A career pause for family obligations, military commitments, or relocation can be challenging to overcome, even for the most qualified and experienced professional.
When faced with this very issue after two career breaks, Ginny Brzezinski found herself ready to reboot her career but was unsure how to do so, especially at the age of 52. Ginny reached out to her sister-in-law, MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” co-host Mika Brzezinski, founder of the women’s empowerment community, Know Your Value. The two dug deep into the topic and, in January 2020, published “Comeback Careers: Rethink, Refresh, Reinvent Your Success – At 40, 50, and Beyond.”
Crafting Your Comeback: An Interview with Ginny Brzezinski, moderated by Joan Woodward, President of the Travelers Institute, was featured on the Wednesdays With Woodward Travelers Institute Webinar Series.
Joined by Comeback Careers co-author Mika Brzezinski and Ashley Wilson, creator of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s “Women Taking the Lead,” the team shared insights from their research and job market trends for professionals thinking about revaluating, reinventing, or relaunching their careers.
The three women shared a wealth of career advice to empower the job-seeker, even amidst a pandemic. Key points focused on personal assessments, updating social media accounts, reaching out to former colleagues to up your network game and adapting to the new norm – video meetings and interviews.
Watch the full webinar to learn more about Ginny and how her career and life experiences encouraged her to educate and inspire women and men looking to relaunch their careers.
Wednesdays With Woodward Travelers Institute Webinar Series interviews thought leaders about topics that impact us both personally and professionally. Travelers created the Travelers Institute to engage in public policy dialogue on issues relevant to the insurance market.
I am a trans woman, and I am transitioning while working at Travelers. I can’t say enough about how pivotal Travelers has been in my ability to transition safely and how supported I’ve felt by all levels of our organization.
As a child, my sexual and gender identity was dangerous; like too many others, I was beaten up, called names and ostracized unless I hid who I was and conformed to the binary norms of the time and place.
Today, I’m an executive at a company that makes me feel supported with standard guidelines and practices for transitioning employees, access to full health benefits and the full-throated backing for LGBTQ communities from senior leadership.
The moment I reached out to a few leaders at Travelers about my intentions, I felt validated and empowered. At 8:30 a.m. on a Monday, I had a meeting with my manager and HR representative, who had already ordered new nameplates for my office and were ready to get things moving for me.
I share all of this because “visibility” and “acceptance” are only the first steps to true inclusion. Travelers continues to work with LGBTQ employees to foster an inclusive environment in myriad ways, like adding “legal” and “preferred” name fields in employee records and supporting robust Diversity Networks to help employees find community and advocacy, being thoughtful and tuned in to the real-world needs of LGBTQ employees every step of the way.
I’m happy to say I’m doing the best work of my life! As VP of Software Engineering, I’m helping a community of thousands of engineers do their best work. As a leader, I’m also paying my privilege forward by joining in the effort to fulfill the Travelers Promise to “take care of our customers, our communities and our employees.” I hope you will join us.
Former Travelers EDGE scholar, Kate McCollam, sat down with our team to discuss how the program affected her education, her career and ultimately her life here at Travelers.
Kate is an FMLDP participant currently supporting Corporate Audit in St. Paul, MN. She became a Travelers EDGE scholar during her second year in college and has now been working at Travelers for 2 years and 7 months. Read more below to learn about Kate’s EDGE journey.
How long have you been at Travelers?
Two years and seven months.
How did you get involved with Travelers EDGE?
In my second year at college, I became a Travelers EDGE scholar. At the time, I was looking for qualifying scholarships and being a first-generation college student in the U.S. presented the opportunity to apply and become an EDGE scholar.
How did Travelers EDGE affect your education?
I obtained an Accounting Degree in 3 years due to the support of Travelers EDGE.
When I began to pursue my accounting degree, I started at a community college. It was more affordable; I was able to work during the day and attend classes in the evening to ensure that I was making payments towards my education and would not have to address a big debt after college.
The moment I became a scholar, I was fortunate to receive financial support that gave me the freedom to take classes at the pace that I was able to address rather than at the pace I was able to afford.
How did Travelers EDGE affect your career?
Being an EDGE scholar and utilizing the internship experience and connections that I built, helped me obtain an amazing job here at Travelers. Travelers is a driving leader in the insurance industry and to be part of that is powerful.
Tell us about your current role.
I am a Financial Management Leadership Development Program (FMLDP) participant. The FMLDP is a 3-year rotational program that offers a diverse set of assignments in financial planning and analysis, internal auditing, international finance, and corporate accounting. For my current assignment, I am working within our internal auditing function where I have the chance to work with a dynamic team of talented professionals and learn about Travelers’ control environment, governance and risk management processes.
Is there anything else you wish to share?
It feels great to be part of such a vibrant community. Working at Travelers is not simply doing your job, but rather a continuous promise to be your best self and leverage the available resources to keep getting better. It is being continuously challenged, but always having a friendly resource to ensure you feel supported. It is a place where hard work, enthusiasm and professional ethic are the key drivers of the culture and I truly appreciate that.
Company Release – 2/24/2020 9:00 AM ET
Named a Best Place to Work for LGBTQ Equality by the Human Rights Campaign Foundation
HARTFORD, Conn.–(BUSINESS WIRE)– The Travelers Companies, Inc. (NYSE: TRV) today announced that it has attained a perfect score on the 2020 Corporate Equality Index administered by the Human Rights Campaign Foundation, maintaining its distinction as a Best Place to Work for LGBTQ Equality.
“We’re focused on creating a workplace that brings together people with different backgrounds and ensuring that our employees feel valued, respected, supported and empowered,” said Fred Colon, Chief Diversity & Inclusion Officer at Travelers. “From our hiring efforts to our training and development programs, we’re fostering an inclusive culture where all employees have the opportunity to thrive.”
Travelers supports several initiatives designed to maintain an environment that embraces diverse perspectives, including:
For more information about diversity and inclusion at Travelers, visit travelers.com/diversity.
The Travelers Companies, Inc. (NYSE: TRV) is a leading provider of property casualty insurance for auto, home and business. A component of the Dow Jones Industrial Average, Travelers has approximately 30,000 employees and generated revenues of approximately $32 billion in 2019. For more information, visit www.travelers.com.
View source version on businesswire.com: https://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20200224005543/en/
Courtney Garro, 860.277.8719
Source: The Travelers Companies, Inc.
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Company Release – 8/8/2019 9:00 AM ET
HARTFORD, Conn.–(BUSINESS WIRE)– The Travelers Companies, Inc. (NYSE: TRV) today announced that it has been named a Best Place to Work for Disability Inclusion by Disability:IN and the American Association of People with Disabilities for the second consecutive year. The company scored 100 on the 2019 Disability Equality Index® (DEI), a comprehensive benchmarking tool that measures a company’s disability inclusion practices and policies related to culture, leadership, accessibility, employment, community engagement and supplier diversity.
“It’s an honor to be recognized once again by Disability:IN and the American Association of People with Disabilities,” said Fred Colon, Chief Diversity & Inclusion Officer at Travelers. “By fostering an environment of diversity and inclusion, we’re bringing together people with different backgrounds and perspectives to encourage new ideas and innovation in everything we do.”
Diversity and inclusion is a business imperative at Travelers, and the company supports its employees with disabilities in a number of ways. In addition to staffing a centralized team committed to addressing employee accommodation requests, the company launched its disAbility Network in 2013, a resource group dedicated to promoting the understanding of people with disabilities. The group has grown to include more than 2,100 employees across the company. Travelers also works with state and local agencies in certain locations to develop career path programs for individuals with disabilities and is a member of the Autism @ Work Employer Roundtable.
“Through networking events and mentorships, the disAbility Network is shifting the focus from people’s disabilities to their abilities and bringing a greater level of awareness to the community as a whole,” said Robert Braswell, Chair of the disAbility Network at Travelers.
Travelers was also recently recognized as the Employer of the Year by Lifeworks, a Minnesota-based nonprofit that partners with companies to promote and advance employment for individuals with disabilities.
For more information about the DEI, visit disabilityin.org/what-we-do/disability-equality-index.
The Travelers Companies, Inc. (NYSE: TRV) is a leading provider of property casualty insurance for auto, home and business. A component of the Dow Jones Industrial Average, Travelers has approximately 30,000 employees and generated revenues of approximately $30 billion in 2018. For more information, visit www.travelers.com.
Courtney Garro, 860.277.8719
Source: The Travelers Companies, Inc.
We are so excited to announce that Travelers has been named 2019 Employer of the Year by Lifeworks for our disability hiring initiatives!
Lifeworks, a Minnesota not-for-profit that supports individuals with disabilities, selected Travelers from about 400 companies that currently partner with the organization. Travelers’ partnership with Lifeworks extends back several years, beginning with the Business Insurance Document Management team, where both parties worked together to provide employment opportunities for candidates with disabilities.
The efforts in disability hiring that stemmed from this relationship have grown, and in 2017, Travelers launched a four-week training and work-experience program for people with disabilities, centered around our Staff Counsel Business Resource Center. Since the start of this program, more than a dozen individuals have secured full-time positions with Travelers, serving as legal operations specialists.
These initiatives are prime examples of the diverse and inclusive work environment we are dedicated to fostering at Travelers. We are also proud to be named:
We know the importance of pushing past boundaries and having a workforce that represents the perspectives and ideas across race, color, religion, gender, gender identity, age, national origin, disability, veteran status, marital status, genetic information and sexual orientation. For more information on our D&I initiatives, click here.
You can also stay informed about our diversity and inclusion efforts by connecting with us on social media.
“It’s a wonderful opportunity to make a real difference in a young woman’s life,” reflects Lorie Darrow, Business Insurance and Women in Actuarial and Analytics (WIAA) member. Through WIAA and the Travelers Women’s Diversity Network, Lorie and about a dozen other members from the two groups mentor students at Grace Academy, an independent and tuition-free middle school for girls from underserved families in Hartford, Connecticut.
Each week, they spend their lunch hour with the seventh- and eighth-graders, providing social and emotional support. They also help them prepare for high school, college and professional life by sharing personal experiences and engaging in activities. Over the last three years, Lorie has worked with some of the same students this school year as the mentoring commitment continues throughout the duration of the students’ time at Grace Academy.
“I am very proud to be a part of Travelers and our hands-on community outreach that fosters education and strengthens our commitment to diversity,” added Elena Antonetti, Legal Services, and Women’s Diversity Network member. “Programs like this are invaluable in helping students to think about their future. They also give us a chance to introduce more women to careers in insurance and law.”