident team for the Southeast region at the age of 27 – result from “self-actualization” and “knowledge [her] own strengths “. Wood said this allowed her to develop her known strengths and build on additional skills that will support her career. For example, one of Wood’s challenges at a young age was speaking in public. Knowing that she had to speak more if she was to succeed in leadership roles, she volunteered to teach new college recruits in Zurich. The more experience she gained, the more confident she became – and she continues to build these skills today as Marshs Southeast Zone Leader, who manages nearly 500 employees in 11 offices.
“It’s also come from encouragement and support,” she told Insurance Business. “Sometimes you will see an opportunity yourself; In other cases, someone else will see it for you. It can be as simple as a leader, manager, or mentor telling you that you are good at a certain area or giving you an opportunity. This has happened a few times in my career where I may not have seen the full scope of an opportunity. You can’t always see it because you haven’t seen it before. But I listened and took risks and it was worth it. “
Wood will share more experiences and insights from her exciting career at Insurance Business America’s Women in Insurance Atlanta, a virtual conference held on April 13, 2021. She will take part in a panel discussion on “Taking risks – how does it work?” Participate You are promoting your career on the side: Brigitte Spencer, Director – PL Operations CSC – Sales, The Hanover Insurance Group; Jennifer Santiago, Chief Risk Officer at Penn State University; Rohit Verma, CEO of Crawford & Company; and Amandah Greiling, director of Enterprise Customer Service at Guardian Life.
For more information on Women in Insurance Atlanta and to register, click here.