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2018 Women to Watch EMEA: Delphine Traoré Maïdou

Delphine Traoré Maïdou
Chief operating officer
Allianz Africa
Johannesburg
Age: 44

Like many others, Delphine Traoré Maïdou, chief operating officer of Allianz Africa, “fell into” the insurance industry after graduating with a major in business accounting. But she quickly saw that underwriting was a way to use those skills and to look at companies through a wider lens and learn about risk.

She loves the industry because it has evolved so much over the 22 years of her career, she said.

She was appointed COO of Allianz Africa and to the board in 2017.

Working across 15 African countries, Ms. Traoré Maïdou is energized by the fact that the insurance industry can touch people and that young people in Africa are being attracted to the insurance industry to forge their careers.

The way the insurance industry can positively contribute to society is a huge motivation, she said. Insurer initiatives such as microinsurance or underwriting lines of business such as agricultural insurance can positively contribute to families and societies in Africa, Ms. Traoré Maïdou said, and this is a source of pride and inspiration for her career.

She advises the young women she mentors and supports to find work that they enjoy doing. “We are at work for half our lives,” so a job needs to give a person something more than just a contribution to their financial well-being, Ms. Traoré Maïdou said.

Her own role gives her a platform to contribute something to Africa, she said.

But she urges young women not to just seek to replicate a career like hers, but to find their own paths. “Do something you enjoy,” she said.

When she is not working, Ms. Traoré Maïdou finds relaxation in sitting her garden, watching the sea and listening to the birds sing.

NEXT: Jennifer Martin
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