Through their involvement on executive boards, Kathleen O. W., USAA VP, actuary – pricing and product analytics (left), and Kriss B., USAA VP, product line leader (right), learn about emerging trends and technologies to bring new solutions to our members.
Two USAA leaders within P&C, Kathleen O. and Kriss B. , have been trailblazers throughout their careers and continue to contribute to the progress being made in the insurance industry. Last Thursday, we celebrated their success on Women's Equality Day, as it's instrumental in paving the way for future women leaders.
In addition to holding leadership roles at USAA, Kriss sits on the executive board for the Insurance Institute of Highway Safety (IIHS), an independent, nonprofit scientific and educational organization dedicated to reducing deaths, injuries and property damage from motor vehicle crashes through research and evaluation and through education of consumers, policymakers and safety professionals. Kathleen sits on the executive board for the Highway Loss Data Institute (HLDI), which shares its mission through scientific studies of insurance data representing the human and economic losses resulting from the ownership and operation of different types of vehicles and by publishing insurance loss results by vehicle make and mode.
Within these executive boards, Kriss and Kathleen extend their influence beyond USAA and reach the automotive and insurance industries at large.
“USAA stands out in that it has active leadership representation on both IIHS and HLDI," says Kriss, USAA VP, product line leader. “Our ability to sit on both boards not only helps support the purpose of preventing motor vehicle crashes but it also creates an atmosphere where we jointly learn emerging trends and technologies that allow us to partner and bring new solutions to our members."
Kathleen says it's important for women to sit at these levels since diverse perspectives are necessary to help our members and the industry at large.
“Board representation is just a microcosm of the industry," says Kathleen, USAA VP, actuary – pricing and product analytics. “Especially since there are not many women in the analytics and financial spaces, we have to use this as an opportunity to support more women in leadership roles."
Kriss says for diversity in the auto and insurance industries to continue growing, organizations should continue prioritizing diversity and inclusivity. She and Kathleen were initially invited to be members of their boards after their leaders insisted they join and represent USAA. Once a part of the organization, their engagement earned them leadership positions.
“There are things we can do to help ourselves and our peers," says Kriss. “Be inclusive and supportive, and when you have a voice, share it. Trust your knowledge on the topic and be heard. As leaders, ensure you're creating opportunities for your teams."