Gauteng Women in Insurance (GWII) welcomed members to a Continuing Professional Development (CPD) session, proudly sponsored by Discovery Insure, on 12 September.
With the theme of ‘creating, inspiring and leading’, the session saw keynote speakers inspire women to lead, lead better and fulfil their highest potential.
The changing role of women in society
Precious Nduli, Head of Technical Marketing and Vitality Drive engagement at Discovery Insure, discussed the changing role of women in society and the implications for insurance.
“In South Africa, 52% of women form part of the labour force. Forty-four percent in every 100 employed individuals are women. More women are receiving a tertiary education than men. 93.4% of South African women are literate. Over 40% of South African parliament and ministerial positions are made up of women,” added Nduli.
“More women are entering the workforce. Eighty percent of businesses have at least one woman in senior management. Twenty-nine percent of senior roles are held by women. Companies are reducing barriers to entry and are employing gender equality policies and practices,” said Nduli.
Even with all the advances, research has found that 58% of women leave financial decisions to their significant other. Nduli said this is an opportunity for insurers to educate women, particularly in short term insurance as women are owning more assets.
“Women own more assets. Seventy-two thousand single women purchased residential properties in 2018. This is an increase from 22% to 28% between 2016 and 2018. Only 38% of women are confident about buying a car. Fifty-five percent of women had never held an investment compared to 37% of men. Sixty-two percent of women have a plan to protect themselves against outliving their savings compared to 76% of men. Fifty-two percent of women have life insurance compared to 62% of men. Educate women so that they are more informed and confident when making financial decisions,” continued Nduli.
“As a customer base for insurers, women want protection and peace of mind not only for themselves but for their families as well. They are willing to spend 10% to 20% of income to protect against future risk. They prefer safer cars, for example, ranking them over durability and reliability, and prioritize value and practicality,” continued Nduli.
Insurers, Nduli emphasized, must innovate and create solutions at different life stages for:
- Single women looking for value for money while building up their assets;
- Working mothers who require safety for their family;
- Retirees wanting to ensure they have a comfortable retirement; and
- Entrepreneurs looking to expand their businesses.
Leadership lessons, challenges and pivoting into business
Speaking of women influencing critical areas of business, Penny Moumakwa (CEO and Founder of Mohau Equity Partners, in partnership with Discovery) discussed leadership journey lessons, challenges and pivoting into business.
For Moumakwa it all started with a keen interest in a young, female family doctor. "Little did I know that my career path held exciting future avenues for me, in a different medical business sector."
Her career change came on the eve of her 30th birthday. That’s when the medical and business combo came about,” she added.
Moumakwa has been in the corporate world for over 20 years for numerous roles. It took her some time to reflect on the lessons learned so far, but she shares what they are:
- The biggest battleground that Moumakwa has had to conquer is self-limiting beliefs - Your behaviour is a reflection of your beliefs. Everything you do depends on who you say you are after you have said ‘I am’ - I AM declares what you are and what you are creating.
- The opposite of success is not failure, it is inaction. Many people are paralyzed by what if I fail, rather than what if I succeed. Have a bold, daring, audacious vision, dream big and take action. Be inspired by the boldness of your vision rather than paralyzed by the fear of failure.
- Forget the career path; rather climb the jungle gym instead. Look for opportunities here and there and swing to them. Keep a great attitude, stay flexible and open to possibilities. Be willing to take a journey of unexpected turns.
- Learn, unlearn, relearn. Stay curious – you are either growing or dying. Get out of your comfort zone. Your ability to adapt to change is what will make a crucial difference to your success. “The illiterate of the 21st century will not be those who cannot read and write, but those who cannot learn, unlearn, and relearn,” Alvin Toffler.
- Meaningful, transformational, relationships - We all need allies in our journey. Being part of the smartest team challenges you and inspires you. Surround yourself with people who are where you want to be and who fan your dreams. If you want fast, go alone, if you want to go fast, go with others.
- Your attitude to challenges and failures - Your perspective on challenges is a key distinction between losing and winning. If you are going to have an extraordinary life, accept the journey for what it is. Life is a succession of challenges; you move from one to the next. Trust that you will overcome.
Moumakwa reminded us that we never have to doubt ourselves. “Don’t discount your dream before you start. Have the boldest dream possible.”
Take control of your money
Sam Beckbessinger, Writer and Fintech Entrepreneur discussed how to take control of your money to take control of your life.
“We never get an instruction manual about how money works. We never have to pass a test to get our money license before we can take a new credit card for a drive. Most of what we learn about money comes from advertising or from other people who know as little as we do. No wonder we make such basic mistakes. No wonder we feel disempowered and scared,” she said.
“The first thing I learned is that everybody sucks at money. Seventy-six percent of people run out of money before the end of the month. Fifty-six percent of people run out of money by the 15th. And if you think the solution is to just earn more money, I’m afraid it’s not,” she said.
“The second thing I learned is that you cannot earn your way out of a problem. It’s about what you’re doing with that money that matters. Income is not wealth. Wealth comes from assets. But we don’t talk to people about what assets are. We don’t teach kids about assets. Assets are things that can give you an income. A rule of thumb is that every R300 worth of assets you have, that will give you R1 income every month for the rest of your life. So, if you want R10 000 a month for the rest of your life, you need R3-million worth of assets. Assets are everything, but too many South Africans are stuck in an earn-spend-borrow cycle and they’re not building up assets,” added Beckbessinger.
“The next thing I learned is that it is easier than you think to build wealth. You just need to understand three basic concepts: what assets are, how compound interest works, and the power of diversification. The rest is all down to implementing them, which means learning to master your own mind,” she continued.
“Insurance is only one small part of your clients’ financial world. Help clients to prioritize their debt repayments before they over-insure themselves. Get them to understand what their most valuable assets are and help them to protect them. Talk to them about their dreams and their hopes for their futures. You are a part of that,” she concluded.
See video highlights here
CEO and Founder
Mohau Equity Partners, in partnership with Discovery
Head of Technical Marketing and Vitality Drive Engagement
Writer and Fintech Entrepreneur