The Business Insurance Women to Watch Awards & Leadership Conference is the only recognition program that celebrates leading women from every facet of the commercial insurance industry. ​

Winners come from commercial insurance, risk management, and related fields such as consulting and law. What started as a recognition program in 2006, has grown into an educational program aimed at the advancement of women in commercial insurance. 

In 2017, Business Insurance launched the EMEA Women to Watch Awards program which recognizes winners from Europe, the Middle East and Africa.

This year's program will take place November 18-19, 2024 in New York City and include a professional development conference, followed by an awards program. 

An Advisory Board of past honorees, diversity experts, and insurance industry leaders guide the development of the conference content.


Conference Agenda

Monday, November 18, 2024
5:00 PM - 7:00 PM

Join us for the Women to Watch cocktail welcome reception. This year's reception will also include a book signing with our keynote speaker, Kelly McDonald. 

Tuesday, November 19, 2024
8:00 AM - 9:00 AM
9:00 AM - 9:15 AM
9:15 AM - 10:00 AM

Ageism and generational differences present significant challenges within the insurance industry. Older employees, often with decades of experience, may face ageist attitudes that undervalue their contributions. Conversely, younger employees, adept with digital tools and innovative approaches, might be perceived as lacking the necessary industry experience and long-term perspective. These generational divides can create tensions and hinder collaboration, ultimately affecting productivity and innovation. Bridging these gaps requires fostering an inclusive culture that values the strengths of all age groups. Embracing diverse generational perspectives can lead to a more resilient industry overall.

10:00 AM - 10:15 AM
10:15 AM - 11:00 AM

Despite the progress in advancing DEI initiatives, corporate America is facing significant headwinds. Economic uncertainties and budget constraints are leading some companies to scale back their DEI efforts, treating them as expendable rather than essential. Political and social polarization is also impacting DEI initiatives, with some stakeholders viewing these programs as divisive or unnecessary, leading to pushback against DEI policies and practices. The challenge of overcoming deeply ingrained biases and systemic inequities remains formidable, requiring sustained commitment and comprehensive strategies. Furthermore, remote work and hybrid models have introduced new complexities in fostering inclusive cultures, as ensuring equitable access and opportunities in a dispersed workforce demands innovative approaches. These headwinds underscore the need for resilience, creativity, and unwavering dedication to DEI principles in the face of adversity.

11:00 AM - 11:15 AM
11:15 AM - 12:00 PM

The power of insurance industry associations working together to further the careers of women executives lies in their ability to combine resources, expertise, and networks to create a more inclusive and supportive environment. By collaborating, these associations can offer comprehensive mentorship programs, leadership development workshops, and networking opportunities specifically tailored to women in the industry. Such partnerships can also drive systemic change by advocating for policies that promote gender equity and by raising awareness about the unique challenges women face in advancing their careers. Furthermore, these collaborative efforts can amplify the voices of women executives, ensuring their contributions are recognized and valued. Through joint initiatives, industry associations can help dismantle barriers to advancement, foster a culture of inclusion, and pave the way for a more diverse and dynamic leadership landscape in the insurance sector.

12:00 PM - 12:45 PM

Kelly McDonald is a highly regarded expert in leadership, marketing, and consumer trends. She is the author of four bestselling books, including "How to Work with and Lead People Not Like You.” She has been featured on CNBC, in Forbes Magazine, BusinessWeek, Fast Company, on CNNMoney.com and on SiriusXM Radio.

Her presentations are known for their high content and humor. Her latest book will be available for all attendees.

12:45 PM - 1:15 PM
1:15 PM - 2:00 PM
2:00 PM - 3:30 PM
Time Zone: (UTC-04:00) Eastern Time (US & Canada) [Change Time Zone]

Countdown to the 2024 Women to Watch US Conference