When Women Lead, Companies Win

September 30, 2013In keeping with this month’s focus on male champions for women in the workplace, we’re pleased to share some keen insights from Dino E. Robusto, Executive Vice President and President of Personal Lines and Claims, The Chubb Corporation. Mr. Robusto is an outstanding corporate leader and a committed champion of women in business.

I’ve always believed that innovation is essential to any organization’s continued growth, as well as to success in our increasingly complex world. For me, being a champion of women in the workplace is more than a choice—it’s an imperative. And I’ve seen women promote innovation by adding new dimensions to our corporate culture, enlivening team dynamics, and interacting in ways that stimulate and support breakthrough thinking.

One of the many times I’ve witnessed this firsthand was during a recent program that paired some of Chubb’s highest-performing women with their insurance agency counterparts. The women were charged with working in teams over the course of a year to develop, share, and implement innovative business strategies and plans for generating growth across our California region.  

Something interesting happened when we suggested the teams share their thought processes and plans with the larger group: each team was excited to do so. This had never been the case when we conducted this type of program with an all-male group or even with a mix of men and women participants.  

In fact, men were often reluctant or unwilling to share their plans with others. From what I observed, participants in the all-woman group were much more open than men typically were to applauding the positive developments of other teams, and to discussing common challenges in the marketplace with one another and with Chubb’s senior leaders.

Here’s where “interesting” becomes impressive: participants in this challenge are currently at 109% of their collective year-to-date plan for increasing profitable growth by developing non-traditional sources of business across the region. In the process, the relationships between these agents and underwriters have evolved in ways that would normally take years as opposed to months.

Over time, experiences like this have shown me that there are many ways to lead. From what I’ve seen as an executive, women and men working together can contribute to an organization’s overall innovation and growth. When I witnessed these teams solving problems collectively, I realized that gender diversity often leads to a more inclusive and collegial atmosphere—and that this is a positive outcome not just for individuals, but for teams and organizations as well. This kind of strategic collaboration elevates team performance and produces outstanding results.  

My advice to aspiring champions of women in the workplace is this: learn from the approach many women bring to solving problems, building relationships, and enhancing corporate performance. Apply those insights in ways that make you more effective and inclusive leaders. There is no better way to honor and advance our women colleagues than by adopting business strategies that move us all forward—and helping others to connect the dots between gender diversity, innovation, and results.


More “Men Who Get It” Blogs:

Men Who Get It, India: Spotlight on Jayakanthan M.

Why Business Needs Women—and Women Need Male Allies

The Power of “Men”tors

Men Who Get It: Talk Leads to Action

“Men Who Get It” Videos:

Watch millennial Bryant Daley, a Budget Analyst at Forest Laboratories, Inc., tell how men who “get it” can help break barriers for women.  

Watch Joan Buccigrossi, Director of Global Inclusion & Engagement, Rockwell Automation, discuss the importance of dialogue in creating organizations where diverse talent thrives.

Watch Lee Tschanz, Vice President, North American Sales, Rockwell Automation, discuss the company’s culture change.

Watch the video introduction to Catalyst’s new report, Anatomy of Change: How Inclusive Cultures Evolve, and read more about the study. For a summary of the data, view the infographic.


More “Men Who Get It” on MARC

Men Advocating Real Change (MARC) is an online learning community for men to share insights, advice, and stories on gender gaps in the workplace. MARC enables community members to learn how equality benefits men and provides a platform for role models—the men who get it—to share their views with and inspire others to act. Join MARC today and make your voice heard.

The views expressed herein are solely those of the guest blogger and do not necessarily reflect those of Catalyst. Catalyst does not endorse any political candidates. The post and the comments are presented only for the purpose of informing the public.