My Career

Laurencia Prinzonsky

The Namibian’s Walter Kariko (WK) recently sat down with Sanlam Namibia’s marketing and communications manager, Laurencia Prinzonsky (LP), about her career journey, influences and lessons. Prinzonsky has also recently been elected as the president of the Africa Insurance Women Association (Aiwa) of Namibia.

WK: Who is Laurencia Prinzonsky outside of work?
At my core, I am a deeply family-oriented person. I am often the one who takes the lead in organising and coordinating important family events. Ensuring that these special occasions are celebrated with care and attention to detail is of great importance to me. I have a deep affection for children and cherish the time I spend with my nieces and nephews.

I love the process of baking, cooking and creating delicious meals to share with others. If I had the
opportunity, I would relish the chance to have a home with a large, dedicated hosting area, where I could welcome friends and loved ones for gatherings every weekend.

Alongside my love for family and hosting, I am also deeply curious about the world around me. I find great joy in travelling and meeting new people wherever I go.

WK: Walk us through your education, career and the experiences that shaped you.

LP: After finishing high school, I went straight to the Polytechnic of Namibia (now known as the Namibia University of Science and Technology) and obtained a bachelor’s degree in marketing. A few years later, I obtained bachelor’s and honours degrees in communication – also at Nust.
Currently, I am pursuing a master’s degree in leadership and change management to enhance my skills and knowledge.

My career started with positions as a production and events coordinator and a call centre consultant.

I then worked as a communication and brand specialist and I am currently the marketing and communication manager at Sanlam, where I specialise in managing the corporate brand, undertaking corporate marketing, implementing corporate social investment initiatives and handling internal and external corporate communication.

With a keen eye for detail, I bring a holistic approach to digital marketing and ensure the brand resonates across all channels and initiatives.
I also serve on Sanlam’s affirmative action committee. I am also a member of the Public Relations Institute of Southern Africa and the Southern Africa Marketing Association.

Recently, I was elected as the president of the Africa Insurance Women Association (Aiwa) for Namibia, where I can contribute to the growth and development of women in the insurance industry.

WK: Tell us more about Aiwa and its mandate.

LP: Aiwa is a non-religious, non-political and non-ethnic association that brings together professional women in the insurance industry across Africa. It is a platform created to support women in the industry in their professional development. It aims to encourage women to take up key positions without fear in a male-dominated industry.

WK: How do you plan to address the unique challenges women face in the insurance industry in Namibia and across Africa?

LP: To address these challenges, I will champion the implementation of several strategies, such as developing and enforcing policies that promote gender diversity and create an inclusive workplace culture, establish mentorship and sponsorship programmes specifically aimed at supporting women, introduce initiatives where regular pay audits are conducted to ensure gender pay equity and address any disparities, advocate for flexible working arrangements to help employees balance work and family responsibilities, and enforce strict anti-harassment and anti-discrimination policies to create a safe working environment.

More importantly, I intend to actively encourage and support women to apply for leadership and executive positions.

WK: What advice would you give young women aspiring to build careers in the insurance sector?

LP: Those women aspiring to establish themselves in this industry can look at education and training – pursuing relevant education and training is very important. They should also network. They say your network is your net worth.

Building a strong professional network is essential in the insurance industry. Attend industry events and join professional organisations. Join mentorship programmes, stay informed and embrace every challenge that comes your way.

WK: How will you balance your role at Aiwa with your current professional responsibilities?

LP: It is essential that I plan, prioritise time management, communication, delegation and align goals between the two roles.

I need to make sure the team I have aligns with the vision, mission and the purpose we have set for the organisation and ourselves.

WK: In a rapidly evolving sector, what would you say are the three essential skills for future success?

LP: Technological proficiency, interpersonal skills, and effective communication.

WK: What advice has had the most significant impact on your journey?

LP: Embrace every single learning experience. Do not be reactive, rather be proactive. Listen. Stand firm in every decision you take or need to make. Be obedient to God and forgive.

WK: Which three books, in your view, are must-reads?

LP: ‘The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership’, by John Maxwell, ‘Managing Up and Across’, by the Harvard Business Review Press and ‘Grace in the Marketplace’, by Tafara Butayi.

WK: What do you do in your free time?

LP: I read. I also do some experimental part-time farming and I spend time with myself.

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