SA risk management director earns highest membership grade
An interview with Zanele Mukhubo on her career and journey in risk management
Zanele Mukhubo, certified fellow of the Institute of Risk Management and enterprise risk management director at the Gauteng department of human settlements, has been awarded the highest grade of membership by the Institute of Risk Management (IRM).
Mukhubo completed the senior executive route to win the award. She also chairs the IRM’s South African regional group and has dedicated her time to being an ambassador for the risk profession.
She talks about her career in risk management and her journey to qualification.
How did you get your job?
I got the job in 2007 when risk management was newly introduced in the public sector in line with section 38 of the Public Financial Management Act in Africa.
What’s a typical day like as an enterprise risk management director?
The first thing I do is to meet the team and recap on the previous day’s to-do list. Then I work on the current day’s work, which involves consultation with risk owners on their risks within their areas of responsibilities. I attend to any emerging risks and unforeseen incidents by identifying, assessing, documenting and reporting them.
What do you enjoy most about your job?
Interacting and networking with different individuals in relation to understanding their risk exposures within their areas of responsibility. I enjoy being able to change the mindset of risk owners, seeing them taking risk responsibilities, ownership and leadership seriously, and seeing the positive risk outcomes due to the fruitful implementation of risk-management processes and risk-management culture across the entire organisation.
What are the challenges?
The buy-in is still a challenge in the public sector due to the five-year political term as leadership changes. The continuity and risk management culture built over the years get tested. The systems and governance structures built over the years, their functionality and continuity depend on the new leadership’s focus.
Why did you want to go through the senior executive route?
The vast experience that I accumulated over 11 years in embedding risk management processes and culture in the public service has led me to pursue the senior executive route professional qualifications and certification.
It was about how I compare in terms of experience and competency gained over the years with the other certified members and certified fellows.
More than anything, I wanted to get a qualification and recognition so that I can advocate for the risk management profession with conviction and confidence.
Top tips on getting into risk management
- You must have a passion for risk management and love the work you are doing.
- Continuous professional development is critical, as the world around us keeps changing by the minute – you need to stay on par.
- Enrol yourself into a reputable risk management professional body such as the IRM, which is globally recognised and familiarise yourself with its professional risk management standards.
Enrolments for the International Certificate in Risk Management close May 31.
This article was paid for by the Institute of Risk Management.