This woman drew strength from setbacks

When insurance litigator Karen Schultz reached a pivotal point in her life and career, she chose to succeed

This woman drew strength from setbacks

Insurance News


Kadey Schultz, an award winning insurance litigator, is rare: a woman who started and runs her own insurance law firm, Schultz Frost LLP.  With her business partner Jason Frost, she co-manages the firm, which comprises around 30 people, including 10 lawyers.

Schultz, a passionate supporter of promoting networks among and the visibility of women in business, said the safety and fair treatment of women are still major concerns in the business world.

“I have not managed to go to a conference yet in my career without needing to be mindful of my personal space, particularly where there’s a lot of alcohol being served,” said Schultz, who said many of her colleagues ‘buddy up’ to look out for each other.

She told Insurance Business that unconscious bias and the objectification of women is still in full force. A woman’s voice, for example, can hold her back. “There’s still an unconscious bias around tone and pitch that can make it harder for women in business to be perceived as credible or worthy,” she said.

Openly voiced discrimination against women of childbearing age is still heard by Schultz, who said her stock response is: “Well, it’s really important that we can continue the human race, so we’re gonna have to figure that one out, right?’”

Schultz’s primary motivation in her career and life is the happiness of her two children: a 13-year old daughter, and in particular her 11-year old son, who suffers from the terminal neuromuscular condition of Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy.

Her son’s condition was the cause of a pivotal change in her career. “It actually was a fight,” said Schultz, who, prior to starting her own firm, lobbied her workplace for equal pay for women and men.

She said: “It became really apparent to me that fairness was not an option … I had several options. The gossip in town was that I would [acquiesce]… because I have a very sick child … When I understood that, I had a real awakening. I was like: ‘What am I about and what is my life about?’”

She was forced to evaluate her life. She said: “Choosing what work I do, how I do that work, who I choose to do that work with, how I choose to build my relationships in the industry and outside, who I choose to sponsor and mentor. All of that for me, after my son’s diagnosis, was a lot clearer … it lifts me professionally … and to be, I think, my most authentic and happy self.”

Schultz, who describes herself as a “wild and crazy extrovert”, said her advice to her younger self is: ‘Relax and try no to worry about what other people are thinking because they’re probably not thinking about you at all.”

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