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Where are the female work comp CEOs?

Congratulations to Broadspire CEO Danielle Lisenbey for her designation as one of Business Insurance’ Women to Watch, a well-deserved award to be sure. Last year saw PMSI CEO Eileen Auen receive the same award. Those worthies are in rare company as they, along with MedRisk’s Shelley Boyce are female CEOs, a rare commodity in work comp.

Why aren’t there more women running workers comp insurers, big service firms and TPAs?

Sure there are lots in senior roles at brokerage houses, vendors and insurers/TPAs, but very few in the top slot. It isn’t due to lack of experience or expertise or a track record of success. And there may well be more women than men in many companies in every position.

Except the top one.

As the father of two intelligent and very capable young women, I’m very much hoping this pattern/misogyny/lack of opportunity changes and fast.

But they have some time, unlike the female mid- and upper- managers who have spent years accumulating expertise and savvy that has still not given them the opportunity they deserve.

Lets get going here boys. It’s 2014.



4 thoughts on “Where are the female work comp CEOs?”

  1. Thank you very much for this post! As a business woman with over 25 years of comp experience and a solid track record reflecting innovation, leadership and truly caring about the company and people I work with, it’s nice to see someone acknowlege that there is indeed much room for improvement within the industry.

  2. Thank you for the accurate assessment of CEO’s in the work comp field. While I have been an innovator in the Impairment Rating side of the business, (software, testing, education and IR reviews nationwide) it is refreshing to see that someone out there is watching.
    Keep up the nice work and I am sure your daughters will have a easier time due to the female pioneers of today.

  3. Thanks for your post! It is about time more women get into the top spot in many industries, including tech. I guess after my daughter grew up watching me in the work comp field, she decided even a tech field might be more promising and went to work for Yahoo right out of college. Immediately after that they did hire a female CEO! So maybe there is hope in work comp after all.

  4. Joe, I was also nominated for Women to Watch in 2014 and am disappointed that you forgot about me. Thanks for the positive comments, however, regarding the leadership of women in WC, as a woman I appreciate the support for women. Here’s to your two daughters’ and their future success! Cheers!

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Joe Paduda is the principal of Health Strategy Associates




A national consulting firm specializing in managed care for workers’ compensation, group health and auto, and health care cost containment. We serve insurers, employers and health care providers.



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