Passionate about driving change and transformation, Carla is no stranger to serving on committees that promote the insurance industry. She was one of the original co-founders of Gauteng Women in Insurance (GWII) and later joined the IIG in February 2015. It certainly did not take her long to make an impact. In 2017, Carla was appointed as Treasurer of the IIG and was the recipient of the coveted Councillor of the Year award in the same year.
This year, Carla was appointed as President, a personal goal that she is thrilled to have achieved.
If you’ve had the pleasure of chatting to Carla, you would know that she has some exciting plans for the IIG in 2019. Here are just some of the thoughts she had to share…
The theme you’ve chosen for the year is “Passion, Purpose, Pride”. Please tell us more about it.
I’ve always been someone who gives everything to all I do, and I expect the same from those who work with me and around me. Over the years I’ve told many people that if they are not excited about their job or what they do, then they probably need to find something else that does excite them. Being passionate about what you do makes a big difference to your output, and passion is contagious!
Whenever I hear the word ‘purpose’ I smile because it makes me think of my husband, who says I drive with purpose – I think it’s a compliment but can’t be 100% sure! For me, executing something with purpose just gives it that extra something, committing to a task and executing it with determination and focus.
I do feel that many people don’t showcase their pride in being part of the insurance industry. It’s almost as though people are ashamed to admit they work in insurance. For me, the world of insurance has provided me with a fulfilling, challenging and exciting career. I am proud of Emerald and our journey, and also am proud of the small part I have played in that journey.
This leads me to our tagline this year, of “Insurance as a career of choice, not chance”. Most people I’ve met had no ambition to enter the world of insurance, they simply ended up here by chance. I’d like to encourage people to share their positive career stories and journeys with young people, to show that insurance really can be a career of choice.
In conclusion, as the council of the IIG this year, I want us to execute our vision with passion, purpose, and pride – and by doing this hopefully instilling those same three traits into the broader industry.
The IIG’s education and transformation programmes started the year off with unprecedented application numbers. Why are they attracting so much interest and what can we expect?
I feel that the record numbers of applications this year are not only testament to the real need for these programmes in our industry, but are real testaments to the quality of the programmes themselves. We have really worked hard over the past couple of years to elevate all our education programmes and the hard work appears to be paying off. In general, I think people in our industry are hungry for opportunity, for education, and for upskilling themselves.
I also truly believe that delegates, mentees, and mentors are talking more and more about their positive experiences from the various programmes, which is drawing more people into them.
An example of this is the number of mentors we have on the Roots & Wings programme this year. Something that we’ve struggled with since inception is attracting mentors, but this year we have phenomenal people from the industry who have volunteered their time. For the first year, we had an equal number of mentors and mentees which is really exciting!
The transformation programmes are very close to my heart and I’m really excited that once again this year we have been able to something a little more special to each of them. I’m personally very grateful to all our sponsors who’ve really stepped it up this year to embrace the additional delegates and extensions to the programmes and am excited to collaborate with others in the industry to enrich the programmes where we can.
What are some of the networking events that members can look forward to this year?
We decided this year to keep the calendar very similar to last year. It is already a very full calendar and this year we really want to focus on each event and programme to ensure that the execution is perfect.
Our FAIS and Professional CPD accredited Insights sessions are very popular, and the Education Portfolio is already in full planning mode to ensure these events give our members not only the CPD hours they need, but also that they walk away with increased knowledge and skills to take back to their workplace. Our IIG CPD Vault is also now up and running, enabling our members to track their CPD hours and print out their own certificates following our events.
The event calendar also includes our Ladies Day in August, and of course the Annual Dinner which is diarised for 7 November this year. We also have our three golfing events, including the ever-popular Night Golf.
Our Charity and Youth events will be combined into one event this year. At this stage the planning is conceptual but we’d like it to align to our pillars of education, and link it to “Insurance as a career of choice”. All will be revealed in due course!
This year we are looking to collaborate a little more with various industry bodies at some of our events. Pooling our resources and funds means that we will be able to reach more people in the broader short-term industry, thereby increasing the awareness of what we do as the IIG.
What are you looking forward to most this year?
This year the highlight has to be the IIG International tour to Washington DC and San Francisco. We are already planning the visits and itinerary and it’s going to be an amazing, amazing trip!
Personally, I am excited about our Graduation Ceremony that will take place towards the end of November. This for me is what it’s all about – training and developing people to become better versions of themselves. We’ll have over 100 graduates from our various programmes this year, including the first batch of graduates from our newly launched Insurance Academic Programme. I’m excited to see where these bright, young enthusiastic people take their own careers after completing the various programmes this year!
Finally, I’m very grateful for the support I’ve received not only from sponsors and members but also the 2019 IIG Council. I think that some people forget that this really is a second (unpaid) job for us all and that we serve the IIG because we are passionate about making our industry a better one for all. I look forward to serving you all with ‘Passion, Purpose & Pride’!