Spotlight on Women in Business Continuity: Diane Doering

The Women in Business Continuity Management (WBCM) group shines a spotlight on accomplished women across the field of business continuity and related fields.

For the first series in Spotlight on Women in Business Continuity, we have interviewed each of the members of the Women in Business Continuity Management Charter Committee on their experiences in the field. The leaders of WBCM come from a diverse range of industries, and provide unique perspectives based on their experiences in the field.

Photo DoeringDiane Doering, CBCP
WBCM Charter Committee Role: Chairperson
Current Role: VP, Enterprise Risk Management, Iron Mountain


What business continuity related industries have you worked in?
I have worked primarily within investment services in the US and Abu Dhabi, UAE. 9/11 changed the future of business continuity for a lot of people, including me. At that time, it was something added to our already-full plate rather than a separate career. My career focus has been on operational risk, and since business continuity is a key operational risk, it has often fallen onto my plate of responsibilities.

Tell us about your overall background and how you got into this field.
I am happy to say that I have had a unique career path, one that has taken me to various industries and on overseas assignments.  One common thread to my career, however, is that I’m a process ‘geek’ – I love to understand how things work and find process mapping tools are an effective way to bring people together to identify and fix problems.  At its essence, business continuity is about making sure you have clear processes and that you’ve developed and tested your ability to keep your processes going in times of crisis.

Initially I worked in state government focusing on policies affecting women and families. When I left state government I moved to the tech sector and worked for Intel on product development related to virtual private networks. When the tech bubble burst I decided to make another career switch. I was given the opportunity to become part of the Internal Audit team at Putnam Investments, where one of my first projects was to be part of a cross functional group to implement a robust business continuity program.  I was recruited to lead our operational risk efforts and have continued to be responsible for BCP in one way or another.

What do you enjoy about your job?
Every day is different and I get to interact with all areas of the organization.  In a day I may be working on regulatory requirements, developing risk management practices, conducting a tabletop exercise, or looking at our processes and finding ways to improve or respond to our own business continuity events.

What aspect of business continuity are you passionate about, and why?
I’m passionate about solving problems, and helping others do the same.  Given where we sit functionally, we have the unique ability to see across the organization.  Having a “birds-eye” view allows us to potentially work with our colleagues to connect the dots across functional areas or processes.

Thank you for volunteering as a member of the WBCM Charter Committee.  What are your hopes for how the WBCM group will impact people or the industry?
While it has been several years since my time at the state house, I have remained committed to strengthening the voices of women.  I believe this Committee has the real potential to further encourage women to advance in formal leadership roles.  Often I’ve seen women succeed by using their ability to influence unofficially (through collaboration and networking), and there is strength in that ability, especially in this role.  I’d like to encourage that, while also helping more women feel comfortable with moving into acknowledged leadership roles in order to officially influence as well/