Engle Martin’s Women’s Empowerment Network (WEN) is excited to take part in Women’s History Month! Women’s History Month is a celebration of women’s contributions to history, culture, and society. It has been observed annually in the month of March in the United States since 1987. This year’s theme for Women’s History Month is “Providing Healing, Promoting Hope” which recognizes the insurmountable ways that women, of all cultures, have provided both healing and hope throughout history.
EVERY woman has a story to tell and gifts to share with the world. This month, join us each week, as we recognize outstanding women, both inside and outside of our organization, for #WENWednesday!
This week, we learn about Laura Fagan, Associate Vice President, Client Services.
What is your role at Engle Martin?
I am the Associate Vice President, Client Services. I started with the company in November 2016 as an Account Manager within the TPA division, Engle Martin Claims Administrative Services (EMCAS) and I have been privileged to grow my career as we have grown the TPA operations. I took on my current role as part of our Synergy acquisition and am very excited about the future of the organization.
This year, the theme of Women’s History Month is “Providing Healing, Promoting Hope”. How does that resonate with you?
I think this highlights women’s roles as caregivers, particularly over the last two years as we have navigated a pandemic. Women have always been seen as healers and caregivers, which sometimes creates an extra burden on us as we tend to put others first. By highlighting this though, it places a spotlight on the benefit this has to society while also emphasizing the need to seek out personal care.
Who is the most influential woman you know? How does she inspire you?
I would say my stepmom, Adrianne. At a young age, she relocated to an entirely new state and started a small business selling art supplies. She’s managed to grow this into a very successful art gallery with multiple locations and supports a team of other women employed by her galleries. She is very hard working and has built an impressive professional life. She has always been the absolute embodiment of grace and love when she chose to become a partner to my dad and stepmom to his two children. My brother and I certainly weren’t an easy task, but she has shown unconditional love and support to us for over 20 years now. She has also been an advocate for her health as she fought and beat cancer, and always sees the bright side of any challenge in her path!
Have you faced any barriers in your career due to being a woman? If so, how did you overcome them?
Honestly, this is a tough question for me to answer. While being a woman is obviously part of my identity, I have never really focused on it as part of my professional identity. I tend to have the mindset that I belong where I am regardless of my gender and focus on what I bring to the table while fully recognizing the areas where I can grow and improve. I have very often been the only woman in a room, or one of very few women in a room, but I have chosen to focus on what I bring to that room as an individual. Rather than focusing on barriers, I have focused on what I need to do to reach my goals.
What is the most important piece of advice you have been given?
My parents divorced when I was very young, but I was lucky enough to have a close relationship with my dad even though I didn’t live with him full-time. He told me two things every single day, “I could be anything I wanted to be” and “no one owes you anything, you must earn it”. This has stuck with me through my entire life, and I think it is why I have chosen not to focus on barriers. My dad made me believe that I could accomplish literally anything I wanted to if I put in the work.
What is the most important message you want to send out to young women thinking about a career in the insurance industry?
I would give other women the exact same advice my dad gave me—you can do it if you put in the work. I never thought I would wind up in insurance. As a military spouse, I was frequently in a place where I needed to find a new job at a time when the economy was tough. I wound up changing industries because there was an opening that included paid training, and I have never looked back! It was a lot of work starting over and learning a completely new profession, but it has been so rewarding. Find something you enjoy doing, be willing to put in the hard work, and show everyone your value.