Committing to a career early takes courage and hard work. That’s the case for Katleho Paballo Makupu, who applied to study actuarial science without fully knowing what it entailed. Today, she’s a consulting actuary and manager at EY Global Consulting, a technical member of the Actuarial Society and an award-winning philanthropist.
Her many accolades include winning the Carrol Boyes Fabulous Girl Foundation’s Girl of the Year, CEO Global’s Pan Africa award for Africa’s Most Influential Woman, the Youth Service and Excellence award from the Gauteng premier and the Association of South African Black Actuarial Professionals Inkanyezi award. She’s also featured on the task team for the International Microinsurance Conference, as a panelist at the South Africa InsurTech Conference and written for Motivation Activation, Risk Africa magazine and Cover magazine.
Makupu values the ability to be flexible, as well as learning, adapting and growing. She explains how “many young professionals, especially women, do not know what they are capable of until they are faced with a challenging scenario and gracefully overcome it”. The actuarial profession is built on sets of rules, but she knows when to question or rationalise why they shouldn’t always be followed. Standing out from the pack has allowed her to become the inspiration that she has to younger professional women.
She wants to use her experience and knowledge to give a platform to aspiring female professionals, mentoring and preparing them to take on leadership positions. Above that, she hopes to change the norms of business in South Africa.
“I envision a country where the human aspect is the core of the business’s existence. Where values, philanthropy, mentorship, collaboration, leadership, confidence and social impact are nonnegotiables.”