Anita Sathe is an insurance professional with over 16 years of experience in the insurance industry. She holds a breadth of experience ranging from product and underwriting strategy to technology implementation and actuarial analyses. She is one of only twelve to hold actuarial fellowship credentials across P&C, Life and Health Insurance. Prior to CoverHound, Anita was a Senior Manager with Deloitte Consulting.
How has your life experience made you the leader you are today?
I have been blessed to have loving parents and very strong role models throughout my life. From my childhood, my parents gave me the confidence that the sky’s the limit to what I could do and I am only limited by constraints I put on myself. Throughout school, college and my professional career I have had strong mentors in many of my teachers and managers who made me confident in my leadership and management capabilities.
How has your previous employment experience aided your current role?
I spent 13 years at Deloitte Consulting. It was a great training ground to learn everything about the insurance industry. It also taught me how to formulate actionable solutions to problems that lacked structure, how to pull teams together that have complementary skill sets and above all a strong work ethic to everything I do. I use all these parts of my training in my current role.
What have the highlights and challenges been during your current role?
In my current role as CSO at CyberPolicy and CoverHound, the biggest highlight has been starting a new business from scratch and watching it grow. When our CEO hired me to start this part of our business I was really fortunate that he gave me a clean slate and a lot of guidance along the way on how to shape our new venture. It has been a journey with many successes, some failures and a lot of hard work. Challenges were mainly associated with learning from our mistakes (never easy for our ego to admit a mistake and learn from it) as well as working hard when something was successful so we can leverage the opportunity to the fullest extent. The most important lesson from all of these challenges is to make sure that we failed as a team, not as individuals. This has made us a stronger team and a better business.
What advice can you offer to women who want a career in your industry?
Take a leap of faith. Trust your own skills – you may not have done everything that your next job requires, but have the confidence that you can acquire the skills needed to do different things. Embrace change.
What is the most important lesson you’ve learned in your career to date?
Listen and manage with empathy are the two main lessons that have shaped me as a professional. These lessons also define my management style. I believe that a team culture of trust helps everyone bring their best to the table.
How do you maintain a work/life balance?
I think the key to work life balance is to have a great team you work with and a loving, peaceful environment at home. My husband and I love backpacking and spending time in nature. These trips naturally tend to have no cell phone reception 🙂 So as long as we take these trips on a regular basis it provides a good reset to a stressful work week. I also really love my job and the team I work with. Overall, I think I do well at maintaining a good work life balance!
How can we encourage more women to start their own business?
In general, starting a business is tough – it’s a lot of work, some paths lead nowhere so you have to constantly innovate, differentiating between trend and noise is a constant battle. The rewards are amazing though – you build what you are truly passionate about and it’s a joy to start something and see it grow and flourish. My advice would be to make sure you are in it for the right reason, don’t underestimate the work, and take the plunge!
How has mentorship made a difference in your professional and personal life?
Tremendously. I have a strong work ethic which has been influenced at every stage of my professional life – starting with my professor during my graduate studies, the team I worked with most closely at Deloitte and my current manager at CyberPolicy/CoverHound. I have always had strong mentors in my life and I try to pay it forward by mentoring and helping people (professionally and personally) where I can on an ongoing basis.
Which other female leaders do you admire and why?
I have had a lot of female mentors throughout my career. My HR advisor at Deloitte, Kim Mitchell, has had a lasting impression on my work ethic and integrity. Sheryl Sandberg’s book and life story has been an inspiration.
Outside of my professional circles, and perhaps the most influential influence in my life, is a humanitarian and philanthropist popularly known as Amma (or Mother). She founded the charity Embracing the World and has inspired thousands to follow in her path of selfless service. Embracing the World exists to help alleviate the burden of the world’s poor through helping to meet each of their five basic needs — food, shelter, healthcare, education, and livelihood — wherever and whenever possible. I have volunteered with them for about a decade now and it has molded me as a person and reflects in each and every positive action in my personal and professional life.
What do you want to professionally and personally accomplish in the next year?
Our company is at a pivotal stage right now as we are starting to scale and grow our business. My focus and priority on a professional level is to help realize that vision in every possible way I can.
On a personal level, my goal for next year is to get stronger and fitter (so I can backpack more!)