Meet the Informed Women of ARU & ARS!
Informed Woman Month is a time to celebrate and recognize the achievements of women who have made significant contributions in their fields, both past and present. It is an opportunity to honor those who have been trailblazers, breaking down barriers and paving the way for future generations of women to achieve success. At Agribusiness Risk Underwriters (ARU), we believe that informed women are vital to our company's success and we are proud of the strong and capable women within our organization.
The women of ARU are breaking barriers, shattering glass ceilings, and promoting professional greatness with degrees, awards, certifications, designations, and a combined 171 years of career experience. Their areas of expertise include underwriting, claims, loss control, operations, management, marketing, software development, finance, and general business.
According to our CEO, William G. “Will” Johnson III, "At ARU, Informed Woman Month is foremost an opportunity for the company to celebrate the incredible contributions of our women professionals. ARU has a team of dynamic, disciplined, and strong women in leadership positions, and they are excellent role models for others in our company. More broadly, Informed Woman Month is a time to recognize the importance of continued education and advocacy regarding women’s rights, professionally and otherwise, in the United States and around the world.”
Amanda Bryant, winner of an Acquisitions International 2022 Influential Businesswoman Award, is one example of the incredible leadership we have at ARU. Not only does Amanda excel in her role as Operations Manager, but she also generously volunteers her spare time as a crisis text responder and social media coordinator for a non-profit that serves marginalized populations, including women.
Bryant commented, “Women comprise the majority of insurance industry workers, but we are underrepresented in management and executive roles. I have often been the only woman in the room in gatherings of insurance leaders.” She continued, “The key is to approach those situations with confidence and view them as opportunities to set a shining example of female insurance industry leadership.”
According to a McKinsey study, despite women comprising the majority of entry-level positions in the insurance industry (56%), their representation dwindles significantly at the upper rungs of the organizational ladder with only 30% of leadership positions filled by women.
As a forward-thinking insurtech company, ARU is doing its part to eliminate the leadership gender gap. Tyler Guilmette, Underwriter, commented, “There is no shortage of talented and accomplished women at ARU, especially in the upper ranks. This was something I noticed during my interviews with ARU and ultimately helped me in my decision to accept an offer here. I think there are many organizations that overlook talent in place of cronyism or other biases when filling leadership positions. Most of the time, those organizations are lacking women in leadership. Seeing the roster of experienced women at ARU was an indication that the company values talent and capability in their employees above all else.”
ARU is an organization that values diversity and inclusivity and is committed to ensuring equal opportunities for all its employees, regardless of their gender. We believe that by fostering a workplace culture that values and supports women, we can create a more equitable and just society for everyone.
Informed Woman Month is not only about being aware of the biases present in the US but also about becoming active participants in advocating against them. Sarah Young, Claims Operations Manager of ARU subsidiary Agribusiness Risk Services, has direct experience in trailblazing a path for women in the insurance/claims industry. In Sarah’s career, she founded a group to support women in leadership and to encourage women to seek leadership roles. In just 3 years since the group’s founding, the number of women applying for leadership roles increased by 17% and the number of women in management roles increased from 34% to 62%.
These numbers are impressive since women in the workforce deal with a variety of issues such as work-life imbalance, lack of support, Imposter Syndrome, and insecurities nurtured by systemic bias. However, ARU’s strong female leaders refuse to allow these challenges to affect their work and drive. Lindsey Tingler, Policy Processing Assistant said, “The most important advice I would give to women starting out in my field is to advocate for yourself. Advocate for your decisions, the work you do, and your opinions in the workplace.”
A key component of being an effective advocate is to prioritize mentorship opportunities and professional development. Staying informed and up-to-date on the latest developments in their field is one way that the women of ARU are empowering themselves and ensuring they are the best in their industry. Lejla Kusari, IT Developer, shared her approach to building skills and confidence, “I focused on actively seeking out opportunities to learn and grow. By consistently investing in my personal and professional development, I have been able to thrive in my career.”
ARU is proud to support and celebrate the achievements of women in our organization and beyond, and we remain committed to promoting gender equality and creating a more inclusive workplace for all. This Informed Woman Month, we are thrilled to be an ally for gender equality. Women have made significant progress in the workplace and we look forward to continuing to support and empower them in the years to come.
Resource list curated by the women of ARU:
Network encouraging women to pursue STEM careers:
Collection of TED Talks by women leaders:
Great book for working moms:
Blog run for professional women by professional women:
Google your local women’s organizations for networking opportunities near you!