Client Account Manager
- Tell us a little about yourself and your career in insurance. I joined the financial services industry in 2013 at the start of my career and have been indirectly involved with the insurance sector as a supplier to multiple insurers and brokers for the past four years.
- What is rewarding about your career? I have a passion for networking and building long term relationships. I believe the work I do can add value to the industry in many different ways.
- How did you come to join the GWII? My mom has been in the industry for over 35 years and has always shared wonderful stories of the Gauteng Women in Insurance (GWII) functions. She has made multiple life-long friends through these networking opportunities and I hope to one day have stories of my own to share.
Head of PI Schemes, Directors and Officers and Medical Malpractice
- Tell us a little about yourself and your career in insurance. After having completed my B.Comm degree in 2001, I found myself in various roles within finance and sales teams across various industries. In 2009, I enrolled for my MBA at the University of KwaZulu Natal. I graduated in 2011. Shortly after graduation, I started my career at Zurich. At Zurich my career was quickly cut out as a Specialist Underwriter within the Financial Lines team, servicing at first the Corporate Sector and later the Commercial Sector. A few years into my role at Zurich, I was offered a position as a Senior Fiduciary Underwriter at Camargue. Not long after being at Camargue, Leppard had proposed a new and exciting opportunity to join their team as a Liability Underwriter. A short while later, my role expanded to include Medical Malpractice which is a new product offering at Leppard that I have been fortunate enough to be a part of since conception. My position at Leppard can best be described as fluid and I am grateful to be a part of an organisation, that rather than boxing people into roles, looks for ways to expand and allow their employees to grow.
- What is your life motto? Communication for me is paramount. It has always been evident to me that so much could be resolved if people just took the time to communicate with each other. I was raised in a home where one of the lessons instilled in us by my dad was that “It wasn’t what you said, but how you said it”. Delivery is key, and at their core, people want to be understood and respected. It’s a lesson that can be applied to any relationship and situation and whilst not always easily mastered, it’s something that I believe in and try to work on daily.
- How do you believe this platform is beneficial? I believe the GWII is a platform that allows for visibility. The events held cater, not only for Networking opportunities which are not always possible during a normal working day, but also Leadership exposure in the form of Leadership Walks as well as Leadership Courses. So often you can get lost in your role as an employee and a platform such as the GWII makes it easier to step out of those roles and be a part of something bigger, and best of all they make it simple enough, to do just that.
Marketing and Communications Manager
Coface South Africa
- Tell us a little about yourself and your career in insurance. I have been in the Insurance Industry for almost 5 years now. Started off as an intern, in Enhanced Information and now I am fully fledged in the Marketing Manager role, although an odd jump but I did a double major in Finance & Marketing back at Wits, and I am really lucky that I get to be exposed to both fields in my role. One reason I particularly enjoy this business, and the challenges that go along with it, is the opportunity to connect with people.
- Who inspires you and why? No one in particular. I am inspired by many different people for the many great things that they do. I am inspired by the initiatives people make to see change. I am inspired by the efforts of someone going the extra mile.
- What excites you about the year ahead and the role you will be playing on the committee in 2020? I am really passionate about women empowerment, so I am excited to be part of this initiative. I believe that what GWII has done thus far is quite amazing and will be looking forward to being part of it!
Head: Risk Engineering
- Tell us a little about yourself and your career in insurance. I started my career in short term insurance almost a decade ago as a happy co-incidence. While working a process engineer on a chemical plant, I was recruited by a large multinational insurance firm to join their commercial and corporate lines business. As a risk engineer, I specialised in oil and gas, batch manufacturing and commercial property. This wonderful profession has taken me around the world to the most amazing businesses and commercial properties. A career highlight would be engineering the Burj Al Arab. I joined Discovery Business Insure shortly after completing my MBA as the Head of Risk Engineering in 2018. I love yoga, travelling and good wine!
- Why did you get involved with GWII?Empowered women empower women! The concept of women helping other women, encouraging and supporting each other in pursuing our individual potential is a concept that resonates deeply with me and I believe the GWII does just that. I got involved with the GWII to support this inspiring industry platform continue serving its mission in celebrating women who accomplish things together.
- What excites you about the year ahead and the role you will be playing on the committee in 2020? I am excited about the phenomenal line-up of events planned for 2020. I love that our events are centred around opportunities for relationship building, professional development and networking. But I am most excited that I will be working alongside our other fabulous committee members making this all happen, in my new role, for our industry.
- Tell us a little about yourself and your career in insurance. I joined the marketing space at Aon in 2019 but started off in their Reinsurance division. I have been in the insurance industry for close to 10 years and I am enjoying the new career path I have taken.
- How do you maintain work and personal life balance? I’m a proud mum of two boys and because priorities change at every point in life, I prioritise what’s more important to me at that particular time and always try to be mindful of that particular moment i.e. if I’m at work, I’m at work and if I’m watching my child’s play, I’m watching my child’s play. I strive not to mix the two.
- Why do you believe this is an important forum for women in the insurance sector?Insurance is a very diverse industry, with ladies from different spheres of life and there aren’t too many platforms where we can all meet. So, the GWII presents all of us with the opportunity of tapping into some of the great minds this country has to offer; have inspiring take-aways from motivational events, fun and also being pampered! In essence, this forum uplifts and motivates ladies to be the best of themselves.
Wilmine De Ridder
Head of Claims
Constantia Insurance Company Limited
- Tell us a little about yourself and your career in insurance. I started my insurance career in 2003 at Mutual and Federal as a Claim’s Consultant, and over time I have moved up the ranks to Team Leader then Manager, and now Head of Claims. I have worked at Hollard, Miway, FSP Solutions, Discovery and I am currently at Constantia Insurance. Working in claims has been a passion of mine and I have always loved it. I find that in claims no day is the same and you are always dealing with something different. It keeps a person on their toes. The atmosphere in claims is always a buzz and always busy. I thrive on the pressure to always provide the best service possible and pay as many valid claims as possible.
- Why did you get involved with GWII? I became involved with the GWII as from experience I could see that the insurance industry was pretty much a man’s world. I always saw the guys going on golf days, and as a woman, we were generally always left to run the show at the office and hold the fort while the gents played their golf. The GWII has given women the opportunity to rub shoulders with other likeminded ladies. The GWII has also provided a platform for ladies in the industry to be recognised for all that we have to offer in this male dominated industry which I think is fantastic and I am all about empowering not only myself as a woman but empowering or hopefully inspiring other amazing women as well.
- What advice do you have for the next generation of women who are beginning their careers in our industry? Insurance WAS a man’s world and we are changing it every day, so work hard, be good at it and do it all with the style and finesse that only a woman can provide.