The impact of the pandemic on women is an issue for everyone in the economy, as under-representing women in the workforce deprives businesses of much-needed skills, leadership and resources. Today, it’s crucial for employers to support the women in their workforces with greater focus on changing prevailing gender dynamics in the workplace. Here are actions steps that can be implemented immediately by organizations to support gender parity. Communicate the benefitsAdvancing toward gender parity in the workplace is far more than the right thing to do. The data is clear: Companies with women at the top perform better. And in the private sector, numerous studies have found that having more women in the workforce and a greater gender balance of female leaders improves productivity share performance, business results and overall economyRemove obstaclesRecognize the obstacles women historically face at work—lack of role models, gendered career paths, and lack of access to sponsors and influential networks—and identify ways to remove them. This starts with active listening; the best leaders ask women what they need to succeed.Make work-from-home workAs we’ve seen over the last year, management can be done in new arrangements. Find ways to build flexibility into roles previously seen as inflexible. Start with YESSuccession planning must be bolder. Instead of saying, “She doesn’t have the experience,” ask, “What do we need to make it work?” Challenge assumptions. Leadership owns itTo demonstrate commitment to getting women into leadership, change must be led from the top. Leadership must also be held accountable by making progress measurable.Make goals measurableLeaders must know exactly where they need women to be. Looking at macro numbers is not enough. Articulate a talent legacy—how things will change and what it will look like by when. Focus on outputUpgrade your performance evaluation processes and metrics to ensure a focus on outputs and, crucially, do not include assessments from periods of lockdown when childcare was unavailable.Identify adjacent skills sets for new rolesDemonstrate how short bursts of training and upskilling can accelerate people from one job to the next.Approach learnability as the great equalizerNow is the time to focus on helping employees develop technical skills at speed and scale, while also hiring people with learnability—the desire and ability to learn new skills. This can make a real difference in shaping a future in which everyone can be ready for high-growth roles.Hire for soft skillsWhen looking for those employees with learnability, look for soft skills like communication, collaboration, creativity, curiosity. These are the most valued—and the hardest to find—human strengths in today's job market and employees who have them make smoother transitions to new roles or careers.The good news is that the future that women say they want for work is closer to what research indicates all workers want—more flexible, virtual, trusting and integrated. More equal.
10 Ways Employers can Progress Gender Parity
Leadership, Skills and the Impact of the Pandemic on Progress to Parity
Over the last year, the COVID-19 pandemic has erased hard-fought gains in gender parity at work. It’s been twice the negative impact as women have taken on both more at home while roles predominantly held by women have been downsized. At the same time, a new future is currently unfolding that needs to take into account the skills, leadership and resources provided by women. Behind every setback, an opportunity can be found. Employers must meet the call to support the women in their organizations and reshape the environment of work. Here are ways to move forward with women learning new skills, advancing in leadership and stepping into a post-pandemic world. Needs to reskillThe impact of the pandemic accelerated changes already taking place for in-demand roles. Reskilling and upskilling will benefit women to meet the increased demand for cybersecurity experts, data analysts, software and app developers. In addition, new roles provide opportunities in areas such as contact tracers, distance monitors and temperature checkers are emerging as fast as others decline in aviation, hospitality and entertainment. Ask for flexibilityWomen and all parents and caretakers can leverage the last year to ask for flexibility and remote work options to continue if they are available and have provided improved balance. Millennials in particular who have caretaking responsibilities are most eager to avoid the commute and least willing to lose flexibility they have gained. As the vaccine roll-outs continue and organizations plan for the future, make sure to communicate your work preferences and how the optimal arrangements benefit everyone. Consider career progressionFor many workers, it’s been a year of coping and getting by as best as possible under the circumstances. In fact, IT workers are the only sector that do not rank “just keeping their job” as top priority. Now as we look ahead, don’t lose sight of career development, progression and advancement. Women should feel empowered to move up in their organization and ask for responsibilities and positions of authority while being supported by their organization. Value your soft skillsWitnessing the biggest workforce shift and reallocation of skills since World War II means that skills that were en vogue in 2019 might now be out of fashion. However, soft skills continue to endure and be in demand. In times of rapid transformation and uncertainty, these so-called soft skills are more important than ever in workers and in leaders. As we move forward, women can emphasize abilities such as adaptability, communication and human connection to help themselves and their organizations navigate change. As we progress through and past the COVID-19 pandemic, the world needs women leaders more than ever. For International Women’s Day, the time is now to focus a spotlight on the necessity of women’s impact in the workforce.
What Women Want (at Work) and the She-Cession
Behind every setback, an opportunity can be found. And while the COVID-19 pandemic has triggered a chain reaction of setbacks for women around the world, it’s also provided an opportunity to raise awareness about gender inequality in the labor market. New global research from ManpowerGroup sheds light on this, outlining how women’s career trajectories have been disproportionately impacted by COVID and why the risk of a “She-Cession” real. It’s time to advance the global conversation about why a gender-aware response to COVID is necessary. Here’s why.Equality maker or breaker? How the crisis impacts womenMen may have a higher COVID-19 fatality rate, but data indicates that women will bear the longer-term consequences of the economic and social crisis. With women’s employment 19% more at risk during the pandemic compared to men’s,the dangers of occupational segregation and the informal economy have been exposed like never before.Not only are women over-represented in many of the sectors most impacted by COVID-19—e.g., retail, hospitality, entertainment, travel and manufacturing—but they’re also more likely to work in the informal economy. This means women are far likelier to have lost their livelihood, lost income or experienced a drop in working hours.The figures look a little different from country to country but tell a consistent global story. During the first month of the pandemic, the 740 million women who work in the informal economy lost an average of 60% of their income. This figure swelled to 81% in sub-Saharan Africa and Latin America and 70% in Europe and Central Asia, while women workers in Asia and the Pacific reported a 22% reduction in income.WFH may not be working for womenWork-from-home is good for women, right? Not so fast.“It’s tempting to think that flexible work options will be a universal big equalizer for women,” says ManpowerGroup Chief Talent Scientist Tomas Chamorro-Premuzic. “Not always. Men are more likely to want to use the office for networking, women for collaborating and getting work done. Working from home could accelerate underlying inequality by further reducing opportunities for face-to-face networking.”ManpowerGroup research found that women and men have dramatically differing attitudes about working from home and returning to a physical office post-pandemic. Women said they are more concerned about going back to the workplace and more appreciative of the office as a means of separating work from home. Meanwhile, men said they are more likely to want to be in the physical office for visibility and promotion and to say they feel relieved, happy and confident about a return to the workplace.To prepare for a hybrid future that accommodates both remote and in-person workers, employers have to be careful to avoid a two-track workplace: men in the office, women at home, where they may miss out on informal networking and critical assignments. Such a disparity could also give rise to a new form of “presenteeism,” whereby employers make assumptions about their employees’ productivity and performance depending on whether they’re physically co-located or working remotely.Employers can combat this by looking at the effects of remote working by level and whether or not it provides the same career benefits to the entry-level, mid-career, and executive roles. Most important is that employees are evaluated on their output and rewarded for what they actually contribute rather than for the show they put on.Unpaid domestic work and the parent trapWith more than 1.5 billion children out of school worldwide,many women workers must now double as school teachers and/or caregivers while working from home. Even before the pandemic, women took on the lion’s share of responsibility in caring for loved ones and doing unpaid domestic work. Now, gender equity in the household has grown even more lopsided.Since the pandemic began, 56% of women globally have increased the time they spend on unpaid care work (compared to 51% of men), and 60% of women report spending an increased amount of time on unpaid domestic work (compared to 54% of men).In the U.S., mothers have reported spending 15 hours more per week than fathers on household tasks and education as compared to fathers. And 1 in 3 mothers has considered leaving the workforce or downshifting their career because of COVID-19.Employers must understand that remote working does not occur in a vacuum and build flexibility into roles previously seen as inflexible. By taking active steps to challenge embedded assumptions about the gender-normative roles of mothers and fathers, those norms will be less likely to drive the way managers and colleagues perceive remote working by parents and what they expect of them.Another must for women in today’s workforce: plenty of flexibility. Women want outcomes that allow them greater control over how and when they get work done. They expect employers to accommodate One Life, where work and home are integrated, rather than part of a balancing act.Mind the leader gapOstensibly, it’s been a good year for women in positions of power. In May 2020, the number of women running Fortune 500 companies hit a new high(although the fine print will tell you that that means that only 7% of companies on the 2020 Fortune 500 list are run by women). Meanwhile, women leaders—from New Zealand's Jacinda Ardern to Germany's Angela Merkel—won praise for their handling of the COVID-19 crisis.And studies have continued to prove that women are good for business. In fact, companies with the most female officers have financial returns that are 34% better, and demonstrate enhanced productivity, share performance and business results. Before the pandemic, the number of women in senior management roles globally was gradually increasing. In 2019, it had grown to 29%, the highest number ever recorded. And in the U.S., which has traditionally lagged behind the global average, representation in the C-suite grew from 17% to 21% from January 2015 to January 2020. Now, female leaders in the U.S. say they are 1.5 times more likely than senior-level men to think about downshifting their role or leaving the workforce because of COVID-19-related burnout.ManpowerGroup research is clear: When it comes to ascending to leadership positions, women aren’t looking for favors, just a level playing field. To accelerate the rise of women in leadership positions, employers can start by putting policies into place that directly address those things that established female leaders have said were the greatest obstacles throughout their career: lack of role models, gendered career paths, and a lack of access to sponsors and influential networks.2021 finds the workforce at an inflection point and many employers unsure about what steps they need to take to ensure gender parity within their own organization. In this new reality, ManpowerGroup is partnering with employers to help them commit to paying greater attention to the re-balancing of family care responsibilities and careers, to changing prevailing gender dynamics in the workplace, and to rethinking the way women work, are recognized and rewarded.10 ways employers can progress gender parity in the new realityHelping women upskill and adapt to a fast-changing world of work will be one of the defining challenges of our time. Now is the time to reset for the new reality and make the progress the next generation of women in the workplace need to see.Know “the why.” Advancing toward gender parity in the workplace is far more than just “the right thing to do.” The data is clear: Companies with women at the top perform better.Set women up for success. Recognize the obstacles women historically face at work—lack of role models, gendered career paths, and lack of access to sponsors and influential networks—and identify ways to remove each of these. This starts with active listening; the best bosses are asking women what they need to succeed.Make work-from-home work. Understand that remote working does not occur in a vacuum. Find ways to build flexibility into roles previously seen as inflexible. Take active steps to challenge any embedded assumptions about the gender-normative roles of parents so that those norms do not drive the way managers and colleagues perceive remote working by men and women and what they expect of them.Ask “why not?”Succession planning must be bolder. Instead of saying, “She doesn’t have the experience,” ask, “What do we need to make it work?” Challenge assumptions. If we think it is possible, we can make it possible.Leadership needs to own it and measure it.To demonstrate commitment to getting women into leadership, change must be led from the top. Leadership must also be held accountable by making progress measurable.Make it count. Leaders must know exactly where they need women to be. Looking at macro numbers is not enough. Articulate a talent legacy—how things will change and what it will look like by when. Plan for it as if it were a strategic business priority or investment. True change takes time, focus and discipline.Focus on output. Upgrade your performance evaluation processes and metrics to ensure a focus on outputs and, crucially, do not include assessments from periods of lockdown when childcare was unavailable.Identify adjacent skills sets. Identify adjacent skillsets for new roles, and importantly demonstrate how short bursts of training and upskilling can accelerate people from one job to the next.Remember, learnability will be the great equalizer. Now is the time to focus on helping employees develop technical skills at speed and scale, while also hiring people with learnability—the desire and ability to learn new skills. This can make a real difference in shaping a future in which everyone can be ready for high-growth roles. Hire for soft skills. When looking for those employees with learnability, look for soft skills like communication, collaboration, creativity, curiosity. These are the most valued— and the hardest to find—human strengths in today’s job market and employees who have them make smoother transitions to new roles or careers.The good news is that the future that women say they want for work is closer to what research indicates all workers want—more flexible, virtual, trusting and integrated. More equal.References:https://www.unwomen.org/-/media/headquarters/attachments/sections/library/publications/2020/gender-equality-in-the-wake-of-covid-19-en.pdf?la=en&vs=5142https://www.unwomen.org/en/news/stories/2020/9/feature-covid-19-economic-impacts-on-womenhttps://faculty.wcas.northwestern.edu/~mdo738/research/Alon_Doepke_Olmstead-Rumsey_Tertilt_COVID_2020.pdfhttps://data.unwomen.org/sites/default/files/inline-files/Whose-time-to-care-brief_0.pdfhttps://www.nytimes.com/2020/06/03/business/economy/coronavirus-working-women.htmlhttps://www.mckinsey.com/featured-insights/diversity-and-inclusion/women-in-the-workplacehttps://fortune.com/2020/05/18/women-ceos-fortune-500-2020/https://hbr.org/2019/02/research-when-gender-diversity-makes-firms-more-productive https://www.cnbc.com/2019/10/14/female-leaders-may-boost-share-price-performance-credit-suisse-says.htmlhttps://talentorganizationblog.accenture.com/financialservices/the-economic-case-for-gender-balanced-leadershiphttps://www.catalyst.org/research/women-in-managementManpowerGroup ESG - Seven Steps to Conscious Inclusion
Is self-employment an option for you in 2021?
It's important that you understand the risks and challenges associated with setting up your own business in 2021.Self-employment is an overarching term for several different potential career paths that might form a part of a career plan. And Right Management’s offering around self-employment covers setting up your own business all the way through to pursuing the option of interim management and contracting.And each of these paths provide potential opportunities and benefits as well as associated downsides. Although the downsides will, to some extent, be impacted by individual circumstances. The focus of this article in on just one of these paths, and that’s setting up your own business.Do adequate researchAn important consideration when setting up your own business is spending the time needed to undertake adequate research. Setting up your own business shouldn’t be taken lightly, as the literature on our RightEverywhere website will tell you that more than half of Britain’s small businesses that collapse do so because of cash-flow problems.And the sheer number of start-up businesses ending in failure often comes as a surprise to those who uncover the data for the first time. So, make sure you do your research to avoid becoming another statistic.Assess market conditionsAt the current time, market conditions remain depressed and the impact of Covid-19 on small businesses, and the wider economy, is yet to be fully realized. So it would be wise for you to act cautiously; being extra careful about due diligence, and ensuring you put a robust plan of action in place before proceeding. Ultimately, if you think now might just be a great time for you start a new business, you have ensure you keep abreast of market conditions.Identify your marketIt's extremely important that you establish whether the product or service being offered does in fact have a market. Identifying potential competitors is another important consideration and helps you think about viability. A practical example springs to mind of someone who secured funding for their software product from one of their clients, but when attempting to roll out their product more widely, discovered there was a limited market for it. In addition, there were so many competitors selling the same product at a much lower cost in an area that wouldn’t have been seen to be business critical, particularly in a slowing market. So, make sure you know and understand your market before starting your own business.Spend time on marketing initiativesAdequate marketing initiatives are essential. You simply cannot remain a ‘techie’ forever in a start-up business and hope to succeed. You might have a brilliant product from a technical perspective, but if you can’t market or sell the product, problems inevitably lie ahead. So, we recommend spending as much time on your marketing campaign and sales effort as you put into the initial technical design of your product or service.Remember, marketing is a fast-evolving functional specialism that's heavily impacted by technology. And new ways of reaching a target audience through Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and Artificial Intelligence (AI) provide more impressive ways to connect with future customers.Adopt a flexible approachRemaining optimistic is key but it’s also essential for new business start-ups to question and challenge their thinking on a continuous basis. It’s easy to become so emotionally attached to your plans that you lose objectivity and perspective; failing to re-evaluate and change approach when necessary.Take time to consider plan B and avoid rigid thinking. Identify when to stop investing money into the venture if it’s unlikely to succeed. And do this when you’re level-headed rather than in an emotionally charged state facing increasingly stressful times. Remember, adequate planning up-front can help mitigate the risk of the situation becoming overwhelming.Ultimately, there’s no perfect time to start a business. And given the challenges in the market at the current time, it’s advisable to take an even more critical view of your plans and have them tested by friends, colleagues and experts in the field.A good starting point is to make use of Right Management’s RightEverywhere website, as well as our superb self-employment experts who can guide and support you with your plans and challenge your thinking in a supportive, yet constructive manner.This article is contributed by Right Management UK.Author: David Hurst, Consultant — Right Management UK
Are you considering retirement in 2021?
For some of us, the option to retire is a real possibility - although you may have had very little time to explore what this really means.A life full of activities such as handling job responsibilities, looking after children as well as a myriad of other things might have kept you focused on day-to-day concerns with little time for anything else.When your job comes to an end, this very often frees up the time to look over the parapet and think about what to do next. Retirement can be a welcome prospect for some but for others it may feel frightening – ‘do I need to work?’, ‘will I get bored if I give up work?’ and, ‘do I have enough money to retire?’ are just a few of the questions that can appear when exploring retirement.Orientate YourselfFortunately, retirement support is something that Right Management provides. The starting point begins with orientating yourself in relation to what may seem rather alien – it’s about taking control of the future. Exploring retirement helps you take stock of your current situation while encouraging you to spend time crafting a vision of your desired future, based on your own values, drivers and other factors.The mechanics of the program provide you with the option to speak to a specialist self-employment consultant in a one-to-one meeting, or attend a webinar focused on helping you reflect on personal circumstances as part of a group, in line with program deliverables.It’s important to not put undue pressure on yourself and to take adequate time to think about individual circumstances. If your job has suddenly come to an end before planning to retire, this might require some reflection and recalibration. The starting point is always to take stock of your current situation, what’s important to you and how that relates to your own vision of the future.Adopt and Open MindsetWe very often have greater freedom to act when planning retirement than we realize. For many there’s an opportunity to think about your own interests rather than simply being driven by financial considerations. Limiting constraints such as paying for mortgages, university education, schooling etc. have often disappeared as younger family members have left the home. Therefore, exploring retirement enables you to make choices based on what you’d really like to do, and provides the freedom to adopt an open mind-set.Develop Your Plan of ActionAnother key element of retirement is working towards a plan of action. It’s helpful to understand the different pieces of the puzzle that need to be analyzed and addressed so that you can consider everything necessary before moving forward. It's worth noting that adequate reflection on those key elements includes financial and legal considerations, and adopting a holistic perspective is always advised before drawing up a retirement plan.The RightEverywhere website includes useful information on retirement planning and helpful resources that target a range of important retirement issues. These resources can help make the transition as smooth as possible, reminding you that retirement is an exciting part of your life journey that opens many new opportunities. And Right Management is equipped to support those transitioning to retirement in a productive and meaningful way.This article is contributed by Right Management UK.Author: David Hurst, Consultant— Right Management UK
6 Ways to Spring Clean Your Resume
Spring cleaning applies to your work life as well as your home life. Now is a great time to dust off your resume and look for ways to update, upgrade and improve your resume content and format. Here are 6 ways to bring your resume new life. Tailor your resume for the digital age Digital tools can help tune up a resume for a digital format without any special coding or technical skills. Set yourself apart by breaking free of the format everyone else is using and taking advantage of online tools. Digital resume services can tune up a resume for a digital format without any special coding or technical skills. Use keywords Have you included the words that reflect specifically the skills and requirements they are looking for? Copy and paste any ad you intend to respond to into Wordle.net or Tagcrowd.com. These services identify and highlight the keywords that surface most frequently in the text. You can then simply sprinkle these words/phrases liberally throughout the resume. Edit and delete Your resume is both what you put in and what you leave out. Review your resume to delete unfocused career objectives, irrelevant job experiences, unprofessional email address and other additions that aren’t helpful to your end goals. Create a video-based visual resume This high-tech resume signals to prospective employers that you are comfortable with new technology. Producing a video doesn’t have to be an expensive endeavor since many digital cameras on the market today can shoot good quality videos.Sync your resume with your LinkedIn profile Presenting a consistent professional image by synchronizing your resume and your LinkedIn profile. Many employers will check your social media profiles, which can include a much fuller picture of who you are professionally. By completing your LinkedIn profile to include your job history and samples of your work, you can show potential employers that you understand modern technology. Post your resume online Finally, make sure you are discoverable by uploading your resume to your personal website, to your LinkedIn profile, and to other sites such as job search websites where it can be found by potential employers. Get more tips on creating a great resume by clicking here.
Getting Noticed for a Career Promotion
When much of the workforce is remote, it can feel like more of a challenge to catch the attention of management and show your worth to help gain a promotion. But it’s possible to put the spotlight on your accomplishments and potential for the next level, including highlighting accomplishments in self-reviews and end-of-year performance evaluations. Here are ways to get noticed to boost your promotion chances in the coming year. Document your achievementsBefore talking about where you’re headed, it helps to know where you’ve been to show to yourself and your manager what you’re capable of accomplishing. Keep detailed records of both what you’ve finished, as well as what you hope to still learn and gain. Make note of where you have exceeded expectations and gone beyond your job title, and ask how you might leverage that in a new role or responsibilities. Set specific goalsWrite down and visualize exactly what outcome you are seeking, such as gaining a leadership role, increasing your salary or relocating to another part of the country. With a clear end in mind, work backwards and create a route to achieve what you want with a plan to make progress each step of the way.Connect with mentorsYou may find that more mentorship help is required than one person’s limited experience can offer. Have a conversation with your mentor about opening the door to more input, such as a personal board of directors. Consider how multiple mentors can provide different perspectives, new connections, specific skill sets or expertise in an area that you lack. Seek sponsorshipSometimes, mentorship is not enough. Sponsorship is a critical factor in helping talented, motivated individuals advance in the business world. Women in particular tend to be over-mentored and under-sponsored. Beyond mentoring, it’s important to find influential individuals who can help others get ahead. You’re much more likely to achieve your goals when you write things down. Make sure you don’t just dream it, do it. Setting clear and achievable goals will help you reach your ends –– and get to the next levels.