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THE Professional Insurance Ladies Association (PILA) has challenged professional women to be leaders in their various spheres of influence by taking charge and creating value.

This was the takeout from the women association’s first virtual International Education Summit that focused on the theme, Redefining Success in A Changing World which was held recently.

Setting the tone for the event, the President of the association, Joyce Ojemudia, who is also the MD/CEO of African Alliance Insurance PLC, in her Welcome Speech, said, “As we all know, success, by its very essence is about meeting and exceeding set expectations. In this COVID-19 imposed new normal, the parameters for measuring success have become quite stricter. However, if there is one thing we all here have in common, it is that we are in the business of uncertainty being Insurance Practitioners. We, therefore, are supposed to naturally thrive in uncertainties due to our training and professional leanings. But you and I know this is usually not the case. It is with this at the back of our minds that the Professional Insurance Ladies Association has put together this Education Summit to help us, reinvigorate us, remind us and indeed realign our thoughts towards success despite the uncertainties.”

Frederick Bowen John, foremost Gambian Insurance expert spoke on redefining insurance in Africa in the 21st century as well as gender diversity from an international perspective.

He highlighted the challenges facing Insurance globally and in the African market and the possible solutions to address these challenges. Yinka Ogunde, CEO of Edumark Consult, spoke about leadership and climbing the corporate ladder as a woman. During her session, she said “Preparation is very important if you want to get into the C-Suite. It is a place that requires extensive experience, proven impact, excellent leadership skills, strong management attributes and great problem-solving capacity, the vision to see what others see and before others see.”

Speaking about funds and retirement, Folashade Onanuga, a retirement planning specialist said “If you are planning for a good retirement, you must be able to distinguish between your needs and your wants right now. To retire well, you need money, you need assets and don’t put all of your assets in one basket, diversify. Always avoid the desire for quick returns and most importantly manage your health.”

Adetola Adegbayi, Executive Director, Corporate Services, Leadway Assurance, reminded the audience of the redefined place of woman in the modern day: “Our society now requires and says women must come to the front and when they come to the front, they must be fearless, they must not say this is how things are done.

They must be careful of dogmas, they must challenge everything. We have to see how we can create value and as we create that value, where we need to be, the ladder we need to step, the mountains we need to climb and the flag we need to fly on top of that mountain would obviously come.”

Breaking down the discourse at the event were opinion leaders in the Nigerian insurance industry including Funmi Babington-Ashaye, MD/CEO, Risk Analyst Insurance Brokers; Adeyinka Adekoya, former MD/CEO, Coronation Insurance PLC and Ebelechukwu Nwachukwu, MD/CEO, NSIA Insurance.

The 2021 Women in Insurance Summit kick-started with the opening remarks by PILA’s Education Secretary, Omotola Sotade. She mentioned that the summit was founded in 2002 as an educational seminar for women in Insurance which later transformed into an international program where members would embark on an educational tour in an African country. This year’s summit is the association’s first virtual summit due to the restriction of COVID-19.


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