Gauteng Women in Insurance (GWII) is pleased to announce that Shaazia Khan, a GWII committee member, has assumed the position of GWII Deputy President for 2022.
Shaazia joined GWII as a member in 2020 and was elected to the committee in 2021. Stepping in as the new Deputy President, Shaazia tells us a little bit more about herself and how she came to join the GWII.
A Q&A session
Q. Briefly, tell us a little about yourself and your career in insurance.
A. My journey in the insurance industry began in 2013, as a Claims Handler at Saley’s Insurance. I had taken a gap year during my university years, found this position for a year, and thereafter resumed my studies. After I graduated, because of the insurance experience, I applied at Coface South Africa for an intern position and worked my way up to the Marketing and Communications Manager position within four years. I am quite proud off the quick growth, it definitely speaks to my passion for advancement and development, and I am learning every day.
I believe I am a sophisticated professional who strives for growth, with resilience being one of my blossoming qualities.
On a personal note, I am a mother of a “threenager”, which is really exciting, and I am truly enjoying her at this age. I also enjoy running, nature and a bunch of other things.
Q. What motto do you live by?
A. I live by two mottos. The first is, empowered people, empower people. And the second one is, leave a little sparkle and a smile wherever you go.
Q. Briefly, what are your five ingredients for success?
A. My five ingredients for success are:
• Smart working
Q. From your personal experience, why is GWII a beneficial platform for our members and the industry?
A. GWII has personally provided me with a platform to build relationships, take advantage of both personal and professional development opportunities and feel empowered and inspired to push myself to greater strengths. If I have been this fortunate in my experience as a GWII member, I am 100% certain that all women within the industry could gain as much value as I have, through relevant networking and leadership programmes.
In addition, something I hold quite close to my heart are CSI focused projects and GWII has always given back to society, and the environment, by collaborating with charitable initiatives that share our vision.
Q. What role will GWII play in the future for women in our industry?
A. The insurance industry has seen great progress in recent years, in terms of gender diversity. Women representation within leadership roles have developed and we are at a point in time where there is a great focus to improve on this.
Over the years, I have heard many individuals in the industry say this and I am sure you have heard this too, “I ended up in the insurance industry by default”.
This brings opportunity for young individuals to consciously learn, develop, and choose the insurance industry to build a career. Being part of the Coface South Africa team, I have seen the focus in transforming and promoting young individuals through training and development.
With the GWII, we will continue to bring diversified leadership opportunities, and a platform for building networks.
Q. What advice do you have for other women entering the industry?
A. Some inspiring quotes I’d like to share:
• “We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence then, is not an act, but a habit.” – Aristotle
• “It isn’t where you came from. It’s where you’re going that counts.” – Ella Fitzgerald
• “Be the girl who decided to go for it.” – Unknown
There are opportunities everywhere we go, and we are our biggest critics, I think we need to stop doubting ourselves, work hard, show off our worth and make it happen.
Q. As Deputy President, what does GWII have in store for our members in 2022?
A. GWII has evolved through the pandemic, becoming more current and flexible. We have been able to offer our members value through virtual events, hosted in 2021 and in 2022, we are embracing a hybrid environment, including both virtual and in-person events.
I am both humbled and honoured for being voted into this position and I am excited to bring my skills and experience to the committee. I look forward to supporting Catherine Naidoo, as President, and to work with a great team of women to achieve our objectives and continue living the GWII vision.
Q. What personal message do you have for our members as we embark on a new year?
A. I’ll keep this one simple . With GWII always trending and evolving, I encourage you to become a member of the GWII, let’s network and build strong relationships, we’re rooting for each other. Grab opportunities to develop and learn and focus on being your best self. We have so much in store for you in 2022, join us and see for yourself!