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Anna Hildreth
Director, Membership &
Business Development

IRI’s diversity, equity, and inclusion mission focuses on empowering, developing, and celebrating women leaders in our industry. We are doing this with our Women in Leadership (WIL) Initiative, which provides networking and education opportunities to promote the advancement and inclusion of women in the finance industry. As a prominent feature of our record-shattering annual conferences, our Women in Leadership symposiums were among our highest-rated sessions. They generated exceptional buzz throughout the event and many meaningful dialogues.

Through our in-person and virtual opportunities, we’ve tackled various topics, including championing and energizing women in the workplace, working across generations, imposter syndrome, male allyship, diversification of leadership and board access, and the advantages of being a woman in the financial industry.

We’ve heard industry women leaders be vulnerable and share their personal stories, as well as from experts providing us tools to navigate obstacles and see opportunity.

Beyond our own programming, IRI leadership has been recognized by member organizations and invited to participate in the inaugural event of SWAG (Symetra Women’s Action Group) in September. ACORD recognized my colleague Katherine Dease with a Community Leadership Award and presented me with a Women’s Insurance Advancement Award.

Next up is our Choosing Self-Confidence + Finding Our Strengths webinar on December 7 featuring Lisa Sun, Founder & CEO of GRAVITAS and national bestselling author. We’re also working on the third WIL symposium at IRI’s 2024 Annual Conference in Nashville, Tenn., on April 2-4. More details on both these events will be available soon.

For me personally, in my career, I was in situations where women who previously championed my growth started to see me as competition as I advanced and started to treat me differently. It took me a while to realize that I didn’t deserve that. I didn’t want to replicate their behavior to others around me, and I wanted to be part of something constructive and positive.

That’s why I’m so excited about what we’ve built, and I appreciate our members embracing this important WIL initiative. IRI will continue to create programming and resources for connection, learning, and exchanging ideas. And I am eager to engage with more of our member organizations on their work to recognize and celebrate current and future women leaders in our industry.

If you have a program or initiative focused on the advancement of women, please share that with me at ahildreth@irionline.org so we can collaborate and make further progress together.

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