Michaela Phillips, GWII Founding Member reflects on GWII’s decade of success

Reflecting on the journey of Gauteng Women in Insurance (GWII) over the past decade fills me with profound wonder and pride. What began as a casual conversation amongst eight women in the insurance industry, sharing thoughts over a glass of wine, has blossomed into a vibrant and supportive community.

The core idea behind GWII was to create a haven - a safe and nurturing space where women in the industry could connect, support each other, and advance professionally. In an industry where many women find themselves confined within office walls, GWII emerged as a bridge, offering them the opportunity to step out, expand their networks, and interact with individuals from diverse backgrounds. Witnessing the organic growth of this initiative into a tightly knit sisterhood, embracing women from all walks of life, has been incredibly gratifying.

As one of the founding members, I'll confess that the journey initially felt daunting. Organising events at regular intervals demanded meticulous planning, dedication, and a dash of creativity. Yet, each gathering served a meaningful purpose. Whether we hosted inspiring speakers like the first African woman to conquer Mount Everest or delved into pressing topics such as breast cancer awareness and achieving work-life balance for working mothers, every event left an indelible impact.

In addition to our regular events, GWII also endeavoured to give back to the community and support charitable causes. Our members demonstrated incredible generosity, contributing tinned food, unused handbags for abused women's care packages, dog food for shelters, or toys for children's homes at Christmas and support many more charities over the years. Their unwavering support and willingness to give back has been incredible.

None of this would have been possible without the support of the committee members respective employers. We are deeply grateful for their support over the last 10 years, whether it was allowing us to plan events during office hours, collecting sponsorships and prizes, or providing office space for our meetings. Their support to all the GWII Committee members past and present has been invaluable and for this we thank them.

GWII has transcended its role as a mere networking platform; it has become a beacon of empowerment and solidarity for women in the insurance industry. I take immense pride in having contributed to its inception and witnessed its growth over the past decade. Looking ahead, I am filled with pride and anticipation, eager to see GWII continue to thrive and inspire women in the years to come.

Michaela Phillips
Portfolio Executive at Sapphire Risk Transfer.