These Women Are Going To New Heights…Literally
Female State Farm employees are going higher, further and faster as drone pilots.
Dedication. Adaptable. Intelligent. Pilot. No, this is not a story about a certain superhero by alien explosion/ DNA fusing.
As State Farm launched their new drone program to better assist customers after storm damage, they needed to recruit and train employees to become drone pilots. And they wanted the best of the best.
To the surprise of no one, Jessica Hodge, Joy Hillsman-Caffie and Shelley Cole rose to the top of the list. They are three of the six drone pilots for State Farm who are women.
The news of her selection came as a shock to Jessica, an eight-year State Farm claims specialist.
When I found out, I was excited and up for the challenge,” shared Jessica. “I consider myself an early adopter of the technology. State Farm is one of the first insurance companies to use drones and I’m one of the first drone pilots for State Farm. It’s cool to be on the cutting edge.”
Shelley had worked in Claims for just shy of 30 years when she was tapped on the shoulder to join the elite team. She was enthusiastic about the new adventure.
“It’s been quite the experience. It makes me feel like I’m really leading the way for other women,” Shelley said. “It also gave me a bit of an upper hand. As a female catastrophe claims specialist (which is a male dominated role), working with contractors (which is a male dominated job), being a drone pilot gave me a different level of respect.”
Joy is one of the lucky people in the world whose hobby became a career. After she heard about the drone program, she decided she wanted in. Recently introduced to drones herself, the 13-year employee made a few phone calls and advocated for herself. She officially passed her license test in the fall of 2017.
“Having to fight for something you want makes it sweeter. It’s also very cool being one of the women drone pilots at State Farm,” shared Joy. “We are really at the forefront of the industry and it’s great to be a part of that.”
Even better, her son who loves all things tech, thinks she’s pretty cool, too. “He says I’m one of his super heroes.”