Empowering Women in Business - Career and Family Balance
Helene: Tamika, I know that you work with an organization that supports and empowers women. How does State Farm empower women?
Tamika: Well State Farm empowers women in several different ways. For me, as an agent, there is no glass ceiling at all. So you basically get out of it what you put into it. And you can afford to do that because you are own your own boss, so you set the tone, and the precedent. The other thing is basically having the work/life balance. You can decide if you want to, if you want to take the weekend or do quarterly things, and I know sometimes with women, we sometimes struggle with finding that work/life balance.
And as an agent you can do that, you can afford to do that and still have a successful business and have your business running for you and your team members thriving for you back at the home front, as they say. I know a lot of times for me, personally, and a lot of women, sometimes are challenged with fear. And the one thing I will definitely say to all women, never, as far as from a State Farm agent's opportunity, don't let the fear stunt you from doing what it is that you want to do. You know, challenge the fear, as they say, and just move forward with it.
You know, being a State Farm agent is a wonderful opportunity. And with everything as far as having a new business, there are going to be some challenges and there is going to be some fear to face but State Farm gives an unprecedented platform in empowering women to make sure that they're successful in their agencies.
Maggie: You know I get calls frequently from people around the State of Kentucky interested in potentially being a State Farm agent, many of them are women. But they do have a little bit of fear of starting their own business, especially when they're like me, starting a family at the same time. But really, now is the best time for me to be starting and working on my agency. So I talk with the women about even if they do have something like a marriage or children coming up, that it's a great opportunity and I wish I would have started it four or five years ago as opposed to just three years ago.
And also, with State Farm empowering women, when I look internally at State Farm, there are so many top executives that are female and that really makes me feel good about the company overall. So, as an agent, like you said, there is no glass ceiling for us and internally I see a lot of mentors and other females that hold very high positions and it makes me feel good.
Helene: And the two of you are strong mentors, aren't you, to other women? Now on the home front, you have someone working for you, who's that person?
Keith: My wife Jessie, she actually works part-time in my office. I'm probably speaking from experience that she does most of our decision making too, so but no, she works in my office right now part-time and it's been a great experience to have her around.
Helene: And have you coached her to be an agent?
Keith: I've brought it up to her plenty of times, so she always says she'll think about it. It's something, who knows, we'll see down the road what happens.