Celebrating successful women for all their hard work and effort creates a pathway and steppingstone for aspiring women who seek guidance, motivation, and inspiration.
Gauteng Women in Insurance (GWII) recently chatted to Susan Grobler, Head Of Commercial Sales at King Price Insurance, about her journey and career in the financial services industry and her advice for other women in the industry.
A Q&A session
Q. Tell us a little about yourself and your career in insurance. Maybe a bit of a background on where you were born, where you grew up, your academic background, etc.
A. I was born on 18 November, in 1977, and grew up in the West Rand. I attended Bastion High School and matriculated in 1995.
I never went to university, but studied while working, though various institutes including Unisa, Gordon Business School of Science (GIBS), Moonstone, Intec, the Insurance Institute of South Africa (IISA), Inseta (Insurance Sector Education and Training Authority), Legitimate Leadership, The Logic Filter, Knowledge Brokers International, etc.
On a personal front, currently, I live in Noordheuwel, on the West Rand. I am the oldest of three sisters. My dad passed away in a motor vehicle accident in 1991. As a single parent, my mom raised us as independent successful young ladies.
I have a teenage boy, who just turned 15. He is in Monument High School in Krugersdorp. I love the outdoors, and even fishing. I enjoy camping and sporting events. Afrikaans music is top of my list, and I normally play that a little louder. I am passionate about life and South Africa.
I pride myself with professionalism, and personally set targets and goals. Every year, I establish various goals: the latest being learning the language Setswana.
Q. Tell us something about yourself which not a lot of people know about…
A. I am a kick boxer, and had training for many years, during high school up to my mid 20’s.
Q. What motto do you live by?
A. I remind myself on a daily basis that happiness is a choice that requires practice at times, and I chose to be happy. That is my motto!
Q. Name one defining moment in your career or personal life which changed the world for you and why? Perhaps a brief success story.
A. In 1997, my then Santam family took me under their wing, and trained me - up into the industry. They taught me everything about insurance and the industry, and ever since then, I have never looked back… I loved it since then!
Q. What are your plans for the future?
A. During my career I had many mentors that inspired me daily, and I continue (and will continue) to find inspiration and mentorship through interaction with people and continue to work on my love and passion for Jesus/my family and work. I strongly believe that we have no limit to what we can achieve, if we train our brains to think and believe in the good of this world.
Q. Give us a short brief of your success story. What would you say is a success story?
A. I started working at Santam in 1997 and have been in the insurance industry ever since. In my career I have been both a broker and an insurer – which helped me become knowledgeable - understanding the different dynamics that make the industry so special.
A few of my highlights or success stories include a top achievement Leadership Award, in 2019, that was awarded to me for the best Senior Team Leader in Bryte Insurance. I won a trip to Bali! In 2013 to 2014, I completed Bill Gibson sales training with the Knowledge Brokers International.
Another highlight that has contributed to my growth journey has been the achievement of human performance training with 10 of the Fairfax family executive members in America, Orlando at Johnson & Johnson.
In 2019/2020, I completed life mentorship and personal business guidance through The Logic Filter with Louis Fourie. In legal and compliance, I was appointed a Commissioner of Oath in 2017.
Q. Complete the sentence, “I wish women would just…
A. I wish women would just realise that we are all vulnerable at times, which makes us stronger and not weaker.
For a woman, my advice is to always be open and honest. Deliver on any task to the best of your ability and continue to learn from people around you, through daily experiences. Always be the hardest worker in the room but remain modest.
Q. Lastly, what advice do you have for other women entering the industry?
A. Train yourself to see opportunities and not barriers. Success does not depend on your age, a degree, your wealth or your IQ. It depends on your belief in yourself and taking consistent action towards your goals. It is okay to fail from time to time, it’s how you act and recover that makes you special.