Mountain-Climbing Lessons

If you read this column regularly, you’ll notice I’m not Greg Dalgetty. I’m Stefanie MacDonald, Canadian Insurance Top Broker’s publisher. While I’ve had the opportunity to write an editorial once before, I feel honoured to be sharing this particular issue with some inspiring women. Yes, in this issue we’ve decided to profile some amazing women in the industry. You may already know Sarah Robson, the new CEO of Marsh Canada, while our Broker Corner profile features a rising star in Stephanie Jibodh of JLT.

We at TC Media feel it is time to give women in the financial industry the recognition they deserve. That’s why you’ll see our sister publications, like Advisor’s Edge, Investment Executive and Benefits Canada, also following suit in the next few weeks. You may have even seen information about our upcoming Women’s event which will take place in September. Check your inboxes for further info on that.

I love giving women the support and recognition they deserve. What I struggle with is that, often, women’s empowerment comes with male bashing, which I think is unfair. I can say from experience that I am where I am in my life, right now, for a number of different reasons. While I have been motivated by a strong desire to succeed, I’ve also worked with some amazing people who have supported me along the way. My mother has been an inspiration; I remember listening to her make sales calls in the office long after everyone had gone home. She never shied away from hard work, and she took on more challenges than I can count. But, I think it’s important to point out that I’ve also had very strong and supportive men in my life and career. They include not just my husband and my father, but my male managers and colleagues, who have also played a huge role in my life, which I sincerely appreciate.

When I meet people who inspire me, I often ask them one question: If you were to give your 21-year-old self one piece of advice, what would it be? My answer to that question would be this: Never give up. No matter how big of a challenge you think you’re facing, never give up, and surround yourself with people who inspire you. It’s because of these people I’ve surrounded myself with that I have finished a half Ironman triathalon, balanced a demanding career and family and most recently, attempted to summit Mt. Rainier. The weather had other plans that day but I now have unfinished business with that mountain, so I’ll be back again next June ready to give it another shot.

As you read the inspiring stories on the pages ahead, look around at the people you’ve chosen to surround yourself with. Lend a helping hand, provide support and challenge yourself. We’re better versions of ourselves when we face challenges that scare us and surround ourselves with positive and inspiring individuals. That’s my mantra at least. Yours is whatever you make it!

Stefanie MacDonald, Publisher

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Copyright © 2018 Transcontinental Media G.P. This article first appeared in the August edition of Canadian Insurance Top Broker magazine

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