This session at the 2015 WCI Conference addressed the challenges and opportunities the panelists have been presented as they lead their organization’s risk management teams.
The speakers included Michele Adams, Vice President, Risk Management Services, Walt Disney World Resort, Tara Acton, Director-Claims & Senior Corporate Counsel, CenturyLink, Inc and Valerie Franco, Vice President of Risk Management, Lowe’s Companies, Inc.
Why is it important to highlight women in the workforce? Women are outpacing men and more women are entering the workforce. There are about 25% more women graduating college than men.
There are certain traits women tend to have that are beneficial to the workforce. Women are collaborative, women want to find solutions, and women don’t want new fresh ideas to die. Women are interested in working in groups and working together to create solutions.
Networking and relationship building are beneficial to women and their careers. Women are encouraged to network and build relationships within their company as well as outside the organization. For risk managers to understand the risk of their business they should build relationships with others and understand how the risk can affect other areas of the company. Think of the risk management area as the service oriented department. When networking its suggested to put people in your network that you disagree with. This can benefit both of you, when a crisis occurs you both will know how to react and work effectively together. Mistakes can be minimized by networking. Others you network with that understand what you do will know you need to be notified when a situation arises.
There is a “confidence gap” people refer to, this states that women often lack that vote of confidence that men encompass. Women often think others are too busy, I don’t want to bother them and why would they want to talk with me. Most women believe that they need 100% of the skills required for a job and will not apply for it while males will always apply. Women often think others know more than them but when they are tested they actually know just as much if not more.
The panelists agree for women to be successful in their careers, they need to have plan. Have a plan and take risks! It is favorable to set up a career plan just like you would set up a business plan. In the plan it can state your strengths and weaknesses and then state how you will overcome these weaknesses.
Closing the discussion today, the panelists gave their advice for women in the risk management workforce:
-Don’t put off till tomorrow what you can do today
-Know who you are and find the path that works best for you
-Never leave a position because of the people, people will always change