Women's alliance "making breakthroughs" in workers' compensation

Women's alliance "making breakthroughs" in workers' compensation | Insurance Business America

Women's alliance "making breakthroughs" in workers' compensation

The Alliance of Women in Workers’ Compensation – an organization founded on the principles of supporting the workers’ compensation industry through networking, mentorship, and collaboration – recently announced a fresh cohort of industry leaders on its board of directors.

Julie Layton, risk management segment leader and managing director at Marsh was among those newly named on the Alliance board and is the primary broker / vendor representative in the group.

Together, the Alliance board members are tasked with creating platforms for dialogue on the challenges and opportunities for women in the workplace while leveraging their impressive career experience to support stakeholders serving the workers’ compensation market.

“What interested me in the Alliance was the opportunity for me to give back to an industry that has been amazing for me, both from a personal experience and career progression standpoint,” said Layton. “There’s no greater gift and no greater reward than helping others achieve success.”

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Layton never thought she’d become a leader in workers’ compensation. She joined the industry as an accountant, after which she transitioned into claims, before spending most of her career in risk management. As a risk manager, she was developing programs for companies, buying their insurance, and helping to improve the overall experience for injured workers, while also heeding the financial goals of the organizations.

Over time, Layton had a revelation. “I felt that the role of the risk manager [in workers’ compensation] was largely misunderstood, and in order for us to advance risk management, we needed to ensure we had good liaisons between risk managers and their vendor partners,” she said. “So, I went over to the brokerage side because I wanted to share my experience of building strong risk management programs, with the backing of an organization like Marsh, which has all the resources, expertise, and tools to really help risk managers.”

Joining the Alliance of Women in Workers’ Compensation and committing to improving the workers’ compensation system alongside the Alliance’s 6,000 active participants is another way that Layton is “giving back” to the industry she cares so much about.

“It’s up to us to make a very complex system simple for injured workers and their employers,” she told Insurance Business. “We need to perform for them so that they can recover and go back to work as soon as possible, and we need to support them during recovery from a financial, physical, and an emotional standpoint.”

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Layton believes that the future strength of the workers’ compensation industry will come from more collaboration from industry participants with diverse perspectives, backgrounds, and ideas. Diversity, equity, and inclusion (DE&I) is something that the Alliance of Women in Workers’ Compensation is very intentional towards.

“The Alliance breaks down barriers because we’ve all purposefully come together to not only support one another, but also to advance the workers’ compensation industry, and how we service it and all of its stakeholders,” said Layton. “All 6,000 active participants are engaged, and they want to invest their time and energy into creating new ideas. That’s when amazing breakthroughs can happen, and I think that’s very exciting for the future of our industry.”

There are two big reasons why Layton would encourage others to participate in the Alliance of Women in Workers’ Compensation. She said: “We have to be intentional about learning for ourselves and for the value of our organizations. Supporting the advancement of women and the betterment of the workers’ compensation industry are two very strong and compelling propositions. Getting involved in a trusted networking environment like the Alliance can help to create those monumental shifts and solutions.

“The second reason is, today, we’re dealing with so many aspects of risks that we’ve never dealt with in the past. Risk managers and claims professionals typically look at the past to predict what solutions are needed in the future – but never before have we had to deal with the great resignation, inflation, and the impact of pandemic, all at the same time. The Alliance helps the industry to recognize emerging risks, and it creates a space of collaboration where we can create the best solutions for how to manage emerging risks in the future.”