Celebrating women in the insurance industry
Sanlam Namibia honours its dynamic women in insurance. Here, six women share details about their jobs in the insurance industry and advise other women who wish to be part of it.
28 August 2020 | People
Theopo Kazondunge – Broker Consultant
As a broker consultant, Kazondunge builds lasting relationships, adding value to her intermediaries’ businesses, as well as training them on all Sanlam-related software and products that they provide. Kazondunge joined Sanlam as an IT consultant and was in service for seven years before the opportunity in sales presented itself to her. She says she grabbed it with both hands and it has been the best decision of her life. What she enjoys most about her job “is being able to inform the intermediaries that their client’s claims have been approved, the culture at Sanlam and our working environment gives me so much satisfaction.”
To women who wish to work in the insurance industry, Kazondunge says: “Go for it. Gone are the days when this industry was male-dominated. Women in insurance are making their mark and it is a rewarding industry. It can be hard work but if you are up for the challenge you can achieve anything.”
Favourite Quote: God’s delay is not God’s denial.
Andolene Diergaardt - Financial Advisor: Development Branch
Diergaardt is a considerate, helpful, friendly person who believes in doing what is right. She aims to impact the lives of those within her sphere of influence. As a woman, she believes that she is here to love, encourage, support and uplift – as we are the nurturers in the world. As a financial advisor, Diergaardt deals with a diverse clientele daily – from ensuring they have adequate life cover to educating them on their benefits at creating their future wealth.
Previously Diergaardt worked in human resources for seven years. After realising she needed a career change, she was enticed by recruitment and selection specialists in the insurance industry. As someone passionate about information sharing, she enjoys advising her clients on their financial plans for them to make informed and sound decisions about their future. Also, the ability to build relationships is something she treasures. As times are changing, so is this industry.
“For the dynamic women, wanting to evolve and grow with changing times - this industry is for you. It can mould you into an individual who is purpose-driven, focusing on positively influencing the lives of others and ultimately leaving a legacy,” Diergaardt says.
Favourite quote: “A woman is like a teabag – you can’t tell how strong she is until you put her in hot water.” – Eleanor Roosevelt
Antoinette Joubert - Head Risk Administration: Risk Administration
The mother of two daughters has been working for Sanlam for 28 years. As the head of Risk Administration, Joubert and her team are responsible for the marketing and administration of risk benefit coverage. Their clients are employer groups for which they provide death, funeral, disability and trauma benefits.
Joubert started as a personal assistant in the then Pension Fund department. Soon she sought new challenges in the Sanlam Group. The management noted her commitment and willingness to develop within the company and she was appointed as an administrator shortly after. She was later promoted to head of risk administration, where she is currently working, ensuring they deliver quality service to their clients. Joubert enjoys delivering excellent client service by building trust with existing clients and getting new clients on board. She says insurance is a good industry to work in as it offers great opportunities for both personal and professional growth and is very rewarding. “Gender is not important; it is all about service and knowledge,” she adds.
Favourite Quote: If you can dream it, you can do it.
Amelda Mouton – Manager of Premium Admin and Billing - Policy Administration
Mouton has been working at Sanlam for 28 years and joined the company at the Client Services Department where she has worked most of her time at Sanlam. Currently, she is the manager for premium administration, billing and retention. “Our role is to prepare and authorise billing files on debit orders and stop orders to collect monthly or annual premiums on client’s policies,” she says. They also call clients about unpaid premiums and arrears. Their client value proposition is: “We commit to putting our clients first by on-time and accurate billing, collecting and allocating premiums.”
Mouton loves to share her knowledge and experience with her colleagues to get them where they feel valued because she believes that when you feel valued, you will do your best every day.
Mouton says every woman must live her life as a role model for other women. “At Sanlam, we put our clients first, so you must prepare to put others first. Be passionate about your career, work hard and do your best to enable you to achieve your goals in life.”
Favourite Quote: With Christ and through Christ, everything is possible.
Alix Husselmann - Advisor Manager: Sanlam Distribution (Entry Level)
Husselmann started working straight out of school and studied part-time through UNISA while working. She currently heads the agency department for one of the sales divisions of Sanlam. An agency manager manages, supervises and coordinates all aspects of an agency. They work with agents and clients to ensure that targets are met. “I am proud to say that around 70% of my sales force are women,” she says. She enjoys the thrill of the chase – trying to meet targets and after the final clock strikes, it all starts again in the new month. Husselmann’s advice to women who want to join the insurance industry is, “It may look like a male-dominated world, but nothing is stopping you from reaching the top.”
Favourite Quote: Amazing things happen when women help other women.
Selma Itembu - Broker Manager: Sanlam Entry Level
Itembu sees herself as a down-to-earth person who is actively involved in community activities. “Any opportunity to plant little seeds of hope in the lives of my acquaintances makes me happy,” she says. Her loyalty and commitment towards Sanlam came naturally as she does not only see it as a workplace but as her second home where she has worked for over 26 years. As a broker manager, her duties are to oversee the generation of quality new business from the entry-level broker fraternity to grow the Sanlam business. Itembu says being in a position to add direct value to the Sanlam business and to make a difference for clients, colleagues and stakeholders is her daily source of joy and motivation. “The fact that my input has a direct impact on the company performance makes me realise that I am an integral part of the business and enables me to enjoy what I do,” she says.
Itembu adds that women have all the qualities that one finds in any man and more. “The insurance industry is not just a job but a career where we as women can learn and adapt financial discipline for ourselves. We are thus also responsible for professional development and professional achievement.”
Favourite Quote - We rise by lifting others.