Bombardier head of risk engineering, global risk management and insurance, Malwine Braunwarth examines the issue of gender diversity

Curiosity is my driving force. Having gained a degree in civil engineering, which is a male domain, I never expected to end up working in risk management. I simply was not aware of the possibilities of the profession at that time. Perhaps if there had been a female role model or established networking or mentoring programme, more women might have entered the profession.

My advice is to have courage. Many opportunities present themselves only later in your career; when they come, jump into the water. 

I am certain that our profession can benefit by attracting more young women and this should be done by highlighting the variety of interesting work that can be undertaken, such as the opportunity to travel, meet and learn from different people all over the world.

In Germany, an ongoing and lively discussion is taking place on the topic of a women’s quota. I have nothing against the concept, but I am not a major supporter of it either. It is much more important to create an environment in which women can be successful, although perhaps at the moment it could be argued that a quota would help more women get into position in the first instance.

In our risk management and insurance department at Bombardier, the majority are women. I am convinced that more women in the insurance and risk profession will become active role models and this will erode the domination of men and have a positive effect not only on our profession, but also on the companies for which we work.

Malwine Braunwarth, head of risk engineering, global risk management and insurance at Bombardier