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A talent to be ahead of the game

DURING the two years since she joined the company Disebo Monama, executive director of human resources (HR) at Aon SA has made marked improvements in the way its HR is managed.

Her responsibilities include talent management in the organisation, focusing on the risks involved with employee retention, ensuring processes are in place and staying on top of employee trends.

Entering the risk and insurance sector has been a major learning curve for Monama, but a challenge she has enjoyed.

"Growing up I was taught very little about insurance. All I knew was a man with a briefcase would arrive when someone had died to pay out a policy. I have had to ask many questions and really immerse myself in the business to understand how things work."

While insurance and risk remains a male-dominated industry, she says female talent is beginning to come up through the ranks.

"Aon runs a graduate programme in which 80 percent of the graduates are females and most, if not all, will be employed at Aon after completion of the programme."

With a BA and post-graduate degree in industrial relations and several years of graduate training at Unilever, she says one of her greatest mentors is a Unilever employee, Bongani Mageba, whom she replaced as he moved up the corporate ladder. She says that business partnering is the best solution for staying ahead of the game.

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