This month, global citizens and businesses, big and small, found themselves trying to grapple with the damaging effects of racial biases, again. As a united community, we continue to try to understand, empathize, express our emotions and hold meaningful dialogue so that we can learn and be better.
I want to applaud the leadership of RIMS Diversity & Inclusion Advisory Council (DIAC), who helped the Society respond to this injustice but, more importantly, for their commitment to outlining a path for action.
The Society held the RIMS TAKING ACTION: Confronting Racial Biases in Risk Management webinar, an inspiring conversation that garnered nearly 900 registrants. A heartfelt thank you to Denise Campbell, Robert Cartwright, Jr., Brendan Francis and Dr. Leroy Nunery II for sharing their stories and perspective. If you were not able to join, the webinar is now available on RIMS Diversity & Inclusion webpage.
The DIAC has been proactive, setting a new D&I vision statement for RIMS, developing reports that explore the makeup and future of the risk management profession, as well as examining our events to ensure they are inclusive and welcoming.
But, there is still much work to be done. I look forward to their upcoming work that will address D&I initiatives at the chapter level and in our local communities. Work that will look at advocacy and how RIMS can address legislation that impacts our lives. These efforts will include education and reports about best practices and strategies, as well as measurement to ensure we are making progress. We can and we must do better, and I am confident the RIMS community will.
RIMS 2020 Annual Conference & Exhibition was set to have our first-ever D&I education track for risk management professionals. While we regretfully canceled the conference, your RIMS team is working diligently to plan for RIMS 2021 in Chicago. There is no doubt that we will see that first D&I track there and we look forward to announcing more conference attractions as we get closer.
In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, 23 university teams competed in the Spencer-RIMS Risk Management Challenge. As the competition moved into a virtual format, the final question of this year’s case study focused on the pandemic and risk management strategies for re-opening a college campus. For the second year in a row, St. Joseph’s University was named our champion and you can watch their presentation here. Our student members always impress and we could not be more proud to welcome them to our global community.
For some, these challenging times reminded us that we could use a little extra help. This month, RIMS launched Ask a Peer, a professional advisory program that links highly-qualified, recognized and vetted risk management leaders with professionals seeking support. This is a great example of how risk professionals can – and should – tap into the knowledge of RIMS vast network. Information about the Ask a Peer program is available here or you can contact RIMS Client Services Team at CST@RIMS.org.
Finally, with a focus on social change it is important to recognize RIMS commitment to advocacy. The Society’s External Affairs Committee continues to act as a voice for risk professionals, supporting legislative change that impacts our work. The committee announced RIMS support for the Pandemic Risk Insurance Act (PRIA), legislation that would allow insurers to confidently write pandemic coverage in the future, while ensuring organizations’ enterprises are financially protected. The development of a final PRIA solution is ongoing, and we encourage you to get involved in our grassroots effort and engage Congressional leaders on this matter.
Current events have made it abundantly clear that our work cannot be limited to protecting assets. Risk professionals must be strategic thinkers, dynamic communicators and motivators. We have the power to confront racial biases that might exist within our organizations, among our employees and peers, with our partners and other stakeholders. And, while I am confident that our global community will continue to develop remarkable risk management strategies for our organizations, I know that we can take positive action and make a real social impact.
RIMS 2020 President