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 Kilauren McShea!

Kilauren is the President of Intact Insurance Specialty Solutions’ Management Liability division. Kilauren joined Intact in 2013 and has held positions of increasing management responsibility ever since, overseeing a team of underwriters that specialize in underwriting financial lines products and helping to successfully guide the division to profitability. The Management Liability portfolio focuses on public, private, non-profit, and healthcare organizations in the U.S. and spans several product categories, including Directors & Officers Liability [D&O], Employment Practices Liability [EPL], Fiduciary Liability, Employed Lawyers Professional Liability [ELPL] and Crime/Fidelity insurance. Prior to Intact, Kilauren was a broker at Aon specializing in placing Executive Liability programs for public, private, and non-profit clients. She received her BBA in Finance and Accounting from Loyola University Chicago and now lives in Barrington, IL with her two Rhodesian Ridgebacks. When she’s not thinking about insurance, you can find her at Wrigley Field cheering for her favorite baseball team – the Chicago Cubs.

How did you get started in the industry?
I started my career as an internal auditor at the Chicago Tribune Company and quickly realized that being an auditor was not the best career path for me. I looked for another job where my accounting and finance degree would be useful and also more suitable for my personality and other skillsets. After considering many different options, I finally landed at Aon Corporation as a D&O broker and began my career in insurance.

Is there something you wish someone would have told you as you started your career?Find a mentor, but don’t rush the process. I always heard about the value of having a mentor in business, but the first person willing to be my mentor was not the best fit for me. I found a better mentor many years later into my career and when I least expected it. Make sure to reflect on if your mentor is the right fit for you by picking someone whose leadership and management values you respect, and whose years of experience can provide invaluable lessons that you can learn from.

What challenges have you had to face in your career? How did you overcome?
As a very competitive person, I had a difficult time accepting mistakes and failures in the beginning of my career. Over time, I’ve been able to overcome that challenge by viewing every mistake and failure as a learning experience and never hesitate to ask “why” or “how” when I don’t know the answer.

What women leaders inspire you?
There are so many women leaders in history, in today’s business world, and at Intact that inspire me every day, but it’s the women that lift other women up that inspire me the most. It’s so important to recognize other talent around you and to help carve a path for other women in business to succeed.

What is a secret talent or skill you have?
I am a very good cook and can pick any lock (a skill I learned in college when my roommate regularly left our keys inside the apartment!).

Thank you, Kilauren, for sharing more about yourself and your career experience! Power of Women appreciates your support and participation in celebrating National Women’s History Month.