King Price’s women are breaking glass ceilings in the insurance industry

The South African short-term insurance industry is still largely a boys’ club, with women in perilously short supply at board and C-suite level. But if a growing number of women in the industry have their way, this is going to change – sooner rather than later.

Just ask Natalie Graham, partner of broker business at King Price, who says it’s high time women started taking hammers to the glass ceilings in the industry.

“The local insurance industry is still extremely male-dominated, but there are some really successful and inspiring female leaders in our industry who we can look up to and learn from, including Santam CEO Lizé Lambrechts, FIA CEO Lizelle van der Merwe, the FCSA’s Caroline da Silva, and Thokozile Mahlangu, CEO of IISA,” says Graham.

“We need to take their lead, put our heads down and set an example for others. Luckily, at King Price, we have a culture that doesn’t see gender as much as ability. And it helps that we have a lot of amazing strong female leaders who inspire us daily!”

Business relationship administrator Boitumelo Senwelo says the challenges facing women in the insurance industry aren’t unique.

“The biggest challenge facing women in corporate SA is that we have to prove ourselves more than men before taken seriously. Women have to fight more to get into top positions. But I’m fortunate to work in an environment that actively promotes women into management positions, thereby paving the way for other ‘leader capable’ women to follow them. It’s slow, but we’ll get there,” she says.

For IT business analyst Filiano Tukani and underwriting administrator Reabetswe Tlale, the gender balance in the workplace is no problem – it’s at the top where change is needed.

“The challenge that I see is in leadership, where I don’t think women make up even 20% of the board seats in the insurance industry – and I don’t know of any formal programmes to bring strong women into those positions. Pay inequity is another challenge that we always face. The question is, who drives these changes from the top?” says Tukani.

Tlale agrees: “Within our company, women enjoy the same opportunities as men, and there are a number of creative female leaders. But the industry is mostly male-dominated, and women can’t be seen as empowered or in-charge until this changes.”

King Price brand development manager and spokesperson Siyamthanda Williams says that gender equality in the workplace starts with hiring the right people. “We pride ourselves in sourcing the best talent for each job. Gender plays no part in being the best in your field. The bigger challenges are around ensuring equal recognition for women, and fair compensation for maternity leave,” she says.

The biggest challenge facing women in corporate SA, says retentions AQA analyst Amori Lemley, is time. “We have to be able to balance our personal lives with our corporate lives. We need to work harder to achieve our dreams, to make people understand we are strong and can handle through situations with the correct solutions, that we are creative and proud,” she says.

So how do women in insurance start changing the status quo, and driving greater professional opportunities? One way is to have mentors, both in and out of the business.

“It’s so important to make that extra bit of a difference, provide the relevant support when needed, and go the extra mile where I can. Because let’s be honest, you can’t be there to help others when you battle to keep yourself afloat,” says Senwelo. “It’s also important to give females a platform to share their views and be recognised. We’ve got to find ways of giving each other a leg up in this industry.”

 

 



Latest


21 Sep 2020
Women are lagging in retirement savings and are debilitated by stress

In a recent study of their client base, Momentum Corporate revealed that almost half (41%) of the employees on the…

Women are lagging in retirement savings and are debilitated by stress

In a recent study of their client base, Momentum Corporate revealed that almost half (41%) of the employees on the FundsAtWork Umbrella Funds are women. With an almost 50/50 gender split across the client base, a one-size-fits-all approach to advice on employee benefits simply won’t cut it. This is according…

15 Sep 2020
Despite COVID-19, SA investors expect higher future returns

Even as COVID-19 halted the longest economic expansion on record and plunged the world into deep recession, South African investors…

Despite COVID-19, SA investors expect higher future returns

Even as COVID-19 halted the longest economic expansion on record and plunged the world into deep recession, South African investors expect to make an average annual total return of 12.67% – almost 2% higher than the global average predicted returns of 10.9%. This was revealed in the recently released Schroders’…

15 Sep 2020
Are cryptocurrencies here to stay?

The recent news that cryptocurrency giant, Digital Currency Group, has acquired cryptocurrency exchange company, Luno, has once again highlighted the…

Are cryptocurrencies here to stay?

The recent news that cryptocurrency giant, Digital Currency Group, has acquired cryptocurrency exchange company, Luno, has once again highlighted the rise of cryptocurrencies as a possible alternative to the current global financial system. According to Old Mutual Investment Group Director of Investments, Hywel George, Bitcoin, as well as a number…

10 Sep 2020
How too much choice is draining your brain

By: Paul Nixon, head of technical marketing and behavioural finance at Momentum Investments From the words of Francis Scott Key…

How too much choice is draining your brain

By: Paul Nixon, head of technical marketing and behavioural finance at Momentum Investments From the words of Francis Scott Key that dubbed America “The land of the free”, which stuck, to the unforgettable Mel Gibson monologue where an army of painted Scots were willing to trade their lives for the…


Top stories


10 Apr 2020
When the going gets tough, farmers are on familiar territory

South African farmers are old hands at adapting to uncertain and daunting circumstances, and our local agricultural industry has proved…

When the going gets tough, farmers are on familiar territory

South African farmers are old hands at adapting to uncertain and daunting circumstances, and our local agricultural industry has proved to be most enterprising in acclimatising to challenges as they arise.

13 Apr 2020
Investors should keep a reasonable investment allocation outside of SA

MoneyMarketing asked Roland Gräbe, the head of Tailored Fund Portfolios at Old Mutual Wealth, about offshore investments in the COVID-19…

Investors should keep a reasonable investment allocation outside of SA

MoneyMarketing asked Roland Gräbe, the head of Tailored Fund Portfolios at Old Mutual Wealth, about offshore investments in the COVID-19 environment and what form a global market recovery will take.

13 Apr 2020
SA’s Proposed Covid-19 Disaster Management Tax Relief

The National Treasury recently issued the draft Disaster Management Tax Relief Bill (Bill) for public comment by 15 April. The…

SA’s Proposed Covid-19 Disaster Management Tax Relief

The National Treasury recently issued the draft Disaster Management Tax Relief Bill (Bill) for public comment by 15 April. The draft Bill, together with its explanatory memorandum, provides clarity with regards the tax relief measures President Cyril Ramaphosa announced on 23 March.

11 Apr 2020
Finding investment opportunities among the many COVID-19 risks

With many countries around the world in lockdown as they try to contain the spread of the COVID-19 virus, the…

Finding investment opportunities among the many COVID-19 risks

With many countries around the world in lockdown as they try to contain the spread of the COVID-19 virus, the global economy is facing an unprecedented situation of balancing health against financial livelihoods.


Visit the official COVID-19 government website to stay informed: sacoronavirus.co.za