In light of Women's History Month, we would like to take a moment to highlight one of our company's women in leadership. Ashley Arikawa is our Senior Vice President of Sales and leads our company's sales team where she develops, communicates, and drives an effective sales strategy to promote retention and growth. We asked her a few questions about her career and how being a woman has shaped her experience. Here is what she had to say:
Q: How did you get into the insurance industry?
AA: I was exposed to the industry through my participation in a college internship program and was partnered with The J. Morey Company. I had no insurance knowledge, and was tasked with managing their social media presence and helping with some clerical tasks. Through the internship, my mentors exposed me to what the industry has to offer, as well as some insurance basics so that I could understand my own auto insurance policy.
After the internship, I went on to do a short stint in PR at a large corporation, but ended up coming back to The J. Morey Company. I missed the unique, community-focused company culture that they embodied.
Q: What has your experience been as a woman in a male-dominated industry? How has this impacted your approach to your work?
AA: It’s been largely positive and I attribute that to the amazing mentors, both men and women, that took me under their wing and gave me opportunities to push myself. There were some key individuals that really believed in me and invested in my personal and professional growth from the very beginning.
Because of my positive experience, I strive to help other women find their voice in the industry and support however I can.
In my role, I also have the opportunity to support entrepreneurial women and female decision makers in making insurance purchases. Insurance can have a big impact on the health and growth of your business so it’s important to work with people you trust. Having that added element of understanding things from a different angle can be a benefit.
Q: What is an achievement you are especially proud of, career-wise, personal, or both?
AA: I’m proud of the career that I’ve built and that I’ve become a mentor and advisor to others. I’m also extremely proud of the work that I put in to help put our company on the map, both in terms of the local community and now on a national level. I love our company and want the world to know how amazing it is.
Q: What advice do you have for young women starting out in their career?
AA: Network, don’t be afraid to talk to people, and try to take every opportunity you can when you’re starting out. You can become more selective later on, but you never know where the experience and connections you make will take you.