Equal measures

Through youth development initiatives and ensuring gender parity across its board, Old Mutual is championing empowerment for all

Old Mutual is deeply committed to addressing SA’s youth unemployment through the development of future skills. It understands that the country’s inclusive economic growth and prosperity depends on the development of professional and vocational skills.

For this reason, it has designed skills-development initiatives aimed at improving educational outcomes for school learners in partnership with the Department of Basic Education; it is driving professional skills for high-potential school leavers through university bursaries and in-house learnerships; and it is providing vocational development opportunities for unemployed youth from under-resourced communities, to promote sustainable youth livelihoods.

The Old Mutual Foundation’s Skills Capacity Building portfolio aims to develop vocational skills for demand-led industries, where there is strong opportunity for employment and entrepreneurial income. In 2019, the Old Mutual Foundation invested R4.9 million in skills development, impacting almost 500 beneficiaries from communities around SA.

Old Mutual is particularly excited about two case studies that focus on driving critical IT and digital skills and ensuring economic inclusion for people with disabilities.

Driving IT and digital skills
By developing future-fit skills for unemployed youth, critical business IT needs can be met. In 2019, the company collaborated with the Explore Data Science Academy to train 10 data analysts who are now employed with Old Mutual, with excellent career prospects. This success is spurring the company on to expand this development focus.

Ensuring economic inclusion for people with disabilities
In 2019, in alignment with the UN Sustainable Development Goal 8 (to build economies that are more inclusive), Old Mutual partnered with QuadPara SA to enable 24 unemployed youth to become work-ready. The programme has resulted in 22 wheelchair-users securing permanent employment. Old Mutual is funding another 36 QuadPara SA beneficiaries in 2020.

Leading by example
In the past year, Old Mutual Limited has also appointed three dynamic female leaders onto its executive committee, making it one of the most gender-transformed financial services giants on the African continent. A rock-solid business with a 175-year history of championing mutually positive futures every day, Old Mutual understands all too well that gender diversity, inclusion and equality in the workplace are business imperatives and no longer simply nice-to-haves. The group firmly believes that when women are included in economic activities, they empower many others along the way, helping society to grow stronger and achieve greater economic success.

Old Mutual is committed to transformation, having achieved Level 1 BEE status and being one of the most transformed leadership teams in financial services. Here, the three powerhouses talk about gender equality, smashing the glass ceiling and what makes them tick.

MD of Old Mutual Corporate

Q: What is the best career advice you ever received?
A: Probably from my dad about taking pride in any task you are given and doing the best job you can do.

Q: Is enough being done to close the gender pay gap?
A: In areas where there is a lot of transparency I think there’s better equity. However, generally, I don’t believe enough is being done to close the gender pay gap. We need to do more to better understand the root causes and shift the systemic barriers that perpetuate the gender pay gap.

Q: What is your super power?
A: I don’t have a super power. I find it helpful to remind myself that we are all just people with hopes, dreams and fears.

Prabashini Moodley 
MD of Old Mutual Corporate

Director of corporate affairs and responsible business

Q: What is the best career advice you have ever received?
A: Focus on understanding the business’ value chain. Over time, this will add value to your contribution to the company.

Q: Given the chance, what would you tell your 18-year-old self about the world of work today?
A: Patience is a virtue. Pace yourself and focus on learning about life.

Q: Where would we find you on Saturday mornings at 10am?
A: Having brunch with family and friends at a nearby coffee shop, although COVID-19 has changed this.

Maserame Mouyeme
(left), director of 
corporate affairs and 
social responsibility 

Kerrin Land
(right), MD of 
personal finance

MD of personal finance

Q: What is the best career advice you ever received?
A: Focus on the things you’re good at and that inspire you – this means you can really drive and work hard without it feeling like hard work. Then take opportunities that arise as a gift and grab them. It’s the realisation that being successful in your career progress is about hard work but also a degree of luck. If you simply set your sights on an outcome but end up doing things you hate and then the luck doesn’t come, you will have wasted your time and killed your soul.

Q: What inspires you, and why?
A: Two things in a work context. First, helping people grow, finding their sweet spot and seeing them thrive and flourish. Second, solving really difficult challenges – the satisfaction of an answer clicking into place or something that is broken starting to work again. (It’s kind of the same as the first, but with systems/processes rather than people).

Q: How do you relax after a day of back-to-back virtual meetings?
A: I should say exercise, but that would be a lie. I always spend some time connecting with the family – they bring me back to Earth and remind me why we work. Then, I love cooking and wine – though the degree of ‘decadent, delicious but diabolical for my waistline’ is unfortunately directly proportional to how intense the day has been.

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