After entering the financial services industry 13 years ago, Kim Potgieter, founder of the Women in Finance Network, quickly realised that it was a male-dominated industry and that there was little support for females. Kim felt strongly that women in the sector needed their own forum to meet, share experiences, support, mentor and learn from each other, so in 2013 she founded the Women in Finance Network.
The philosophy behind the network is that if women in the industry work together and inspire each other, they can significantly increase their value adds to their clients. Women have inherent skills such as empathy that enable them to form meaningful relationships with their clients, and in the process, change the industry for the better.
Inspired by WiFN’s vision, Old Mutual, Allan Gray and Chartered Wealth partnered with them, sponsoring the events. The FPI also strongly believed in the philosophy behind the network, and they too came onboard, sponsoring students and graduates from the ASISA Academy to attend the events.
Women who join WiFN receive invitations to all the events and have access to an online community of women who are always ready to help and support each other.
Traditionally events were held quarterly in Johannesburg, Cape Town, Port Elizabeth and Durban. These events provide the perfect opportunity for women in the industry to have fun, connect and learn from each other. They are a great place to brainstorm ideas and much mentoring takes place as a result of the connections made. Covid has changed the format of these events, and since lockdown, they have managed to host four online events, with each guest speaker carefully chosen to support their members during these uncertain times.
I truly believe that we as women can make a difference – we serve and connect with clients in a unique way. – Kim Potgieter
At one online event, Kim spoke to the ladies around Brené Brown’s Dare to Lead work, at another Colleen Joy Page guided them through their Enneagram types. As lockdown got harder, the WiFN team noticed that many of the members were struggling emotionally and that they needed to draw on their inner strength, so they invited Gabi Louw and Pippa Shaper, from the Resilience Factory, to be guest speakers. During this moving session, they shared their journeys around what resilience means, and the tools required to be a resilient person. At their last event, long-standing WiFN member Lisa Linfield shared her journey around her inspiration for her recently published book, Deep Grooves. Their final online event for 2020 is a talk by entrepreneur, author and philanthropist, Dr Judy Dlamini.
All proceeds from the events have gone to the Reaboka Foundation. The Reaboka Foundation is an NPC giving women the self-confidence to take their lives into their own hands and to acquire an identity, respect and status within their community. This year many of these ladies have been unable to work, so money donated by WiFN has been used for food parcels.
The Women in Finance Network is looking forward to next year when life returns to some sort of normality, and the members of WiFN can once again, meet, connect and support each other face-to-face.
To join this network of dynamic women, email Holly@wifn.co.za
- Follow them online on Instagram, @Womeninfinancenetworksa
- Follow them on Facebook, @Women in Finance Network
- Visit www.wifn.co.za