This International Women’s Day, we’re celebrating the amazing women working at EasyCover and encouraging other women to consider choosing insurance as a future career path. While EasyCover is a small team, we are mighty! We’re proud to share the stories and advice from our team and hope they inspire others.
Hillaine McCaffrey – In-House Underwriter
Hillaine has been a part of our EasyCover team for two years but has been in the insurance industry for five years. Hillaine explains, “as an older woman looking to get back into the fulltime workforce, it was challenging to even get an interview; however, a wonderful woman in insurance (who happens to be a dear friend) gave me the break I needed with a job in the aviation insurance department at Marsh Canada.” This friend championed Hillaine and helped her to break into the insurance industry. Hillaine has since earned her Chartered Insurance Professional (CIP) and won the Top Broker – Independent Broker Prize for 2020.
Hillaine credits further education for her career success, saying “the best thing I did was continuously take courses with the Insurance Institute.” The relationships with her colleagues, customers and other insurance professionals are something she values about her job. She also enjoys the challenge. “The unique market challenges push you to evolve and grow in this profession and with each obstacle overcome, there is a growing sense of pride to be a part of this industry,” says Hillaine, “It’s inspiring to look around and see that there are now more women than ever in all facets of insurance operations, including management and executive roles.” For women looking to get into the industry, Hillaine says to keep learning.
“There’s so much potential in this industry and it’s constantly evolving and changing. Approach each challenge as an amazing learning experience and an opportunity for growth.”
Kim Livingston – Referral Underwriter
Kim joined our EasyCover team over a year ago as our referral underwriter. She brings over 35 years of experience in the insurance industry. Initially, Kim took a job as a receptionist with an insurance company while she figured out what direction to take with her career. What encouraged her to stay was the wide variety of growth opportunities in the industry.
Kim is inspired by “seeing successful women in leadership roles who are acknowledged, appreciated and advanced.” Her advice to women looking to get into the insurance industry is to seek out insurance designation training while getting post-secondary education. “Many employers, be they brokers or companies, are looking for university degrees or insurance designations.”
Belinda Souster – Team Lead, Vantage Client Care, Commercial Insurance
Belinda started her insurance career in 1989. She has been with Acera Insurance (formerly Rogers Insurance) since 2007 and has transitioned to the EasyCover team in recent years. Belinda explains that “like many, [she] sort of fell into insurance” after joining a staffing agency and getting placed as a receptionist at a small insurance brokerage.
For women considering a career in insurance, Belinda explains, “insurance is a viable career path where you can continually expand both your personal and professional development.”
“The insurance industry has traditionally been a male dominated industry and although it has improved since I first joined, I feel it is important for women currently in the industry to help other women navigate their career progression and understand that we are able to have a work life balance without deterring your professional advancement.”
Women in the Insurance Industry
According to the Insurance Institute’s Demographics of the P&C Insurance Industry in Canada (2017), women account for over 62% of the insurance industry’s workforce in Canada. Women also account for 52% of management positions in insurance. This is above average compared to other industries in Canada. Like Hillaine, many transition to insurance as a second career although it’s also accessible to those fresh out of school. The team encourages other women to pursue education through insurance designations and post-secondary education. Mentorship is also a great way to learn more about the industry: many professional broker associations offer these types of programs. There are many types of jobs available – there’s really something for everyone!