In recognition of Women’s History Month, we sat down with Quility Co-Founder and Director of Organizational Well-Being Meredith Ellison to discuss the importance of life insurance for women, having the courage to stand against the norm, and “showing up and challenging the ways things have been done in the past.”

Meredith also heads Quility’s Con•nect platform, a space for women to inspire each other through leadership, collaboration and creativity.  

What is it like being a female founder in a male-dominated industry?

If I am being honest, most days this can be difficult. I often question myself, asking “Do I belong here?” I continue to give myself daily pep talks to keep showing up even when it is uncomfortable. I feed my head and heart with podcasts, books and articles from other women that give me a source of strength.

I constantly tell myself affirmations: “My voice and presence are needed to create the industry we want to see, with more balance and more diversity.”

Being the only woman in the room (most of the time) can be difficult because I feel a responsibility to not only show up but to also challenge the ways in which the business has run in the past. Different perspectives are vital to truly create change.

In the end, I am truly honored and grateful to have a platform such as Quility. I am surrounded by countless people that pour love and support into me.  And I will continue to lean into my own discomfort to push the envelope, in my own unique way, to bring more equality into the world around me.

What would you say to other women who are in male-dominated industries and eyeing a C-suite position?
Keep pushing! Remain true to your voice and your authentic energy: this is what makes you the unique and highly competent person that you are. We need more women in the room where big decisions are made. We need women to bring their true feminine voices to the table; That is what boardrooms and our world needs more of to achieve the balance in power we need at the top.
What would you say to your younger self?

I would challenge my younger self to think outside the box. Growing up in a small southern town, I was encouraged to stay quiet and be “nice.” This worked well for me and my desire to strive to find peace in all relationships, but looking back, I wish I would have challenged the norm more. I wish I would have challenged my own thought processes more. I would have pushed myself to question the way things were and to stand in my values instead of what I was told my values should be.  
  
Today, my philosophy is to always lead from a value of kindness but to let go of the desire to always “be nice.”  

Why is life insurance coverage for women so important?

Just 47% of women have life insurance compared to 58% of men. It is crucial for women to understand the value they bring to their families and to have the financial protection in place to protect those they love the most. Time is not guaranteed for women any more than it is guaranteed for men.   
  
There are so many vehicles under the life insurance umbrella that help people protect their loved ones while accessing financial protection and opportunity while they are alive. Life insurance coverage is a human need.  

Quility’s Con•nect platform is a space for women to inspire each other through leadership, collaboration, and creativity.

Our goal is to create a community where anyone who identifies as a woman can use their collective power to amplify their work in the world. To learn more and keep up to date with Connect, follow us on Instagram.  

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Calie Brummer
Head of Digital Communications
Calie Brummer is a staff writer and Head of Digital Communications at Quility Insurance with a focus on financial well-being and life insurance solutions.