One of the best places to start a career
Deb Smallwood is CEO and founder of Strategy Meets Action, and a widely recognized insurance technology thought leader. She advises insurers on innovative ways to leverage insurtech and the emerging technologies that are required in today's digital connected world so they can meet tomorrow's challenges. Her industry experience includes stints at Liberty Mutual, Insurance Company of the West, KPMG and Tower Group.
I am often asked if I would recommend young people to consider insurance for their own careers, especially young women interested in technology. The answer is
an unequivocal “Yes!”
Not only is insurance arguably the best place to start a career, and one of the most stable markets, it is also undergoing a significant, transformative technology shift. Technologies that are shaping the world around us are coming to insurance and changing the way we do business. It is an exciting time. I am so encouraged by the push for young women to study technology, and I always recommend they look to insurance to pursue their career aspirations because the future is so bright.
The industry has always been like this. In the late 1970s, I was attracted to the world of insurance not because of the business model itself, but first and foremost because of the technology. There was a brand-new generation of computers and computer programming available to insurance. Our industry was a pioneer in data processing focused on automating manual stat coding, reporting, and of course, policy rating and claims.
It was the beginning of an amazing era of insurance and technology. And insurance companies not only offered entry level programming jobs, but a 20-week COBOL training program as well. So, technology led me to the industry, but the business of insurance persuaded me to stay.
When we all started down the path of programming, there was an equal balance of men and women, a level playing field. Technology was not yet part of mainstream culture, so it was exciting to me as a young professional to be part of a new generation that could tap into professional careers full of endless possibilities. Looking back, I am truly in awe of how much technology has changed and how the insurance industry continues to transform. And in today's digital connected world, both are once again creating a new generation of opportunities.
In my experience, being a technologist in insurance provides a career that is in
“Looking back, I am truly in awe of how much technology has changed and how the insurance industry continues to transform. And in today’s digital connected world, both are once again creating a new generation of opportunities.”
the crossroads of two powerful and financially advancing industries. Technology, due to its very nature, is always changing, evolving, and providing endless career opportunities in countless areas. Insurance is a nurturing, mature industry that pro-