In Their Own Words – Celebrating Women’s History Month with Gagan Tucker

As Women’s History Month draws to a close, Engle Martin’s Women’s Empowerment Network (WEN) proudly presents the concluding installment of this year’s team member spotlight series. Throughout March, we have honored the exceptional women who embody our organization’s core values of care, respect, and compassion. Join us in celebrating their invaluable contributions as we wrap up this special tribute.

Reflect with us on the profound resonance of this year’s Women’s History Month theme: “Women Who Advocate for Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion.” It aligns with our core values, and we’re honored to spotlight the exceptional women who embody these ideals. At Engle Martin, our WEN team resource group remains steadfast in our commitment to fostering the growth and development of our team members, both in their professional and personal capacities. Through WEN, our primary objective is to cultivate a supportive community that encourages growth, collaboration, and the breaking of traditional gender barriers.

Join us in welcoming Gagan Tucker, Senior Project Manager and Scrum Master, as the final featured team member in our series. Get ready to be uplifted and motivated as we delve into Gagan’s distinctive journey, gaining invaluable insights from her wealth of experiences.

What is your role at Engle Martin? And how long have you been with the organization?

Currently, I serve as the Senior Project Manager and Scrum Master for the Innovation Team. I joined Engle Martin in May 2019 as a Project Manager. I have had the privilege of expanding my career as we expanded the Innovation Team from two teams to seven, spanning across Engineering, Infrastructure & Security, and Customer Support. In summary, I have been the enthusiastic orchestrator of the innovation symphony for a while now. It’s more than just a job; it’s my front-row ticket to the excitement of bringing ideas to life.

What is the most important piece of advice you have been given?

I was born in India, and my grandmother wished for a grandson when my parents had me. Boy, was I a surprise for her (pun intended)! My parents named me Gagan, which means ‘sky’ in Hindi. Growing up, they instilled in me the belief that the ‘sky is the limit’ and ‘you can achieve anything you put your heart to.’ This has always stuck with me. I believe that every day is a blessing and an opportunity to put my best foot forward and aim for the infinite and endless opportunities life has to offer. Trusting myself, embracing my quirks, working hard, learning, adapting, and pursuing my dreams without any fear has become my daily mantra.

Have you faced any barriers in your career due to being a woman? If so, how did you overcome them?

I feel blessed that, in my current role, I have not encountered any barriers in my career. I wholeheartedly believe that it is very supportive and encouraging of women. I grew up with the mindset that I can achieve anything I set my mind to. I have never been afraid to put in the hard work and perseverance required to get the job done. One of my mentors once said, ‘you have a seat at the table, and there are not many people who get that opportunity – so acknowledge it, and don’t be afraid to speak up.’ I am aware of what I bring to the table, with the mindset that there’s always room to learn and grow. It’s not always smooth sailing, but I’ve learned to embrace challenges as blessings in disguise. Rather than focusing on the barriers, I choose to focus on the work that needs to get done.

Who is the most influential woman you know?  How does she inspire you?

Fortunately, I am surrounded by a network of women, both personally and professionally, who inspire me every day. I am amazed by their level of dedication, commitment, passion, and drive to succeed.

My mom has been the most influential woman in my life. She grew up at a time when women were not allowed to go to school. Despite the odds, she was a go-getter, and with her hard work and determination, she managed to earn her graduate degree. Post-graduation, she thrived in a corporate role before marrying my father. She then embarked on a new chapter with my father and moved to Libya. There, she mastered Arabic, thrived in a technical environment, raised two daughters, and launched a successful baking business on the side.

­­­Growing up, I always saw her as the epitome of optimism, unconditional love, nurturing, and fun. She was always a happy-go-lucky person and lived each day like there was no tomorrow.

Now, my daughter, who is turning sixteen next month, is a true reflection of my mom. She inspires me every day to have fun, laugh, be silly, have food fights, wrestle, and be child-like all over again. She is smart, brave, goofy and her heart is full of love and kindness. To sum it up, my mom gave me the foundation of who I am, and my daughter, along with my friends, family, and colleagues, are my daily dose of purpose and enrichment.

What is the most important message you want to send out to young women thinking about a career in the insurance industry (or any industry)?

I would give other women the same advice my parents gave me – believe in yourself, embrace your uniqueness, and you can achieve anything you set your mind to. I never thought I would work in the insurance industry – I had no prior experience in it, and I had absolutely no idea what I was getting into. I have always been a curious learner, and I accepted this role with an open mind, and I have never looked back.

I would say to them not to be afraid to take risks and step out of their comfort zone. As daring as it might seem at the time, go for it, and take every setback as the grounds for a comeback. And at the end of the day, don’t forget to give yourself a high-five and celebrate your wins – big or small. Cheers!