by Christy Heiger-Ewing | photos by Brian Brosmer


When she was in college, Kali DeWitt Rodgers had no interest in joining her parents’ insurance firm. It’s not that she didn’t find the work interesting; she just wanted to forge her own career path. Therefore, alongside her sales degree she earned an entrepreneurship certificate and began working as an account manager for a start-up IT security firm. She enjoyed the travel perks that accompanied the job, but when her mother suffered a debilitating stroke in 2013 her priorities changed. Kali decided to join her father at DeWitt Insurance Group to not only support the business but also help care for her mom. Now a partner with the group, Kali wouldn’t change her career in the insurance industry for the world.

“I absolutely love it,” she says. “I have the opportunity to help individuals, families and businesses manage their risk.”

Referring to herself as a “Jill of all trades,” Kali handles sales, marketing, financials and new staff training. As a woman leader in the workforce, Kali is pleased to be blazing a trail for other females in the industry. When she worked at the IT firm, she was the only female. Being in a completely male dominated field can be intimidating, but she joined several professional high-tech and STEM organizations that support women in these fields. She knows from personal experience how networking, training, and advocacy platforms create a sense of community that fosters career growth.

“Women bring unique skills and perspectives to the industry as far as relationship-building, empathy, and problem-solving,” she says.

SETTING AN EXAMPLE OF GROWTH AND LEADERSHIP

Since Kali started in the insurance field in 2014, she’s been involved in a number of leadership roles. For instance, she works with Big I Indiana, serving on the Emerging Leader board.

“It’s specific to young agents under the age of 40 making their voices heard,” says Kali. “Their annual conferences get younger agents out of the office and into the field to build those relationships.”

She’s also part of Insurance Agency Owners Alliance (IAOA), a nationwide group that helps agents get to know the entire marketplace at a higher level. Through IAOA national conferences, Kali has made lifelong friends in different sectors whom she calls for both personal support and professional advice.

In addition, she’s in charge of programming for the Home Artisans of Indiana Fishers chapter.

“As a niche in the artisans field, we support women in the construction industry by acting as a liaison for women owners,” says Kali.

Finally, this year she led a group of 24 women on the tenth annual Greater Indy Habitat Women Build in which they helped erect two homes in the Lawrence area. The program recruits, educates, and encourages women to build and advocate for decent and affordable housing in the community.

“It was great to see women come together to fundraise and do hands-on building for women and their families,” says Kali.

PAVING THE WAY FOR FUTURE GENERATIONS

A number of colleges are now building insurance programs. This means that younger generations are recognizing the insurance industry as one they can pursue. As organizations work to actively attract and retain talented diverse women professionals, the landscape will continue to change for the better.

“By supporting women’s partnerships in construction, we can harness their talents and skills and help them grow in their productivity and revenue,” says Kali, who will soon start mentoring younger females who are looking to get into the insurance field.

“I’m hoping I can help pave the way for future generations,” she says. “We’re not going to be able to get that talent pool unless we are role models. Women need to inspire other females and break down that gender barrier, especially when it comes to becoming an agency owner. There is no reason that females shouldn’t be sitting in leadership positions.”