Want to increase your professional network? Charity work is a powerful way to do it

The activity "creatively demonstrates our strengths"

Want to increase your professional network? Charity work is a powerful way to do it

Insurance News

By Gia Snape

Building a professional network is a powerful way to propel your insurance career forward.

While joining trade organizations and employee resource groups or attending conferences are good options for broadening your network, one insurance leader is arguing for another path: philanthropy.

"Participating in charity events has been a great way of building a network because I think giving back is essential in the insurance industry,” said Eileen Greene (pictured), partner and vice president for Hub International.

“Volunteering creatively demonstrates our strengths while supporting organizations in need.”

Building professional connections through charitable works

Greene has served on multiple boards for non-profit organizations, including Prostate Cancer Canada and Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital in Toronto. For the latter, Greene helped kickstart “Capes for Kids,” a fundraising campaign that supports vital research and programs.

“It started as a small idea but has grown significantly within the insurance world,” she said. “For a week, we wear capes everywhere, drawing attention and awareness for Holland Bloorview.

“This has not only been a fun week but also it has created a buzz and shown our clients that we give back. It’s a powerful example of the insurance community’s support for each other."

Greene is joining a panel of speakers at the highly-anticipated Women in Insurance Canada summit, where she will discuss tips and tricks for professional working and leveraging meaningful connections to sustain business longevity.

Speaking to Insurance Business ahead of the event, the Hub International leader shared her journey into philanthropy, which began even before she held a senior title.

Aside from her board membership, Greene has actively volunteered with the Women’s Brain Health and the National Club, which she said further expanded her network in the insurance industry and beyond.

She encouraged other women in insurance to find their own causes to support and to give back in their own small ways.

“Finding a cause you're truly passionate about, like mental health or Holland Bloorview, in my case, is crucial,” Greene said. “This passion drives you to show up, participate, and ask questions.”

Though philanthropy can demand a significant time and energy investment, Greene said it also brings tangible benefits in the form of business opportunities.

"It’s helped build my book of business and my brand," she said. “It seems like a lot of work, but it's also fun and rewarding. There’s immense gratitude and appreciation when you give back."

Leveraging online networks in the digital age

Through her professional networks, Greene has also been able to engage in mentorship. One thing that brings her pride is seeing the next generation succeed in their insurance careers, and she has mentored younger colleagues and encouraged them to get involved in charitable activities.

"One of my highlights is seeing some of the people I’ve mentored now sitting on boards after putting themselves out there," Greene said.

Apart from her charitable work, Greene has adeptly navigated online platforms to enhance her professional brand.

"LinkedIn has been very powerful for me,” she said.

During the pandemic, Greene leveraged LinkedIn to maintain and grow their network. But she also highlighted the enduring value of personal interactions.

“I realized the power of picking up the phone; people appreciated the personal touch, especially when everyone was inundated with emails,” she said.

“Now, I'm back to more in-person meetings. While AI will streamline tasks and provide information faster, nothing replaces human contact and showing you care. The most successful people I know still value a phone call, and it works for me."

Want to learn how to expand your professional network and engage with fellow business leaders? Register now for the Women in Insurance Canada summit on June 18, 2024 at The Carlu in Toronto.

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