Meet our Members: Martina Zeitler, Assurance Director at Worley

3 min read
Apr 13, 2022

The “Meet our Member” series profiles a cross-section of risk professionals within our network, revealing their day-to-day responsibilities, their company’s risk priorities for the year ahead, and why they joined – and continue to value – Risk Leadership Network.

In this latest instalment, Martina Zeitler, assurance director at Worley – the global provider of professional project and asset services in the energy, chemicals and resources sector – highlights her responsibility of overseeing enterprise risk management and explains how the business is combatting the pressing issues of continued covid-19 disruption and the transition to a more sustainable future. She also discusses the importance of looking outside of an organisation for inspiration.

Martina photo-circular

Name: Martina Zeitler

Job title: Assurance Director, Worley

My day-to-day responsibilities at Worley

My focus is on enterprise risk management. This involves the identification, assessment and management of our enterprise risks, as well as working with senior management and the board to report on those risks regularly.

I’m the business process owner for our risk standards: these cover what we expect people to do from an internal business perspective, as well as how we deploy risk management activities in our projects.

Finally, I develop training material around risk management, which is then shared with the rest of the business.

How I entered the field of risk management

I began as a mechanical engineer by degree, before starting a career in project engineering. At one organisation, this involved the management of risks on site, which was my first big exposure to the world of risk management.

After leaving that company, I joined Worley as chief safety and risk engineer, before moving within the company to regional risk management and, eventually, the group risk management function.

The main challenges for risk leaders in my sector

The world is in a very interesting place right now. We’re coming out of the pandemic, while the issue of climate change continues to build in importance, especially as we aim to transition to a more sustainable future.

While these aspects present challenges no matter what industry you’re in, from a risk management point of view, there is a real opportunity to use risk as a means of navigating our way forward. The key question then is, how can we capitalise on risk management?

Worley has historically been an professional services provider to the oil and gas industry, so as well as transitioning to a more sustainable future with new customers, we are also leading current customers in the right direction, thinking about what kind of technologies can be used and how to reduce unwanted emissions.

Our priorities and outlook for 2022

We have been trying to embed risk appetite further within our processes and controls, so the aim is to develop risk appetite statements that cover several different areas. For example, what will our appetite be to use certain types of technology?

Also, as part of a five-year review and overhaul of processes throughout the organisation, we’re looking to introduce a system solution for risk registers. There are lots of other priorities that hang off this, such as developing our risk taxonomy, conducting analysis, and so on. Ultimately, we’re looking to introduce people across the company to more than just a risk register, giving them other tools to help inform their decision making.

Why I joined Risk Leadership Network

Risk Leadership Network offers Worley the opportunity to gauge the thinking of other risk practitioners and subject matter experts. This is especially valuable as our internal risk team is relatively small.

How being a member of Risk Leadership Network has provided value

As a member of the network, I appreciate interacting with peers, sharing our learnings, and hearing how other risk managers are solving key problems. You can often feel like the black sheep within your own company as a risk professional, which makes it a challenge to learn, develop and evolve. Subsequently, the chance to connect with others and gather lots of useful ideas within a very short period is the biggest benefit of Risk Leadership Network.

If I wasn’t a risk manager, I would be…

I’ve been doing corporate cartooning on the side for the last three years, but I try and weave this into my day job as much as possible. For example, some of the cartoons I draw share stories and explain certain aspects of risk, which helps a lot when building risk training material. So, if I wasn’t a risk manager, I’d probably be doing that full-time.

To see how becoming a Risk Leadership Network member could benefit you, find out more about membership today.

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