Women’s History Month Spotlight

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Colleen Kutner

Colleen Kutner

US Fidelity Thought Leader
Willis Towers Watson Insurance Services West, Inc.

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How did you come to work at WTW?

Before joining WTW, I was an underwriter on Travelers Bond & Specialty team where I managed the FINEX Financial Institutions relationship at WTW. I established great relationships with the FI brokers at WTW over the course of several years and when an opportunity at WTW arose, my name was recommended for the position. The rest is history!

What is your favorite thing about working in this industry?

While insurance may not seem too exciting on the surface, the market dynamics are continuously evolving so one year rarely looks exactly the same as the next. There’s also always something new to learn and I work with a fantastic group of people. Those are a few of my favorite things!

What do you hope to accomplish professionally in 2022?

At WTW, we recently established a cybercrime taskforce, where among other goals and objectives, we’re in the market pitching a new form. It’s an exciting new initiative and I’m thrilled to be part of it.

What has been your biggest challenge professionally?

When I entered the management & professional underwriting space in 2010, it was very much a male dominated industry, both on the underwriting and broking side. It was important to speak up and make room for myself at the table, otherwise you’d easily get lost in the shuffle. When I moved into my current fidelity/crime role in 2017, I was even more of a unicorn as this space had historically been dominated by an older generation of males. Despite being in the industry for 12 years now, I’m still viewed as “up & coming” because I am a younger female. Being respected based on my knowledge and skill level vs age and gender continues to be a challenge today.

What piece of advice would you give to other women in the industry?

It’s a relationship business so it’s important to be a “people person” and communicate effectively. Nothing will come to you if you don’t go out and get it. Be visible within your organization, lean in to new opportunities, raise your hand and don’t be afraid to ‘take the mic back’ if someone is trying to speak over you.

People would be surprised to know…

As much as I love to talk and socialize, I highly dislike public speaking.

Did you have a female role model that inspires/inspired you in your career?

No, my role model was a male colleague at Travelers who had an amazing presence about him, could capture any audience, well spoken, a great leader and well respected by his clients and colleagues. Picture Morgan Freeman as an insurance professional.

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