Mirabilis, the leading construction and engineering underwriting manager in South Africa, operates in an industry historically dominated by men, yet operates in an office efficiently run by professional women. At Mirabilis, we pride ourselves on unbiased gender equality, proven by our 66% female composite. We strive to increase women recruitment, and retention, and visibly acknowledge and remove any remaining gender bias from our work culture.
Through our ongoing CSI initiative at a school Mirabilis has adopted in Brixton, Johannesburg, Mirabilis aims to collaborate with the students from a young age and heighten specifically female students’ knowledge and interest in construction and engineering, so that they can see the industry as a viable career path. The long-term goal is to offer scholarship and intern programs that strive to uplift and prepare potential candidates with industry specific skills.
Administration Manager, Ursula Scott, has been at Mirabilis/Santam Engineering for 15 years, and along with the other strong vibrant woman at Mirabilis, has been making a remarkable difference in the administration/underwriting of policies written in South Africa, Rest of Africa, and Internationally including Middle East, Eastern Asia, South Central Asia, and South East Asia.
She believes that more and more women are gearing toward engineering fields of study, and over the years has seen a number of qualified female engineers entering the engineering insurance market. She believes that along with access to resources and on the job training that addresses their specific needs and broadens their knowledge, they will prove to be true assets in the industry.
Ursula encourages women to join organisations such as the GWII and IISA, which through networking, are able to provide mentorship, marketing and development opportunities to help women boldly make their mark in the insurance industry. Chief Financial Officer, Angela Stone, has been with Mirabilis for 7 years and is making an effort to nurture the women in her team into leadership roles and inspire younger women to follow in her footsteps. “Sitting in a boardroom full of male executives was initially very daunting,” says Angela, “however if you are confident in what you do, and do it well, you gain the respect of your peers”. Your value is defined both by the work you do and your uniqueness, so she encourages women to work hard and to embrace, not suppress their femininity.
To stay competitive in the industry, women must stand their ground, have self-belief and very importantly, be supportive of one another. Some of the ways to support and enable women is through coaching and mentorship programs and through succession planning for future women in the engineering insurance industry.
A recent report by McKinsey & Co reveals that the business case for gender diversity in top teams is stronger than ever with the most gender-diverse companies more likely to achieve above-average profitability than companies with less diversity. Therefore, hiring more women is an optimal way to capitalize on that. In addition, with the rapid rise in determined women chipping away at gender bias norms, the playing field is leveling out, moulding the industry into a more diverse and inclusive space for future generations. Mirabilis is proud to be part of this transition, and with its strong and diverse team, looks forward to maintaining their position as the preferred and trusted service provider of specialist construction and engineering insurance.