A new report argues that as technology increasingly takes over more routine, manual tasks, risk professionals need to upskill and constantly reinvent themselves, or risk being made redundant by technology.

Risk professionals that can combine digital literacy with a creative mindset and strong influencing skills will be best positioned to succeed in a rapidly changing workforce, according to new research from Airmic, based on an analysis of workplace trends among its membership.

The report, Future of the Profession, exposes the impact technology is having on risk management, both in terms of how businesses manage their risks and also the skills required of future risk professionals.

The survey, conducted in conjunction with Willis Towers Watson, revealed that most risk professionals (86%) are using technology to work faster and smarter. However, the report argues that as technology increasingly takes over more routine, manual tasks, risk professionals need to upskill and constantly reinvent themselves, or risk being made redundant by technology.

The opportunity for risk professionals lies in developing complementary “human” skills such as influencing, businesses awareness and the ability to translate technological output into meaningful insights. “Those who can combine these will be best positioned to support their organisation in today’s dynamic environment and achieve personal professional success,” the report argues.

The report also debunks many of the myths associated with millennials in the workplace, and reveals a strong pipeline of female talent.

Only 4.4% of millennial respondents felt that having a social purpose was an indication of professional success, lower than the average risk professional. Moreover, millennial respondents place more importance on professional status, on achieving their personal potential, and on money, compared to our average respondent.

The report notes that millennials are twice as likely to stress over money than their baby boomer parents, reflecting “anxieties over career and financial security…in a gig economy characterised by zero-hour contracts.”


Key findings of the report:

  • Risk professionals enjoy their jobs: 40% do not want to move into another function.
  • There is a pipeline of female talent: 56% of millennial respondents were female and women tend to stay in the risk profession longer than men do.
  • The risk professional’s role is changing: 70% have needed different knowledge and skills in the last four years.
  • Success requires a mix of human and technical skills: Digital literacy (60%), a creative and innovative mindset (55%) and negotiating and influencing skills (52%) are considered the most important skills for the future.
  • Millennials care about money and status more than older generations: Only 4.4% of millennials believe social purpose is an indication of professional success.

Amanda Scott, talent and rewards leader, Great Britain, Willis Towers Watson, said: “The future of the workplace will be very different to how it is now. We are delighted to have collaborated with Airmic on the development of this report which will help risk professionals to think about the future – of the industry, their profession, their role and their personal skillset. The increasing use of Artificial Intelligence and new technology means risk professionals will need to continually evolve their personal skillset to continue to be relevant and to add value as a critical partner to the business strategy.”

Irem Yerdelen, director, corporate risk and broking at Willis Towers Watson, added: “The most interesting finding of this report for us as female millennials, is that for the first time, we are seeing a shift to a more diverse and female-led industry than we ever have before with 56% of millennials in the survey identifying as female. It’s an interesting change from previous generations.”

Hoe-Yeong Loke, Airmic’s research manager, commented: “It is clear the profession is undergoing rapid change. If risk professionals can acquire the right balance of skills, this will be a huge opportunity to grow their influence. With the trends in technological disruption, it is important for us to be closely attuned to the needs and aspiration of the risk profession, rather than to be led by popular misconceptions or outdated research. This is what Airmic’s latest report seeks to do, while also making recommendations for risk professionals to be professionally fit for the future.”