As a network with a mission to encourage, engage, and inspire women across the US organization, Power of Women honors National Women’s History Month by recognizing women who have made a strong presence here at Intact and are known to be both a valued colleague and role model by many. Each week, we will be learning more about these individuals and their career experience as a professional woman in the workplace. Today, we are pleased to feature one of our own Power of Women committee chairs, Katie Downey!
Katie is the Director of the Intact U.S. Coverage Litigation Group. The Coverage Litigation Group represents Intact in coverage litigation across the United States. Prior to joining Intact, Katie litigated at a law firm for 14 years focusing primarily on defense work. Katie joined Intact in 2017 as a member of the P&C Liability Team and moved on to other roles including overseeing the Run-Off and P&C Liability teams before starting her current position. Katie lives in Minneapolis with her husband and 3 kids. When not in Minnesota, Katie’s favorite place to be is in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado.
How did you get started in the industry?
My previous career as a litigation attorney involved primarily defending organizations after a lawsuit had been started. I worked with organizations to resolve a specific dispute, and my involvement typically ended at that point. The most fulfilling representation was when I had the opportunity to advise the organization more broadly on the management of litigation, as well as how to avoid it. This realization led me to my career in the insurance industry, as I was looking for an opportunity to have a broader impact on an organization, while doing so from an internal standpoint. A former colleague had a position open on her Intact team, and I was lucky enough to be hired as an adjuster on the Large Loss team.
Is there something you wish someone would have told you as you started your career?
I learned the importance of having a mentor early on in my career. Mentors have helped me immeasurably throughout my career.
What challenges have you had to face in your career? How did you overcome?
Managing people has been the most rewarding and challenging part of my career. I found it is important to adopt an authentic leadership style and trust in yourself.
What women leaders inspire you?
There are so many inspirational women leaders at Intact. These leaders are inspiring not only for their career accomplishments but also for the style in which they lead. A “servant” style leadership is cultivated by these leaders who share power and help others develop and enhance their performance. Outside of Intact, Eleanor Roosevelt has inspired me since I was a young girl.
What is a secret talent or skill you have?
My 15-year-old recently told me that I am very skilled at not “freaking out” when she is practicing driving.
Thank you, Katie, for sharing more about yourself and your career experience with our members! Power of Women appreciates your support and participation in celebrating National Women’s History Month.