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.