GWII President’s reflections of 2023…

The year 2023 heralded a change in the Gauteng Women in Insurance (GWII) committee with Shaazia Khan stepping in as the President of GWII.

Having served as the President for the past year, in which she steps down at the end of 2023, FAnews, on behalf of GWII, spoke to Shaazia about where it all began and what the future may hold.

Tell us about what the year 2023 has been like for the GWII?

For the GWII, 2023 has been a thrilling and innovative year. With newfound passion, we have carried out our commitment to empower women in the insurance sector. Numerous noteworthy advancements have occurred, such as broadening our scope with diverse high-quality speakers. We've been aggressively reaching out to more female professionals, organising thought-provoking sessions, and creating a stronger sense of community within the industry. Our membership has increased, and it has been encouraging to see how eager members are to contribute to our mission.

Were there any big changes for the GWII this year?

In 2023, there were a few developments within the GWII. Firstly, and a more recent development is the decision to open LinkedIn as a public platform, which provides us with new opportunities for engagement. We also introduced the Etiquette Workshops, a valuable addition to empower and enhance the skills of our members. I’d also like to highlight that the interest of supporters of the insurance industry and their involvement in our events have increased and is great to see their support of our vision. Our CPD events have introduced new topics, such as "Navigating Crisis Communications" and "Lessons Learned While Climbing the Corporate Ladder." These additions have enriched our members' learning experiences. And GWII hosted its first-ever Golf Master Class, equipping our members with the skills, confidence, and a strong foundation to enjoy the golf course.

As a President, what are some of the challenges you have had to overcome?

As President, I've encountered various challenges. Managing a diverse committee and ensuring that our activities are aligned with our mission required a balanced approach. At the same time, juggling the demands of my professional career, ongoing studies, and my role in GWII was indeed a big personal challenge, but I'm pleased to say that 2023 has proven to be a highly successful year. In addition, there have always been difficulties in adjusting to the insurance industry's ever-changing environment and in making sure GWII is still relevant in this fast-paced field.

As a President, what have been some of your best highlights?

As President, I've had the privilege of witnessing numerous highlights during my tenure. Witnessing members take on leadership roles and excel in their careers has been incredibly rewarding. I'm proud of the impactful events we've organised, the partnerships we've formed, and the strong sense of unity within our organisation. It's been a privilege to lead such a dynamic and ambitious group of women.

In addition, I'm proud to mention our Women's Day event in collaboration with the IIG, we jointly organised an event that brought together 450 women, marking the largest collaborative event to date and featured esteemed speakers like Mandisa Mfeka and Londy Ngcobo, who left us inspired with their insights and experiences.

Any inspiring last words you wish to share with our readers as you step down from the position of President?

As I step down from the role of President, I want to express my gratitude to everyone who has been a part of this remarkable journey. Together, we've achieved incredible milestones, and I have full confidence that GWII's future is brighter than ever. Remember, the path to empowerment is a continuous journey and embrace opportunities, learn from challenges, and always support and uplift one another.

In the wise words of Maya Angelou, "Each time a woman stands up for herself, she stands up for all women." I encourage all our members to continue standing tall and strong and I thank you for being a part of this inspiring community.

Shaazia announced Catherine Albertyn as the new President of the GWII for 2024, with Kyndra Robertson as Deputy President.

Read up on the committee in our January newsletter.