Women in Resilience

Women's Roundtable Business Continuity

Resilient women focus of BCI webinar

The Business Continuity Institute‘s (BCI) Women in Resilience (WiR) USA Chapter let me moderate a panel yesterday. The talk focused on Women’s Experience in Business Resilience at All Career Stages. It was enjoyable to hear the opinions of such accomplished women. Although we all came from different backgrounds, we were united in supporting resilience. Whether our focus is on business continuity, crisis management, technology, or supply chain, it amazed me how committed we are.

It is lovely to be surrounded by others trying to make a positive difference for our companies and shared community. The panelists exhibited grace under pressure. Also, they talked about a love for the work that is not often on display. Our topic allowed us to connect on our interest in resilience. Panelists joined from a fresh perspective of someone just getting into a BCM job to seasoned veterans. 

Sharing Resilience Knowledge

Resilient women are born and made

The variety and depth of my colleagues’ knowledge made yesterday’s conversation special for me. The panel was kicked-off by Margaret Millett, whose extensive background in DR and BCM has bolstered the industry since 2000. I met her in person at DRJ Spring, which is one of the reasons I had so much praise for the return of conferences. The esteemed panel also included Lisa Jones, president of the  BCI USA Chapter, and Resilient Think Tank Co-founder. She always lends her keen insights to every discussion.

The panel was kicked-off by newcomer MacKenzie Cummings. If I’m any judge, she has a bright future in the industry. She is articulate and insightful and already looking ahead at the challenges facing resilience in the long term. It proves that some women are inherently resilient but bloom in the right supportive environment.

Women Supporting Women's Advancement

A lifetime of resilience

Next, our women in resilience panelists grounded us by explaining their road to resilience and pathways into the workforce. We were fortunate to have Lesley Hume join the conversation. She’s a leader in global supply chain and risk management. Additionally, Lesley added her in-depth understanding of third-party vendors and technology. Lesley shared her extensive wisdom about being a woman in our space.

Melissa Mack rounded out the group. As a director at Witt O’Brien’s, she shared her unconventional background in music education and vocal performance, giving her a solid structural discipline to succeed in resilience. However, it highlighted that no matter what experience you came from, everything applies with the right mindset. Her optimistic outlook shone throughout the panel discussion.

Women Resilience Leaders

Recognizing challenges are not impediments

Finally, as women in resilience, we spun towards the positive. However, we lamented the continued underrepresentation of women in emergency, business continuity, crisis, supply chain, and risk management roles. To us, recognizing a need for soft skills expertise, something women often excel at, appears to be a no-brainer to advance women. Understanding the need to ally, we recognized men who supported and helped us along the way. But, we know we need more advocates to accelerate women to leadership positions. 

Those challenges did not impede us from discussing pathways forward. Nor dampen the sense of accomplishment for women globally. There was agreement that the next normal is a way to open doors. We all agreed that predicted intensity in number and frequency of hazards demand increased recruiting into resilience, especially as others sunset our careers. For a more in-depth review of the panel, I encourage you to watch the replay if you missed it and add your comments below.

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