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2018 Women to Watch EMEA: Kirsten Early

Kirsten Early
Managing director
Broadspire UK, a unit of Crawford & Co.
London
Age: 39

For U.S.-born Kirsten Early, the chance to lead a global team from a new base — the United Kingdom — was an opportunity too good to miss.

Ms. Early, a mother of four and competitive skier, said the reasons she loves claims is that every day is different: “I learn something every day.” As a mother and dog owner who says “it is family first for me,” Ms. Early knows the importance of worklife balance and is keen to set an example to her team. “If they see me leave to go and pick up my children, they realize that they can do that, too,” she said.

One of the challenges to women entering the insurance industry, Ms. Early said, is that it can appear as though most of the leadership positions are held by men, raising the question “How do I get there?” As well as leading by example, Ms. Early still mentors a woman from a former employer and two Crawford & Co. employees in the United States, and takes an active part in Crawford’s women network.

Having begun her career in insurance, Ms. Early gained a law degree and was a practicing insurance attorney before being appointed assistant vice president, global client executive at Marsh Inc. at 27. During this stage of her career, Ms. Early had her first child and embarked on an MBA, which she achieved at the age of 30 after just two years’ study. She was then appointed assistant vice president at ESIS Inc. before joining Crawford in 2014 as vice president for business development in the global markets division. Five months ago, she took up her new challenge, bringing her young family to the U.K. to lead Crawford third-party administrator Broadspire.

“Kirsten has always demonstrated the core values of an exceptional leader by setting an example for others through respect, training, mentoring, accountability, empowerment and always caring for others,” said Danielle Lisenbey, global president, Crawford TPA Solutions.

A U.S. ski team member in her younger years, Ms. Early continues as a competitive giant slalom skier in the 30-40 age group.

NEXT: Catherine French
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