Jemma Boyce, GradIRM
Risk & Reporting Manager for Capital Projects
London City Airport
How did you get your job?
I joined Network Rail in 2007 as a Risk Systems Administrator. Network Rail had a well-recognised and forward thinking Risk Team which I was excited to be joining.
Determined to further my career in the field, I was keen to develop my analytical and facilitation skills and in time progressed to a Risk Analyst role. I started the IRM Certificate qualification as it was recommended by the wider Risk Team.
After Network Rail I joined Crossrail Ltd as a Sector Risk Analyst. Responsible for the provision of comprehensive risk management support to major construction projects, including the new Crossrail Whitechapel and Liverpool St Stations totalling circa £1.5b in budgets, undertaking quantitative cost and schedule modelling as well as the typical risk management activities.
Whilst I was at Crossrail I continued my studies with the IRM, but it wasn’t until I joined London City Airport that I specialised in Business Continuity and Crisis Risk Management. A topic which is becoming more relevant in our interconnected world.
What’s a typical day like as a Risk & Reporting Manager?
As the Risk Management & Reporting Lead on Capital Projects at London City Airport, I guide and support leadership teams with a structured risk management approach for a consistent application, at project and programme level. I draw upon my experience gained whilst learning something new every day. No two days are usually the same.
What do you enjoy most about your job?
I’ve found working in risk management to be a very varied role which can differ from one day to the next. The fluid nature of our role means we interface with all levels of projects and all disciplines.
I was very fortunate to have been part of Crossrail, the largest European infrastructure programme, with such a direct impact of London. Being part of the journey, with a common goal, has been a privilege.
What are the challenges?
Selling the benefits of risk management can be difficult at times, as a relatively new discipline in a typically mature industry you do get some reluctance to change. As a young woman progressing through the ranks it was key to be able to demonstrate the benefits of risk managements; gaining qualifications was also a way of formalising my experience and knowledge.
In what way are your IRM qualifications relevant?
I have learned a lot from taking the Diploma. I gained exposure to the wider view of risk management and other industries, which further cemented my view that we can cross industries by using good risk management practices if we want to. Before I started the Diploma, this idea seemed quite daunting. For example, I specialised in Business Continuity Management (BCM). Before I encountered BCM during my studies I had limited awareness of this, and I am now proficient in the subject; another tool in my toolkit.
What would you say to others thinking about joining IRM as a member?
It is at the forefront of knowledge when it comes to risk management and I have not come across a professional body which would have furthered my career in Risk Management by such an extent. A real standout benefit of membership is that it includes access to specialist interest groups and events to share and discuss risk topics which are key to developing knowledge within other sectors. Another key benefit is that the active groups arranged by the IRM are a great way to make new contacts in the industry.
How has your role developed and what are your career ambitions? Has being linked to the IRM helped?
Completion of the diploma has provided motivation and confidence to continue developing my professional skills and knowledge in the world of risk management, so much so that I am on the Committee for the IRM Specialist Interest Group – “Infrastructure Risk” – where I organised and led workshops on behalf of the Committee.
I also contributed to the Global Risks Report, recognised as one of the world’s leading publications on global risks.
Being resilient is an important quality to have, everyone experiences ups and downs throughout their career and it’s important to be able to bounce back and view them as opportunities to try a different approach.
Having a toolbox kit of templates readily available for a variety of purposes, linked to applied experiences, mean you a ready for what comes your way.
If in doubt, ask! Even if others do not have the answer, they may know someone who does or point you in the right direction.