The Future of Insurance Podcast – Amy C. Waninger

CEO & Founder, Lead at Any Level

Season 1, Episode 24, October 5, 2021

Guest Bio

Amy C. Waninger is the Founder and CEO of Lead at Any Level. She works with organizations around the globe who want to build inclusive cultures and diverse leadership pipelines for a sustainable competitive advantage. She is the author of multiple books including “Network Beyond Bias: Making Diversity a Competitive Advantage for Your Career.”

Amy earned her CPCU designation in 2016. She also holds associate designations from The Institutes in Management, Data and Analytics, Information Technology, Claims, and General Insurance, as well as the Certified Insurance Data Manager designation from IDMA.

Amy is a Certified Diversity Professional (CDP), Certified Diversity Executive (CDE), and Gallup-Certified Strengths Coach. She is also a Professional Member of National Speakers Association, a Certified Virtual Presenter, and a Prosci Certified Change Practitioner. Her other credentials include two degrees from Indiana University and a “World’s Best Mom” coffee mug.

Highlights from the Show

    • Amy is a Diversity, Equity and Inclusion trainer and consultant
    • As her career progressed and she get deeper into DEI content, she kept feeling stuck on the idea of what she could do personally to have an impact
    • This lead to her first book, Networking on Bias, which she published in 2018, which is all about how our own network is the best place for us to demonstrate our commitment to DEI
    • The time is right for this focus with the way the landscape is shifting from the way things look 100 years ago
    • The market also looks different, so when Amy talks to traditional players who haven’t embraced DEI yet, she helps them to see how much more diverse the pool of consumers is, and how not serving them means your business isn’t winning
    • If 80% of insurance agents are white males, but only 40% of businesses are owned by white males, you have 80% of the distribution going after 40% of the market, and 60% of the market is left unserved
    • Amy focuses her work on emerging and aspiring leaders since they’re the future
    • Amy leaves a card behind when doing talks that asks that you think about who’s in the room, who’s not in the room and whose voice am I not listening to
    • Geography means less and less, if anything, especially as we all became more digital during lockdowns, so the effect of change is stronger now, including when we make changes on equity (and ESG more broadly)
    • I asked about Diversity of Thought, which Amy challenged
      • The term can be used in place of true diversity
    • Amy raised the Rocket Rule, hitting an issue like the famous dance troupe where all of the dancers had to be within a tight range of height
      • Does your company have an unspoken Rocket Rule? Do leaders come from similar backgrounds, have gone to a small set of schools, etc
      • The more diversity we have in leadership, the more profitable the company will be, as data proves (not just in line roles or more junior ranks)
    • When people come with different tools to do the job, we get the job done better and faster than if we all had the same backgrounds
    • When looking at our networks, Amy often asks how many people are from outside the same industry as you, and people are always surprised at how concentrated their networks are within a single industry
    • Great ideas come from chance encounters and serendipity
    • Amy encourages people to listen to different podcasts, follow different people, read books by others that are different from what you normally get exposed to, etc
    • Show up in spaces where those spaces aren’t created for you so you hear totally new perspectives and get outside your comfort zone a bit
    • You can get more of Amy’s insights at her company’s website,, including her online courses and access to her training, consulting and speaking services

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Special thanks to Medallia for sponsoring this episode.

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