On the 13th of February 2019, the IIG in association with Sasria SOC, Thatch Risk Acceptances, Emerald Risk Transfer and Chubb, launched the 4th edition of the Roots and Wings mentorship programme at the Bryanston Country Club. The event was attended by past presidents Natasja Blok and Tracy McLaughlin, #YourIIG council members, programme facilitators Linda and Jenna Coetzee from Linda Coetzee & Associates and of course, the prospective mentors and mentees.
The programme pairs aspiring insurance professionals who wish to advance their careers in the industry with seasoned practitioners who can offer guidance, accountability and be a sounding board to the career building mentees. Making insurance a career of choice and not chance is one of the themes for the IIG in 2019 and mentorship is a key component in shaping that career.
This 4th edition is also the largest so far featuring 27 pairs of mentors and mentees. (In 2017 we had a total of 10 mentee and mentor pairs, while last year the number increased to 14). For the number to grow this much is a testament to the success of the programme as well as the need for mentorship to foster career development in the insurance world industry. The insurance industry in South Africa and the continent faces many challenges, not least of which is low levels of insurance penetration. To tackle these challenges it is important that the industry not only attract the brightest minds but also nurture and keep the minds that will ultimately find solutions to these challenges. One of the points highlighted by Barbara, representing Sasria.
Matching the 27 mentors and mentees was the responsibility of Linda and Jenna Coetzee and as mentioned in Linda’s address to attendees on this day, chemistry is the most important ingredient. Therefore the event was also an opportunity for the mentors and mentees to mingle ‘speed dating style’ and discover who they clicked with. Chemistry was not the only scientific method used by Linda Coetzee & Associates as all the participants were subjected to a personality test to validate or enhance the findings of the chemistry experiment. The results of the pairing exercise were then released at the official “mentor/mentee pairing event”, hosted at Emerald Risk Transfer’s offices on Friday, the 22nd of February.
Attendees were treated to cold refreshments in the stifling heat and had another chance to meet with their allocated mentee or mentor. Councillors Neil Beaumont and Thabo Twalo explained proceedings, and thanked participants for eagerly contributing to the industry, after which official “pairs” were announced by Linda Coetzee, encouraging paired participants to engage with each other, and plan their year ahead.
A social media competition was also announced by councillor, Liebie Du Plessis, highlighting that programme participants should actively engage on their personal social media platforms, sharing creative visuals combined with valuable insights of their learnings thus far within the programme, on a monthly basis. These will be used a “check-ins”, and reshared by the IIG to showcase the programme worth to our industry. Monthly “best posts” will be chosen from these posts using the #IIGRootsAndWings2019 tag, from which a final winning pair for the year would be announced at the graduation ceremony at the end of the year and receive a prize.
We look forward to seeing our biggest group of participants to date to engage and connect in 2019, and cannot wait to see what they bring to the table.