I am the subject matter expert

kendraReporting from the National Workers’ Compensation & Disability Conference: Encouraging, empowering and inspiring!

By Kendra DePaul, Special Assistant to the BWC Administrator

On Tuesday, over 500 women, and a few men, gathered in Las Vegas for the 2nd Annual Women in Workers’ Compensation event.

wiwc panelThe mission of the Women in Workers’ Compensation organization is to encourage, empower, inspire and support women in the workers’ compensation industry in their professional development and career growth.

You may or may not be surprised to learn that women do not hold as many leadership roles as men in the insurance industry, and especially in workers’ compensation. The purpose of the event was to encourage women to take leadership roles in the industry, but also to simply understand the difference between men and women in communication.

Margaret Resce Milkint, Managing Partner of The Jacobson Group talked about how
women need to do a better job at taking credit for the work that they do. Women have a tendency to speak in “we” language instead of “I” language. And that we tend to caveat our statements by starting them with “I am not the expert, but…”

Reflecting on this, I think it is great advice for both men and women to be confident in our ability and recognize that for many of the things we work on, we are the subject matter experts and there is nothing wrong with saying as much.

Another topic of conversation was that we have to be willing to take advantage of career opportunities that come our way, even if we don’t think we are ready. Yes, there will always be risk in taking a new role, but if we all waited until we felt we were truly ready, we would never make the move. And many of the speakers spoke about some of best lessons they ever learned, were from times things didn’t go exactly as planned.

Although I have heard many of these things before, the event was a good reminder that  we each have what it takes to move our careers forward, if we so choose. Although there are times when we may doubt our abilities or make mistakes, we have to remain confident and move forward, because we are the leaders of tomorrow.

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