Gauteng Women in Insurance's Women in Leadership Development (WiLD) programme aims to develop key leadership skills and characteristics in women in the insurance industry.
Three of our colleagues, Johanna Ntitsane, Puleng Mateane and Taryn Garson, participated in the GWII’s latest three-month WiLD programme, where they focused on personal mastery, communications, conflict management, finance and the future of leadership.
These ladies recently graduated from the programme, and join our 2018 graduates.
“My interest in being involved with GWII started with a need for growth – personally and professionally. It’s always good to meet up with people who have been in the industry for longer than you have been, to grow one’s career.
"When I signed up I had a totally different perspective of the programme - only to find that it had way more to offer than I had expected,” says Ntitsane, who works within the accounts division of Fulcrum.
She mentions how (as part of an assignment during the course of the programme), they were tasked to “refer three ladies [they know] in order to grow GWII within the industry”.
For Mateane, the course meant “a great deal”, helping her understand how to best utilise her networks, and skills, while at the same time growing her career – skill sets she can apply daily as a member of the business development team within Fulcrum.
Her biggest takeaways? Being present, practising mindfulness, navigating corporate politics, the importance of personal branding and being consistent therein, and most importantly, as she so aptly puts it: “My career is in my hands, no one is coming!”
According to Ntitsane, each week brought new challenges and different insights into their careers, and how they perceive certain things in life, as well as how to handle these scenarios.
For her, it was a great learning experience. “The programme literally forced me to get out of my comfort zone. From being a person who didn’t want anything to do with public speaking, to being able to stand in front of people and actually do a presentation was not easy.”
She adds that her future plans include to “move forward and work on those rough edges”.
While both these ladies’ involvements started off as networking goals, their subsequent programme participation brought them so much more, and will continue to benefit their careers for years to come.
When asked how their learnings can help [their careers at] Fulcrum, and in turn the GWII and Insurance Industry as a whole, Ntitsane pointed out that it is up to these ladies to carry the torch and share the knowledge they’ve gained with others.
Mateane agrees: “[It would be beneficial if] the industry and businesses become aware that women have value to add, and their intuition can be used in growing businesses as well as our industry.
“Let’s demystify the notion that women are [only] emotional beings and are not able to lead without their emotions being involved. On the contrary, [these emotions] increase an understanding that as much as we are emotional beings, we are aware enough to know how to control [it] and can separate our feelings from decision-making.
“As soon as this can be understood, the lessons from this leadership programme will help the industry include more women in leadership roles and further upskill aspiring leadership. The industry has a whole lot of great leaders in women to be recognised and [who await] acknowledgement.
“I believe GWII is playing its part and with programmes like these, it is up to the members to ensure more ladies join the institute, take part in the events, and promote and uplift each other,” says Mateane.