At the GIPF, dynamites comes in all sizes

Hilma Uutoni is the deputy company secretary at the Government Institutions

05 November 2021 | Mense
Wetumwene Shikage

Uutoni provides strategic and professional support to the substantive company

secretary and is responsible for executing a wide range of corporate governance,

company secretarial and ethics management duties.

GIPF has two strategic objectives which relate to outcomes-based governance and sustainability. Uutoni explained that GIPF’s stakeholders are held to a framework of authority and a standard of accountability and responsibility. This includes trustees, management, employees, service providers and members of GIPF. The above-mentioned framework by which people and systems are directed and controlled within a business environment is known as corporate governance.

“Good corporate governance enables an entity to make well-balanced and ethical decisions. When implemented properly, this fosters sustainability, which is vital for a pension fund and serves the best interests of the organization and its stakeholders,” added Uutoni.

Working during the pandemic, Uutoni’s day-to-day job involves attending numerous meetings and engaging with different stakeholders. With the advent of the Covid-19 pandemic things changed and all meetings were moved to virtual platforms. She explained that initially, there had been a few hiccups as stakeholders scrambled to acquaint themselves with new technology and adapt to the virtual environment. “Amidst all this, I have come to learn that virtual meetings have a number of advantages: they are quick and easy to arrange, inexpensive, they connect people in different parts of the world, and if managed correctly, offer a fully interactive and productive solution,” stated Uutoni.

Uutoni expressed great excitement towards her job as her unit has recently embarked on an Ethics drive, which is geared at sensitizing GIPF staff members to not only exhibit ethical behavior when executing their duties but hopes this trickle into their personal day- to-day decision making. “I love how challenging my job is and am very excited about the future of ethics in GIPF. The Unit has made tremendous strides over the years and I’m most excited to see what the future holds for us. Additionally, we are currently working on an external component of our drive which will enable members and the public to whistle blow. This is exciting as it will encourage our staff to practice the highest ethical standards anytime and everywhere,” shared Uutoni.

Having a busy weekly schedule is nothing new to Uutoni, but she manages to

create a balance between her personal and work life. “I’ve always believed

that one’s wellness should be treated as a necessity and not a luxury. Taking

time to exercise regularly, continuously educating myself, managing stress and

eating well have always been important factors in my lifestyle,” expressed Uutoni. Having converted to a plant-based diet, Uutoni says that “what we eat matters. It isn’t only good for your body, it also lessens your impact on the environment”.

Uutoni strives to keep in touch with family and close friends who keep her

grounded. This is what adds to her social and emotional well-being. These

factors help her in achieving a well-balanced lifestyle and ultimately contribute

to her overall wellbeing.

Uutoni is inspired to do better and be better each day. “Different people and

experiences inspire me. I try to draw inspiration from whatever surroundings I

find myself in. My greatest inspiration is my faith because I know the plans that

my creator has for me,” concluded Uutoni.



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