GIFS paused 2023 at The Future of Education: Breakfast with Leaders event

GIFS rolled out the first of its Future of Education: Breakfast with Leaders events for 2023 in February in Sandton.The exclusive event saw industry representatives arrive to hear how we can all be more intentional about making this year impactful for our businesses, but more importantly for ordinary South Africans.

Key to the morning’s deliberations was a panel discussion featuring Tshepiso Chocho (Executive Manager for People Management at Sasria), Sumaya Hendricks (HoD of the Dialogue and Advocacy Unit at the Nelson Mandela Foundation), Sean Naidoo (Absa’s Regional Operations Executive Head of Enablement and Change) and Desereé van den Berg (Executive Head of Human Capital at RBS Insurance Brokers).

Naidoo explained that as chairman of the Puntans Hill Sports Club, he is exposed to how sport can be a game changer for so many South Africans. All we need to do is have faith in young people. “I make sure that youngsters who play in our club are inspired by education. And we’re seeing incredible results. Not only have we built a winning team, but these young South Africans are showing up established professionals when it comes to their drive and commitment when they’re given a chance in the world of work,” shared Naidoo.

Van den Berg added that it’s very important for financial services professionals to realise that transformation needs to happen and that companies should be intentional about it. She appealed to financial services companies to ‘think big’, explaining that by skilling individuals, they were actually empowering South Africa and not just individual companies. Van den Berg was passionate that the notion of ‘talent poaching’ in financial services needs to be done away with and replaced with the idea that it’s empowering for people to learn new skills and move up the career ladder.

Chocho said it’s time industry does more to empower entrants to financial services. “We need to remember when we were entrants to the world of work. We would not be where we are if people didn’t reach out a helping hand along the way. We often forget these gestures as we climb the career ladder,” she added.

Hendricks was passionate that financial services has some way to go in ensuring redress. She was particularly careful to explain that industry needs to stop using terms like ‘lowering standards’ when referencing the path that young professionals need to take when they first start out in their jobs. “There are many bright and highly-qualified young people coming through the ranks. We need to recognise that and offer them opportunities. It’s really important that we are careful with our language,” she explained, referencing how our bias creeps in with our choice of words.

The audience was enthralled throughout the discussion and enthusiastically engaged in the question-and-answer session that rounded off the discussion.









27 February 2022