Today, our week-long celebration of International Women’s Day continues with a chat with Vannya Kristich, the product director for our western region. We asked her to reflect on some of the challenges women face in the workplace, and some of the women who inspire her. Vannya is based out of our office in Rocklin, California, and leads the team that’s responsible for our auto and homeowners insurance products pricing and performance.

What do you think is the biggest challenge facing other women in your role today?

I think balancing a demanding career, family and other responsibilities, while taking care of yourself continues to be a huge challenge for women. It is imperative to use your time efficiently by prioritizing both in the workplace and at home to avoid sacrificing things that are truly important. 

What’s your best piece of advice to women just starting out in their careers?

Speak up, especially when you are the only woman in the room. Ask other women for their opinion. Don’t apologize so much. Lastly, don’t be so hard on yourself.  

What’s the best way to lift other women up in the workplace?

Hire, mentor, and promote women of all ages and backgrounds. The more representative an organization’s workforce is of the general population, the better it can serve the diverse needs of its customer base. Women and men can think and operate very differently, so balance in the workplace, from top to bottom, leads to diversity in ideas from which to draw and solve problems with. 

Who’s the woman you most admire?

I admire many women, so it is very hard to pick one. But if I have to select one at the top of my list, I’d say Ruth Bader Ginsburg. I admire her for her intelligence, strength, and ability to persevere through significant challenges and rise to be the second female Supreme Court Justice. She has been a strong advocate for women’s rights her entire career and for that, I admire her.

What’s the last photo you took on your smartphone?

Lots of pictures of my daughter’s twelfth birthday party, singing, dancing, and playing games. The very last one is of my youngest playing the piano at the party.

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about Jonathan

Jonathan is a word nerd, a food freak, and a travel junkie. By day, you'll find him weaving words for Esurance as a Senior Copywriter. But in his off time, he'll likely be digging into a new restaurant in his home base of Denver, Colorado, or white-knuckling his way down a mountainside on a weekend road trip.