Celebrating Navacord’s Remarkable Women – Erin Gunn
What does the 2021 International Women’s Day slogan, #Choosetochallenge mean for you in your work life?
Challenge stereotypes, challenge expectations, challenge the status quo. You cannot be in the passenger seat of your own career. It is one thing to work hard and demonstrate expertise, but you cannot wait for someone to ask—you put your hand up and say you want it.
Your current job is Vice President, Client Experience. Is this role what you expected to be in when you started in the workforce? How did it change? Tell us about your journey.
Vice President, Client Experience. Yes, my goal was always to be in a leadership position, and I am not finished yet.
What barriers have you faced, as a woman, in becoming successful in your field? How did you overcome them?
Ambitious and assertive women are viewed differently than men. When I encountered bias in the workplace, I challenged those perceptions head on and it was entirely worthwhile. By working hard, demonstrating leadership, and believing in myself, I have advanced to hold senior leadership positions at a top insurance carrier and similarly so at Dehoney Financial Group.
Recently, I heard a quote specific to the pandemic. “We are not all in the same boat. We are all in the same storm. Some are on superyachts. Some have just the one oar.” (Damian Barr) The same can be said for the barriers women face. They can vary significantly depending on a variety of factors. It is incredibly important that we all work together to remove gender bias as a roadblock to career advancement for women.
Based on your own experience, what advice would you give to women considering jumping into the insurance industry?
There is a ton of opportunity in our industry. It is incumbent on those of us already here to welcome new entrants and provide career paths for those looking to join.
How important is it for women to lift each other up and what does that mean to you?
It is extremely important for women to champion other women and to celebrate each other’s success—we can lift each other up. “Empowered women, empower women.” However, this message is not just for women, we need to embrace inclusivity for all and work collaboratively for the betterment of our teams and the entire industry.
Anything else you’d like to add?
I look forward to the day when we no longer need International Women’s Day. A time when we’ll all be considered equal and recognize our similarities rather than our differences.