Spotlight on Athena Graduate Katie Pollock
An aspiring leader who believes women can be both a parent and leader
Katie is currently an Errors & Omissions underwriter, at Berkley Canada and has over five years of work experience. She is a Chartered Insurance Professional (CIP) with the Insurance Institute of Ontario.
What was your motivation for taking the Athena Program?
Katie: A colleague of mine had taken this program a few years ago and recommended it to me as I would eventually would like to become a leader in a broader capacity. The Athena Program helped me to understand that I have to be more aware of the emotions of others and what drives behaviour. It also taught me to be aware of my own triggers so that I don’t bring negative energy to work with me.
"The biggest risk I have taken in my career was to switch companies. I felt that I wasn’t going anywhere in my previous role and since I switched two years ago I have been excelling. I now have leadership experience that will help me to go even further."
Who inspires you and why?
The Vice President of my department inspires me as she has been able to succeed and excel at leading her department. She has a very broad knowledge base and is constantly looking to project her knowledge onto her team. Being in a senior management role, she looks after her employees by being a leader that we look to gain knowledge from, rather than a boss.
What is the biggest risk you have taken in your career?
The biggest risk I have taken in my career was to switch companies. I felt that I wasn’t going anywhere in my previous role and since I switched two years ago I have been excelling. I now have leadership experience that will help me to go even further.
What do you think is the most significant barrier to female leadership?
In my opinion, the biggest barrier to female leadership would be family responsibilities. Taking time off for maternity leave and sick days to look after children is a big obstacle. Women can be mothers and excel at a career simultaneously.