Becky Vogel went to college to be a teacher, but by graduation she had decided that her future would not be at the head of a classroom.
Instead, she built on what she knew. Vogel’s part-time job with an insurance company in college turned into a full-time trainee opportunity after she graduated.
Now, Vogel is vice president, liability major case claims, in Alpharetta, Georgia. In this role, she oversees some of the largest and most complex liability claims across the U.S.
Getting an insurance education
Early in her career, she was struck by the ubiquity and history of insurance.
“It surprised me back then how much insurance is involved with so many aspects in the world,” says Vogel. “It had never occurred to me that any event that happens had insurance involved in some fashion. It’s always needed. It’s been around forever in some capacity, and it’s not an industry that’s going away.”
In the claims world, Vogel has discovered that despite the fact that no two claims are exactly alike, even complex claims have the same core issues as simple ones. She learned about a wide range of claims in a very short time when the first company she worked for went into runoff.
“My boss at the time, back in the day of paper, would literally drop 10 files on my desk,” she says. “I learned about a lot of different claims at that point that I probably never would have. That experience probably provided 10 years’ worth of claims in about two.”
Still, Vogel draws on her background in education regularly, whether she is training others or reviewing claims.
“When it comes to understanding people, I think it helps,” she says. “Part of education is trying to learn about the students you are trying to reach and how you’re going to reach them.”
Meeting people where they are
Vogel has seen industrywide changes that can influence how to be a successful woman in the workplace – a shift in willingness to be flexible with employees and cognizant of their personal situations, for example.
“I think I was sheltered a lot from the challenges that many women face in the job and in the industry because I had a woman as a boss,” she says, speaking about that first insurance job. “I didn’t see a huge difference between men and women in the industry.
“What I’ve noticed is many companies are finding ways of attracting and keeping women in the industry. Not every employee is the same.”
And while there is always room for growth and improvement in how companies can provide opportunities for women, Vogel is clear that performance speaks for itself.
“I want people to want and value me not because I was a woman that met a quota in some way,” she says. “I wanted to be considered because of my skill, my talent and ability, and what I offer the company as a person.”
The goal: a future filled with challenges
While Vogel doesn’t set specific job roles as goals for herself, she does seek out challenges.
“I always want to be challenged,” she says. “When it comes to my career, it’s having new opportunities to do different things while utilizing my strengths to do that.”
Vogel values conversations for the perspective they provide, and she relies on connections with mentors for their insights on how to be a successful woman in the workplace.
“I’m a talker; I love talking to different women, different leaders,” she says. “I have a couple of women friends who are in leadership positions in business who I have found have been a great source of support and guidance.”
Learn more about Women in Insurance at Argo.