Risk management has long been considered a rather stodgy back-office operation, with very limited access to the C-suite. Few business schools had dedicated risk management curriculums in their academic offerings or made risk management classes mandatory for a degree. And young people rarely aspired to become risk managers.
COVID-19 thrust risk professionals straight into the spotlight, almost overnight. They now have the rapt attention of leadership hungry for actionable, real-time data on risks. For the first time, risk professionals are driving the agenda, not just providing support for decision-makers.
A recent Gartner poll found that nearly 7 in 10 ERM heads are being asked to deliver more frequent risk reports.
“This crisis has given my team more exposure to the company. Each new issue presents new opportunities, and this crisis has been no exception. Reports are shared daily with leadership and the executive team.”
— Beth Otto, Director of Integrated Leave and Disability, Schwan’s
Risk managers are having a moment. And it’s about time.
Over the years, risk management has steadily expanded beyond its insurance-buying roots to include risks of all types across the enterprise. The role of a risk manager today is quite complex, requiring a wide range of skills. They need the acumen to assess everything from claims to supply chains, maintain numerous relationships inside (HR, IT, legal, etc.) and outside (insurance brokers, carriers, TPAs, law firms, etc.) the organization, understand a balance sheet, and be able to quantify, say, the cost of a parts supplier in China going dark for three months – all while answering to government regulators and investors.
Leadership is demonstrating its newfound appreciation for risk managers by welcoming them to a permanent seat at the strategy table.
Even before the pandemic, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics pegged growth for risk management jobs at 16% through 2028, which is much faster than average. Couple that with the recent rise in stature and some predict that tens of thousands of new risk management positions will be created as organizations ramp up hiring to strengthen their risk management capabilities.
Risk management is now one of the hottest jobs around. Hats off to every all-star risk manager out there!
If you are considering entering the field of risk management, check out Riskonnect’s Risk All-Stars, a group of inspiring and impressive risk professionals. Read about how they got into the profession, what they love about it, and what words they live by.
For more on recovering from crisis with resiliency, check out our e-book, Life After Lockdown: A Playbook for Crisis Recovery, Resiliency, and Restarting Right, and find all of our crisis preparedness resources here.