• Cecilie Lynch

    Cecilie Lynch

    Claims Director, Nationwide Insurance

    Cecilie Lynch has been a member of the Nationwide Insurance team for over 27 years. From underwriting and new hire training to material damage and field bodily injury and personal injury operations, Lynch has become an expert in the organization. Lynch described the purpose to her life journey as being an inspiration to others and demonstrating that anything is possible with sacrifice and hard work. She has used her ferociousness to represent her bravery, determination, strength and passion and believes one who is fierce is one who has the courage to accept challenges and obstacles in a head on manner with the confidence to endure and overcome them.

     

    “I encourage young women to never give up on good strategies for success.” said Lynch. “At times there will surely be hardship but continue to persevere. You control your destiny, and there is no such thing as a better life than your own, the one you’re blessed to live.”

     

    What does it mean to be Fierce?

    Ferociousness is representative of bravery, determination, strength and passion. Personally, being fierce is having the courage to accept challenges and obstacles in a head-on manner with the confidence that I will endure and overcome them. Being fierce means understanding that failures lead to inevitable growth and/or wisdom. Ferocity is also associated with authenticity, humility and purpose. I believe a fierce woman is a magnet to people and opportunity. Being fierce is being unapologetic of my origins, what I’ve been through and who I’ve become in my quest for success.

    What does success, achievement and accomplishment mean to you?

    Over the years I’ve learned there is beauty in the struggle.  Our successes, achievements and accomplishments are sometimes rewarded with great recognition. Those accolades can represent meaningful career milestones. For me, being an inspiration to others, demonstrating that anything is possible with sacrifice and hard work, is what gives my journey real meaning.

    What motivates you in the morning?

    A great workout, my favorite song and a cup of coffee.

    What or who is inspiring you right now? Why?

    While many Americans are disappointed with our nation’s state. I’m inspired by our protesting youth that demands equality, opportunity and change. They are our future leaders, and I appreciate their persistence in having their voices heard and wanting to make a difference.

    What was the best decision you’ve made? What’s the worst?

    I was a single mom of two young children and decided I wanted to advance my career. I applied for a position that required a small commute. When offered the position, I was asked to relocate to another state. This decision wasn’t easy. It meant leaving my support system of family and friends. Though, deciding to accept the position was one of the best decisions I ever made.

    Conversely, one of my worst decisions, or I could also say practices, was my previous conservative approach towards a professional life. Earlier in my career, I never envisioned myself as a future director and underestimated my potential. While I have had many successes on my journey, I realize I should have trusted more in the capabilities I displayed as a single mother and such parallels of being organized and prepared in the workplace.

    What has been your biggest obstacle and how have you overcome it?

    While some of my decisions have definitely made my life more challenging, my disposition is simply that of a doer. There are certainly obstacles associated with being a woman of color in the workforce, and my industry specifically, but I can’t say I’ve given it much thought. I’ve just made sure I produced favorable results.

    How do you address negativity in your life and in business?

    I have learned that the best way to address negativity is to entertain it with as little attention as possible. I focus on the important things in life and what it has to offer. I learned years ago that, if the attitude I maintain and example I set is consistently positive, negative people and situations will usually be short-lived interactions.

    Is there a particular instance or occurrence that you credit for building your confidence and self-esteem?

    My mother is my true inspiration, followed by my grandparents who were educators. There isn’t any particular instance as to why. They just provided great values and a solid foundation. As the eldest child, I was given a significant amount of responsibility that I attribute to my work ethic, my determination to learn and grow and the importance of self-respect.

    How do you empower other women?

    I empower other women by providing support, encouragement and being a role model. I believe in recognizing and celebrating other women’s successes so others observing can be inspired and empowered. I mentor many women and take these relationships very seriously. I love to share my journey, and it is my goal to help other women recognize their potential and encourage them to take strategic risks. It’s important that women join forces, share our stories and continue to support each other in making a difference.

    What change do you want to see in your industry?

    I would love to see more women, in general, and a more culturally diverse group of women, specifically, in executive leadership roles in my industry. I’m fortunate to work for a Fortune 100 company that recognizes the need for a diverse culture, representation of inclusiveness and tolerance of all lifestyles. I have been in leadership for over 17 years, and it has been an amazing journey.

    Do you have any advice for young women as they try to achieve their goals?

    I encourage young women to never give up on good strategies for success. Develop a short and long-term plan with goals that can evolve. Always be proactive, network and use resources. Never stop educating and developing yourself. At times, there will surely be hardship, but continue to persevere. You control your destiny and there is no such thing as life better than your own – the one you’re blessed to live.

    What do you want to be remembered for?

    I didn’t have a roadmap in my life and have embraced every twist, turn and fork in the road. I want to be remembered for my perseverance, strength and courage to take risks. I want to be remembered as someone who was selfless, altruistic and compassionate. I want to be remembered as a go-getter that never wanted anything in return expect to be a motivator to others.

    How do you defy the current stereotypes, stigmas and double standards that women have today?

    I believe actions speak louder than words.