Universal child care could boost women’s lifetime earnings by $130 billion—and ensure more stable retirement options
LinkedIn
Woman working from home at her kitchen counter while her three kids surround her

By Megan Leonhardt, CNBC

Since last February, over 2.3 million women have dropped out of the workforce, compared to just 1.8 million men who left the labor force between February 2020 and 2021, according to data compiled by the National Women’s Law Center. And many of those women are still unemployed because they are caring for children who are not in school or daycare.

New research from Columbia University and the National Women’s Law Center finds that a universal child-care system — one that provides affordable, reliable child care from birth to age 13 — would not only help many of those out-of-work employees get back into the workforce, but would also dramatically increase the lifetime earnings and security of women across the country.

An average woman with two children could see a $97,000 increase in her lifetime earnings under universal child care, according to the report. Collectively, about 1.3 million women in the U.S. could experience about a $130 billion boost in income over their lifetimes.

Overall, the number of women working full-time would increase by 17% if the U.S. expanded access to stable and consistent child care. The number of women working without a college degree would jump by about 31%.

“When there’s an increased investment in child care, there’s a measured increase in women’s labor force participation,” says Melissa Boteach, vice president of income security and child care/early learning at the National Women’s Law Center. The highest gains can be seen for women in their 30s and 40s, since those are the decades when women are most likely to raise children, she adds.

This increase in workforce participation and lifetime earnings could also lead to a significant impact on women’s retirement situations, the report finds. Women would have an additional $20,000 in private savings on average and about $10,000 more in Social Security benefits. That adds up to about $160 per month in additional funding in retirement, the report finds.

Those extra earnings could especially help improve the financial situations of older women, who are more likely to experience poverty later in life than men. “Senior women have significantly higher poverty rates than senior men because of all the discrimination and all of the financial challenges that compound over their lives [and] stick with them in retirement,” Boteach adds.

Click here to read the full article on CNBC.

Employee Mentoring Helps Engage and Retain Diverse Talent
LinkedIn
Happy black businesswoman talks to female mentor who leads her through office building

Organizations that want to attract, engage and retain diverse employee talent often include mentoring as a key piece of their talent development strategy—and for good reasons.

Mentoring can help employees feel valued by their employers, build supportive relationships with coworkers and develop critical skills that can help them advance their careers.

All of these can lead to employees receiving job growth opportunities, feeling more engaged at work and staying with their organizations longer.

A survey of mentees and mentors by MentorcliQ found that:

  • 90 percent of participants said mentoring helped them develop a positive relationship with another individual in their company.
  • 89 percent said mentoring allowed them to contribute to the success of their company.
  • 89 percent said that they felt like their company valued their development because they offered a mentoring program.

Those types of outcomes help companies build a positive—and profitable—workplace.

Innovative companies that want to retain and engage diverse talent have begun using reverse mentoring as a way to promote diverse employees and help them gain visibility with senior leadership. This creates a critical component within the push for equity in the workplace.

Reverse Diverse Mentoring at Labcorp
Addressing diversity, equity, and inclusion through a mentoring program has become a must-have need for companies today. Labcorp implemented an innovative and thoughtful reverse-diverse mentoring program that has received rave reviews from people at all levels of the company. This program pairs executive mentees with emerging leader mentors who are from a diverse background.

Labcorp’s CFO brought this idea with her to the company based on previous experience she had had with a similar program. “Our CFO had learned so much from her experience as a mentee based on her previous experience, and she wanted to see this valuable experience extended to other leaders in our organization to help them develop from both a cultural and strategic standpoint,” said Mary Schlegel, mentor program manager and senior instructional designer at Labcorp.

“Black employees in the U.S. are significantly less likely than White employees to report seeing leaders of their own race in their organization, and that appears to matter in creating a healthy corporate culture.” — Camille Lloyd of Gallup

They leaned on two Employee Resource Groups (ERGs) to help identify and invite diverse young talent into the program as mentors: (1) the Ascend ERG, which focuses on young professional leaders, and (2) the Pulse ERG, which focuses on Black professionals. By engaging leaders from these ERGs, Labcorp was able to connect up-and-coming diverse talent with executive leaders whom they might otherwise never have met. “People really valued the opportunity to be heard, as well as helping to pave the way for other people to have a voice,” said Schlegel.

The reverse diverse program also provided an opportunity for Labcorp to engage more Black employees and other underrepresented employees in more mentoring relationships, which the team had identified as an area of growth for their overall mentoring strategy. “The unexpected benefit and learning that I’ve had with this reverse diverse mentoring program is to hope. This program allowed me to support change and amplify diverse voices within Labcorp. And the organizational commitment to this program has spread hope to my fellow colleagues,” said Schlegel.

Laura Francis headshot
Laura Francis, Chief Knowledge Officer for MentorcliQ

Tips for Your Own Reverse Diverse Mentoring Program
To implement a powerful and effective reverse diverse mentoring program that will help retain and engage diverse talent, consider these three tips.

  • Listen – Listen to your diverse employee populations, ask them what they need and work to uncover what will help them advance and grow with your organization.
  • Include – Include your diverse employees in the program planning process, get their input on key factors of your mentoring program design and ask them to be ambassadors for the program to help spread the word.
  • Act – Act on the feedback you hear from the employees, create a program that reflects their needs and look for opportunities for growth within your mentoring program to help you create and sustain a mentoring culture.

Laura Francis is the Chief Knowledge Officer for MentorcliQ. The proud mom of a child with disabilities, she enjoys writing about the connections she sees in her personal life and professional life. Her articles can be found on Training Journal, ATD, Chief Learning Officer, Training Industry and other learning and development websites.

How misogynoir is oppressing Black women athletes
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Black female track athletes

By Hannah Ryan, CNN

Naomi Osaka discovered what it’s like to be at the sharp end of a sporting governing body’s regulations this summer.

The ​four-time grand slam singles champion declined to ​attend press conferences as she began her French Open campaign in June — citing the importance of protecting her mental health and addressing the toll that media interviews had previously taken on her.

The French Open organizers responded by fining the world No. 2 an amount of $15,000 and threatening to expel her from future grand slams, after they deemed her withdrawal from press conferences as a failure on her part to meet “contractual media obligations.”

Osaka made the decision to withdraw from Roland Garros altogether, then skipped Wimbledon, before returning to play at the Tokyo Olympics.

What’s happened to Osaka over the last few months has left many ​critical of her sport’s handling of the situation, and wishing those who govern her sport ​had adopted a more empathetic and sensitive approach given ​she was dealing with mental health issues.

In fact, just after Osaka said she would be opting out of speaking to the press at the tournament, the French Open official Twitter account posted a since-deleted tweet that included photos of four other players engaging in media duties — Coco Gauff, Kei Nishikori, Aryna Sablenka and Rafael Nadal — which carried the caption: “They understood the assignment.”

The tweet appeared to be directed at Osaka and her decision to withdraw from media obligations. It was considered by several former tennis players and pundits as insensitive, and former doubles champion Rennae Stubbs said that the post could make Osaka “feel guilty” and described it as “humiliating” for her.

And while the rule itself — in which players are required to engage in press conferences throughout the tournament — ​may not be a racist or misogynistic one, the context in which Osaka found herself ​punished and seemingly mocked by officials is part of a pattern in which Black women in ​elite sports are subject to harsh scrutiny.

The rigidity with which Roland Garros responded to Osaka’s decision is reminiscent of the scrutiny that tennis ​governing bodies have previously bestowed upon other prominent players, including Serena Williams.

Osaka is a young, Black ​and Japanese athlete whose decision at the French Open is considered outside of the box by many. Her refusal to play by the traditional rules has seen her face backlash across the board in a particular right-wing media landscape that doesn’t look too fondly on Black women that diverge from the expected path.
And tennis has a history in the way it has dealt with Black women who do things differently.

Click here to read the full article on CNN.

Dolly Parton says she used royalties from Whitney Houston’s song in ‘The Bodyguard’ to support a Black neighborhood
LinkedIn
Dolly Parton pictures at the country music awards

By , Insider

Dolly Parton’s 1973 song “I Will Always Love You” found a new generation of fans when Whitney Houston took on the song for her 1992 movie “The Bodyguard.”

Houston’s version became one of the best-selling singles of all time and led to Parton pocketing $10 million through the 1990s in royalties, according to Forbes. Those earnings have only grown through the decades, especially following Houston’s death in 2012 when the song re-entered the charts.

So how has Parton spent that money? According to the country music legend, she used it to help a Black community in Nashville.

“I bought my big office complex down in Nashville,” she told Andy Cohen on Thursday’s episode of “Watch What Happens Live” (via Yahoo). “So I thought, ‘well this is a wonderful place to be.'”

“I bought a property down in what was the Black area of town, and it was mostly just Black families and people that lived around there,” she continued. “And it was off the beaten path from 16th avenue and I thought, ‘Well I am going to buy this place, the whole strip mall.’ And thought, ‘This is the perfect place for me to be,’ considering it was Whitney.”
“So I just thought this was great, I’m just gonna be down here with her people, who are my people as well,” Parton said. “And so I just love the fact that I spent that money on a complex. And I think, ‘This is the house that Whitney built.'”

In a November appearance on Apple TV+’s “The Oprah Conversation,” Parton recalled what it was like to hear Houston’s rendition of “I Will Always Love You” for the first time. She explained that she unexpectedly heard the song on the radio when she was driving and didn’t immediately realize it was her song.

“I was shot so full of adrenaline and energy, I had to pull off, because I was afraid that I would wreck, so I pulled over quick as I could to listen to that whole song,” Parton told Winfrey, according to Yahoo. “I could not believe how she did that. I mean, how beautiful it was that my little song had turned into that, so that was a major, major thing.”

Click here to read the full article on Insider.

5 Great Careers for MBA Graduates
LinkedIn
Recent graduates tossing caps in the air

By Tawanah Reeves-Ligon

After the pandemic, overall demand has increased for MBA degrees. Successful MBA grads, on average, earn $30,000 more than other business school graduates.

Getting the most of your degree means attending a top school with a well-put together program that includes a strong career services department as well as networking and internship opportunities.

After that, how do you choose the best career path for yourself?

First, you can check out these great job opportunities available to MBA graduates:
 

  1. Human Resources Manager

Human resources (HR) managers plan, coordinate and delegate administrative functions within their company. By utilizing management skills and knowledge in organizational behavior, they can recruit, manage performance and discipline and develop new ideas for helping increase productivity in the workplace.

Most top MBA programs will emphasize management and include HR-based courses like organizational behavior and human resource management.

If hired by a top employer, such as Amazon and Microsoft, they pay their HR managers as much as $120,000, about $40,000 more than average.

  1. Investment Banker

Investment banking is a popular after graduation career choice for MBA graduates. They have a simple task: advise clients on how to be financially successful. Their clients can be individuals, but they can also be institutions, corporations, governments or similar entities.

Thus, multinational companies like UBS and Credit Suisse pay well for qualified graduates (sometimes as much as $155,000). So, opening the door to this career path is easier if your school has a well-connected and active career services program.

Career services is there to help students overcome the gap between their limited network and the potential employers. They facilitate networking events, recruitment gatherings and company visits, to name a few.

  1. Management Consultant

Known as the ‘Big Three,’ McKinsey & Company, Bain & Company and Boston Consulting Group (BCG) are some of the top consulting firms for this career. These three, along with firms like them, hire thousands of graduates each year.

Consulting allows students to specialize across several fields, so you will want to find a curriculum or take advantage of your school’s opportunities to learn a variety of skills, like strategic management or international business.

For example, environmental consultancy is increasing in popularity because organizations are growing more concerned with the consumer focus on corporate social responsibility and corporate environmentalism.

The Big Three offer starting salaries of $165,000 per year to their MBA graduates, plus bonuses of $50,000 for consulting.

  1. Project Manager

Top employers, like IBM and Accenture, pay graduates around $110,000 as new project managers.

The most important focus for students should be on business strategy since, regardless of what types of projects you want to specialize in, directing a company’s business strategy is always the main function of its project managers.

Developing one’s problem-solving abilities and leadership skills are also essential. It would be helpful to study at an MBA program where professors have years of real-world experience as well as ample opportunities for internships to gain firsthand practice working in project management before graduation.

  1. Financial Analyst

One of the most sought-after post-MBA finance careers is a financial analyst. Their main job functions involve gathering data and building financial models. Courses that can be helpful to a student on this career track include, international and corporate finance as well as financial accounting. A security investment course might be helpful too, if it’s available.

To be a financial analyst requires either a certification as a Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) or an MBA.

Take advantage of the opportunities provided by your MBA program or look for the types of program benefits discussed here during your school research. Developing a plan and executing it will not only help to make you a more qualified candidate for these types of jobs in the future, but it will also help you gain the expertise needed to be successful in your new role after graduation.

Source: businessbecause.com, fortune.com

How to Nail a Virtual Job Interview
LinkedIn
businesswoman looking at computer screen on her desk in home office

By Kat Castagnoli

If you’re looking for a job right now, then there’s a good chance you’re interviewing remotely. There are some upsides to this – there’s no traffic to endure, you can reference your resume or notes without being obvious and you have the same access to any position no matter where you’re located in the country.

But there are also some serious downsides.

From technical problems and unplanned disruptions to appearing distracted or unprepared, there are many ways a virtual interview can go awry.

Below are a few tips to help you best prepare and turn your next online interview into a solid job offer:

“Of the 72% of job candidates we observed who did not bag offers, the majority (around 80%) appeared to be distracted, failed to engage their recruiter in a meaningful way, or seemed as though they were reading from a script.”

A Clean & Simple Space
You don’t need to rearrange your entire house – just find a spot that’s clean, uncluttered and free of distractions. You can also use a virtual background instead of putting yourself in front of a messy bookshelf or cluttered living room. Keep in mind that contrary to previous research, unconscious biases are less likely to creep into the decision-making process when candidates have a clean backdrop. Studies show that 97 percent of recruiters prefer virtual backgrounds of office settings over beaches, mountains or outer space.

Prepare For the Unexpected
It’s quite common for recruiters to ask candidates for examples of their most impactful work during a job interview. Don’t let this unnerve you or leave you unprepared. Create a Word document or a printout of notes with bullet points that highlight a few projects or accomplishments that you want to share. You can sort your projects under a few headers: accomplishments, research and volunteer work.

The goal is to refer to your notes minimally, so it’s best to keep these to a single page.

Rehearse Your Responses
In a virtual interview, your body language counts for a lot. One study found that 89 percent of successful candidates used wide hand gestures for big and exciting points, while moving their hands closer to their heart when sharing personal reflections. To better connect with your interviewer, be sure to keep an open posture and remember not to cross your arms.

Look into your webcam, not at your reflection, and frame yourself in a way where you are not too far from the camera – no more than two feet. Be sure to make your head and top of your shoulders dominate the screen and most importantly, look directly into the camera whenever you are speaking.

Spark Conversation & Ask Questions
There’s always an opportunity to ask questions about the office and culture in a job interview, but when you’re interviewing remotely, you will probably have a lot more questions than usual. Whatever you’d like to know, be sure to ask. The recruiter will appreciate your curiosity and interest in the company. Good questions to ask include the kind of technology you’ll have access to when working remotely, if you’ll be working in a hybrid team or how success is measured at the company.

Studies have shown that 85 percent of successful candidates who asked these kinds of questions did so to demonstrate their values and priorities, while at the same time, revealing vital bits of information about their personality.

For example, if you asked, “Do you have a flexible work policy?” you could bookend your question with something like, “I’ve been volunteering at a local shelter twice a week, and it would be great to be able to continue doing that.”

Lastly, don’t monopolize the conversation. It should have a natural ebb and flow. Listening carefully and asking insightful questions demonstrates your interest and lets the interviewer know you’ve come prepared and done your homework.

For the time being, remote hiring is here to stay. And while there are many benefits, you need to do your part to ace this relatively new process. While trousers may be optional, being prepared and ready for the unexpected is not.

3 Ways to Set Up Your Post Pandemic Workplace
LinkedIn
smiling asian woman on her laptop seated at a desk

By Drake Forester

The pandemic has ushered in a widespread acceptance of working from home and less dedication to the traditional 9-5 workday. Indeed, the benefits of remote working, including greater flexibility for employees, lower real estate costs and increased productivity, have led some large companies—such as Twitter and Spotify—to say they plan to allow employees to work from home indefinitely.

But remote working can pose challenges for employees and businesses, from communication barriers to decreased visibility.

As a leader, understanding your options and how workplace needs differ from one employee to the next can help you craft a flexible workplace strategy—and keep your staff members happy and productive.

Here are three working models to consider as your business adjusts to the post-pandemic economy.

Primarily In-Person

Not every business can operate remotely and stay successful. If your company has faced significant challenges since going remote, you may be leaning towards reinstating an office-centric working model.

Gauging your employees’ willingness to give up working remotely—and identifying where each of them falls on the remote-working spectrum—may be a beneficial first step. Some workers may be thriving at home, while others may be counting down the days until they can return to the office full-time.

Achieving the right balance—for example, allowing staff members to continue to work from home at least 1 day per week—may be crucial in retaining those employees who are less than eager to return full-time.

Key Considerations:

  • What safety measures (such as a mask-wearing policy, regular cleaning, desk spacing, staggering attendance) need to be implemented to make employees feel comfortable returning to the office?
  • Do you have employees that will consider looking for a new job if returning to the office is mandatory?
  • Will you wait until most employees are vaccinated before requiring your team to return full-time?
  • What kind of perks can your company offer to help retain employees that prefer remote working?
  • Can you renegotiate your commercial lease in light of falling office rents?

You may be going against the grain by asking your employees to work primarily in-person, but here’s something worth noting: your new employees may benefit.

In a remote work survey by PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), 30 percent of new hires stated they wanted to work remotely no more than 1 day a week, compared to just 20 percent of all respondents. These newer employees were less likely to feel productive working from home and more in need of company training programs and meetings with managers.

Hybrid

The hybrid working model—with employees working 1-3 days in the office each week and at home the rest of the time—is likely here to stay for many businesses.

Many large companies, from Salesforce to Target, have adopted “flex” working arrangements which offer employees a balance of in-office and at-home workdays.

This model has the advantage of allowing employees to work in the way that suits them best, which could mean working from home most days, coming to the office regularly, or something in between.

Key Considerations:

  • Will you require your workers to stick to a fixed schedule with set office days?
  • What other scheduling guidelines need to be put in place (for example, do you want all employees to spend at least one day in the office)?
  • If you have some employees that plan to work from home more than others, how will you help them stay connected to your team?
  • How often will in-person meetings and collaborations be necessary?

If your company has operated remotely for months, some employees might miss the collaboration and camaraderie of an in-person work environment. Allowing these employees to come into the office a few days a week (voluntarily) may be one way to test the viability of a hybrid working arrangement for your business.

Primarily Remote

The remote-working model is flexible and often cost-effective, and many companies plan to stick with it even after the pandemic has ended.

The same Pricewaterhouse Coopers study found that fewer than 1 in 5 executives say they plan to return to the office as it was before the pandemic, and a survey by The National Association for Business Economics revealed that just 1 in 10 companies expect all employees to return eventually.

If your team has experienced success with a fully remote working model, there may be no reason for you and your staff to return to a traditional office environment. That said, you still might look for ways to accommodate employees who miss having an in-person workplace.

Key Considerations

  • What tools (software and technology) do your employees need to be productive at home?
  • How will you help employees engage and collaborate with each other while working remotely?
  • If you plan to give up your office space (or have already done so), how can you make the best use of your real estate savings?
  • What guidelines and systems will you put in place to track productivity and measure job outcomes?

If you do settle on a remote working model for the long-term, you’ll need to think of creative ways to support your employees, keep them engaged with the company mission (and each other), and ensure they continue to do their best work.

Final Thoughts

Only a quarter of office workers, on average, have returned to working in person. While more than one-third of office workers are back in Texas’s large cities, for instance, only 20 percent of remote workers have returned to traditional offices in New York, San Francisco, and Chicago.

Of course, these office occupancy rates will likely continue to increase somewhat as coronavirus cases across the country decline. However, many U.S. companies are still waiting to bring employees back—and some businesses don’t envision a return to the pre-pandemic office at all.

Trends and forecasts aside, it will be up to you to determine which working model will benefit your business—and your employees—the most.

Source: Score.org

How to Mitigate Pandemic Fatigue
LinkedIn

By Susan Au Allen: National President & CEO, US Pan Asian American Chamber of Commerce Education Foundation (USPAACC)

The vaccines are here. This marks a critical turning point — a year into the pandemic — in the fight against a virulent disease that has wreaked months-long havoc to lives and livelihood.

Millions of Americans have already been vaccinated from COVID-19; millions more are awaiting their turn. This is welcome news that brings renewed optimism.

Our collective jubilation, however, is tempered by caveats from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Experts estimate that the United States is still months away from reaching the threshold of herd immunity.

To cut the chain of transmission, at least 70% of the U.S. population — or over 200 million people — would have to recover from the illness and achieve natural immunity or undergo vaccinations. According to CDC, only 7.9% of the U.S. population — or just over 26 million people — have been given the recommended two doses.

This sobering reality is compounded by the arrival of highly contagious variants — increasing exponentially — which could spark new outbreaks and undermine vaccination progress. This does not augur well for the public sentiment that has been aching to return to a semblance of normalcy.

First the Fear, Now the Fatigue

In the early days of the pandemic, as the infection spiked, fear was foremost in everyone’s mind. Few questioned government-imposed lockdowns, restrictions of unfettered movements, enforced social distancing and other health protocols. Public compliance was high.

Today, more than a year later, the public attitude has changed: fear has been supplanted by fatigue. People have become more relaxed due to collective boredom, exhaustion, impatience or a sense of apathy — a phenomenon experts refer to as “pandemic fatigue.”

Uncertainty, a sense of lack of control and limited options fuel anxiety. This leads to profound shifts in social and work behaviors, as well as consumer preferences. Humans — social animals who are naturally in need of constant contact with each other — will keep on seeking out one another.

Signs are everywhere: recent outbreaks have been traced to bars, restaurants and air travel. An exhausted public has begun to disregard health protocols. This trend will continue.

What likely emerges next is a vicious cycle. When the public lets its guard down, health protocols will be broken. This will then trigger more infections. Eventually, this will lead to more restrictions — and pandemic fatigue will worsen.

The Business of Coping

There simply is no available playbook in corporate America and government today that offers guidance on how to effectively handle pandemic fatigue. Psychologists counsel that the art of mitigating pandemic-related fatigue begins with accepting the current reality.

It is also important to accept that the adaptations in how people work these days could become protracted or even permanent. With workflow significantly disrupted, output and morale are at their nadir. Employees have hit the motivational wall. Social calendars are wiped clean. Small talk among office colleagues — including spontaneous gossip sessions next to the water cooler — is replaced by seemingly interminable, back-to-back video calls that ironically lead many to feel more disconnected than ever.

Since the work-from-home set-up began, employees have also noticed that their working hours have been stretched. They struggle to follow a structured work schedule. It is difficult to set and adhere to work-related parameters at home, in part because they worry that they will lose their job or be seen as weak contributors to the team effort. These amorphous work boundaries, plus the associated stress, contribute to the energy drain among the workforce.

In response, companies of every size are bringing out myriad new initiatives from their arsenal to support their employees. A host of activities are offered that focus on connection, care and the well-being of staff — often ranging from tailored wellness programs to virtual happy hours. Managers are clearing their calendars to make themselves available for informal, agenda-free connections. Others are allowing employees to take more time off.

But more needs to be done. Organizations must empower teams, simplify unnecessary bureaucracy and enable a faster decision-making process. Conduct listening tours to take the pulse of employees and assess their needs. Apply innovative, best-practice work-from-home models. Help prioritize available work, put a pause on the introduction of new projects, limit work in progress and allow for respite and recovery.

Individually, employees must slow down. Keep a sense of calm and focus. Stave off ennui by virtually reaching out to a community with shared interests, such as gardening, painting and other hobbies. Take periodic breaks to replenish energy. Try breathing exercises and meditation, go for a stroll, read a book, engage in online shopping or “retail therapy,” etc. Channel fatigue into meaningful and creative endeavors.

Further, limit access to social media and avoid tuning in to negative stories on television that raise stress and anxiety levels. Do not let negativity foster.

The Untrodden Path to the ‘Next Normal’

A sense of loss is at the heart of pandemic fatigue — the loss of control in our daily life, work, business, finances, travel, important events, opportunities and more. On a personal level, it is the loss of connection to our family, friends, peers and community.

Understandably, stress levels remain high and taking their toll. According to Nielsen data, alcohol sales in the U.S. are up 23 percent.

As the U.S. crosses yet another grim milestone with over half a million deaths from COVID-19, the country’s policymakers have the daunting task of trying to deflate the rate of infection. They face a tenuous balancing act: enforcing a range of restrictions while weighing public health-related and economic repercussions.

Compliance wanes as pandemic fatigue spreads. Worse, as more people get vaccinated, many become more complacent and tempted to disregard precautions. Some take their cues from several state leaders who have announced the easing of restrictions, including the lifting of mask mandates and allowing businesses to open at full capacity.

Susan Allen headshot smiling wearing glasses and pink blouse with a black blazer
Susan Au Allen

The vaccines are no panacea for this contagion. If the public fails to adhere to minimum public health standards, it will only aggravate the current situation. To avoid reaching the tipping point of yet another coronavirus surge, safety measures must remain and be heeded. It is up to a conscientious public to do its share to ensure that our collective journey through this untrodden path to the “next normal” will be smooth, safe and healthy.

Susan Au Allen came to the United States from Hong Kong on an invitation from the White House in recognition of her volunteer work for people with disabilities. She received her Juris Doctor from the Antioch School of Law and LL.M. in International Law from Georgetown University. During her 17 years with Paul Shearman Allen & Associates of Washington, D.C. and Hong Kong, she became nationally recognized for her work on immigration, international trade and investment. Once an immigrant, she knows the obstacles that one must be overcome to achieve the American Dream, and she has dedicated her life to help entrepreneurs to pursue their Dream — develop, grow and build a successful business.

How sustainability achieved gender parity and what it means for women in business
LinkedIn
Our recent report on chief sustainability officers (CSOs) in the U.S. revealed that women went from holding 28 percent in 2011 of the CSO positions to 54 percent in 2021. That’s a 94 percent increase.

Our recent report on chief sustainability officers (CSOs) in the U.S. revealed that women went from holding 28 percent in 2011 of the CSO positions to 54 percent in 2021. That’s a 94 percent increase.

It’s a positive development to see the playing field level for women in sustainability, but what’s driving this trend? And what are the implications for women’s leadership in business more broadly? Before diving into those questions, it’s interesting to look at the trends in gender and leadership in sustainability and business.

The state of women’s leadership in sustainability
When it comes to women’s leadership as CSOs, the biggest jump happened between 2013 and 2014, when the number of women went up by 11 percentage points. There was another significant increase between 2018 and 2021, around the time the #MeToo movement gained momentum. In 2020, when more companies than ever hired their first CSO, female CSOs broke the 50 percent mark to reach their current status.

Outside of sustainability, women in business have not advanced as quickly. In the C-suite, men still far outnumber women. According to a Morningstar report looking at data from 2019, women hold only 12.2 percent of named executive officer roles at companies, up just 2.8 percentage points from 2015. The report authors noted that “this reflects a rate of growth that would only deliver equal representation sometime in the second half of this century.”

So why are women advancing more quickly in sustainability?

3 reasons women in sustainability are moving up
I can surmise three reasons women are advancing faster in sustainability than they are in business more broadly.

1. There’s a robust pipeline of women vying for these roles.
According to the 2020 GreenBiz State of the Profession report, which my firm sponsors, the percentage of women holding any sustainability position has been steadily rising since 2010. Between 2011 and 2020, the percentage of women holding a vice president role grew from 31 percent to 51 percent. The pool of female directors grew by 18 percentage points, from 37 percent to 55 percent. And the percentage of female managers in sustainability roles has gone up the most, from 39 percent to 63 percent. By contrast, the Morningstar authors pointed to the “broken rung” at major corporations, in which “women are systematically passed over being offered their first and crucial career promotion.”

Based on the GreenBiz data and my experience as a recruiter, I believe this is not happening in sustainable business roles, where there’s a deep talent pool of women, starting at the manager level and steadily making their way up the ranks.

2. Women excel in these roles.
As I have written about before, research suggests that women are well-suited to succeed in sustainability roles. A 2018 Business and Sustainable Development Commission report argued that women have the necessary leadership qualities to take on sustainable development, and they have the desire to address social and environmental challenges.

In my work, I have also found the “feminine” traits such as the ability to collaborate, translate complex issues and demonstrate humility help CSOs succeed. CSOs are not in it for the ego boost; they find it more fulfilling to champion others, praise generously and inspire others to support a vision for the future that benefits all.

3. The path to sustainability leadership is inclusive.
Unlike other C-suite positions, there’s no specific set of credentials that CSOs are required to have, so the path to leadership can be more varied. Moreover, sustainability is, by nature, an inclusive field. The job requires engagement with diverse stakeholders, so it makes sense that hiring managers would seek out people with diverse experience and backgrounds. However, while this has led to gender diversity, it has not yet supported racial diversity: Only 16 percent of U.S.-based sustainability professionals today identify as a race other than white.

Is this trend good or bad for women?
I have many anecdotes pointing to executive leadership clarifying their preference for a woman to hold their CSO position. It made me wonder: Is this trend going to create a pathway for female leadership in business? Or are women being pigeonholed in sustainability?

While the Morningstar report authors noted that women in business face a “glass wall” blocking them from career tracks with room for advancement and higher pay, it’s my belief that gender parity in the CSO role is a good thing. With the growing importance of ESG at global companies, the women in the CSO role have great potential to influence the future of business.

Moreover, women have the skills to excel in these roles. Whereas in business generally there’s the “glass cliff” phenomenon — whereby women are promoted into leadership positions during a crisis and then blamed when they fail — my sense is that women’s aptitude with communication, influence and agility will help them succeed in the CSO role.

Click here to read the full article on Green Biz.

Trans model makes Sports Illustrated swimsuit cover history: ‘If you don’t like it, you can go somewhere else’
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Leyna Bloom first transgender to pose during the 2021 Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Cover Reveal at Jack Studios in New York. (Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images/Sports Illustrated Swimsuit)

By Jonathan Edwards, The Washington Post

Leyna Bloom says she was raped as a child, sexually fetishized her entire life and forced to hide who she really was. Now, she’s the first transgender woman on the cover of Sports Illustrated’s swimsuit issue, celebrated as “a symbol of beauty.”

Bloom, a 27-year-old model, actress and dancer, is one of three women to appear on the 2021 edition’s cover when it hits stands later this week, the magazine announced on Monday. The others are tennis star Naomi Osaka, 23, and rapper Megan Thee Stallion, 26.

“This moment heals a lot of pain in the world. We deserve this moment,” Bloom said on Instagram. “… Many girls like us don’t have the chance to live our dreams, or to live long at all. I hope my cover empowers those, who are struggling to be seen, feel valued.”

Last month, Bloom told Variety that before coming out seven years ago, she was terrified people would discover she was transgender. She hid her identity because she believed the world wasn’t ready and that someone might attack her.

“They see how you move, they see your magic [and] they want to hurt you,” she said.

But in 2014, Bloom announced herself to the world by modeling for a magazine shoot featuring her and other trans women. Since then, she became one of the first openly trans women to walk the runway at Paris Fashion Week, Sports Illustrated said on its website.

Other milestones followed: She was the first trans woman of color on the cover of Vogue India and the first trans woman of color to star in a movie at the Cannes Film Festival — “Port Authority,” a Martin Scorsese-produced tale about a fresh-off-the-bus cisgender man who stumbles into New York City’s queer ballroom scene and falls in love with Bloom’s character. Earlier this year, Sports Illustrated announced Bloom would be the first trans woman of color modeling in the magazine’s swimsuit issue, although the revelation about the cover would take four more months.

Having a trans woman held up as a symbol of beauty alongside past participants such as Tyra Banks, Gisele Bündchen and Heidi Klum shows things are changing, Bloom told Variety.

“I think it’s just a powerful time right now,” Bloom told Variety. “I’m so happy Sports Illustrated wanted to have the nerve to really say, ‘We got to have this moment, and if you don’t like it, you can go somewhere else.’ ”

Sports Illustrated’s swimsuit issue — once described in a 1998 Washington Post article as “mainstream, middlebrow … middle American” and little more than “a volume of cheesecake portraiture” — has tried in recent years to stay abreast of an ever-changing social landscape.

In 2018, the issue’s creators reacted to the #MeToo era with a photo shoot in which women crafted their own messages with carefully chosen words written on their naked bodies or clothing. In 2019, the issue for the first time featured a model wearing a hijab and burkini. Last year, a 56-year-old woman graced the pages.

“That’s the great thing about Sports Illustrated is they just keep reinventing themselves and they keep reinventing what is your view of beauty,” Kathy Jacobs, the 56-year-old woman, told the AP. “And they keep showing people that there’s more than one kind of beauty out there.”

Bloom, a transgender woman who’s Black and Filipina, is now part of that representation.

In March, a New York Times reporter asked Bloom if being in the swimsuit issue was the best way for people to learn that you can be respected, appreciated and loved no matter your body shape, sexuality or skin color.

“It’s one way,” she responded. “This is a way of reaching the top of the food chain. Let’s at least have this moment and say that we had it, and then we can go on to dismantle it.”

But, Bloom added, beauty standards that aren’t easy to shatter can be made more inclusive. “Up to now, it was strictly, ‘Oh, you’re trans so you cannot be a princess.’ But when we’re seen in these spaces — the runways, the magazines — trans children can look up and say, ‘This is what a princess looks like to me.’ ”

Bloom said she thinks of herself as “a third sex” and that as she’s gotten older, she’s become more in tune with both her masculine and feminine energies. That wasn’t easy, she told The Times. She said she was raped as a child and fetishized as an adult, so the life of a princess didn’t always seem attainable.

“I have dreamt a million beautiful dreams, but for girls like me, most dreams are just fanciful hopes in a world that often erases and omits our history and even existence,” Bloom said Monday on Instagram.

Click here to read the full article on The Washington Post.

Must-have Tech Skills for Career Changers in 2021
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Smiling young African American businesswoman leaning on a table in her office

The year 2021 has been a tough one for everyone. The coronavirus pandemic has forced corporations and individuals to adapt and implement new strategies. Because of the coronavirus lockdown, many workers lost their jobs and found themselves in a difficult situation.

Jobless people often feel stressed and overwhelmed. Dealing with the expenses and the bills can take away their sleep and make them perform awfully. To move forward, many workers began to take online courses and learn new skills. If you are thinking about changing careers, these must-have tech skills will allow you to start your journey in 2021. Employers are looking for candidates with these skills, and they will enable you to stay competitive.

Amazon Web Services

Amazon Web Services (AWS) is among the best cloud computing services these days. Many organizations are using it to keep their data safe and have instant access to their databases. Using the cloud has gone mainstream as it enables companies to save time and money in data backup and recovery.

Database administrators are responsible for managing databases. They have to protect companies’ information and keep databases well-organized. They are in-demand because they play a key role in companies where large amounts of data are generated.

AWS also has exceptional features to help organizations create better insights. For example, AWS machine learning features make data scientists’ jobs much more comfortable. As they save time on analyzing and interpreting data, they can create better insights and help companies develop better products. To master AWS, you can enroll in Coding Dojo’s coding bootcamp.

Coding Dojo is an education company that offers a part-time online program that allows aspirants to become self-sufficient developers in only 16 weeks. At Coding Dojo, students can learn how to code from home. Their course is an excellent option for those who have a very busy schedule.

Python

Learning Python is a great idea if you want to start a career in tech. Python is a versatile programming language fantastic for analyzing, interpreting, and visualizing data. It’s a must-have tool for data scientists and data analysts because it’s great for creating machine learning solutions. Many tech professionals, like web developers and software engineers, also use Python in their daily work lives.

Python is easy to learn, and it’s a great alternative for beginners. It has a huge community of developers who are always willing to give an extra hand. In that case, no matter what challenge you face while learning or during projects, you can always ask for help.

In 2021, a Python developer can make, on average, $110,092 per year in the US. If you’re looking to go big, you can enroll in Lamda School’s coding bootcamp. The company offers an immersive six-month program that will allow you to learn Python skills and become a full stack developer. You won’t have to start paying tuition for their computer science & software engineering course until you get hired and start making at least $50,000 per year. In other words, money won’t be a barrier to begin learning.

Digital Marketing

Nowadays, the demand for workers with digital marketing skills has increased because customers are spending more time online. Companies need professionals that are able to create better marketing campaigns and reach the target audience. Digital marketers play a crucial role in increasing brand recognition. They use tools like social networks to approach customers and email to provide a better customer experience.

Digital marketers also use their SEO skills to appear on SERPs. When companies get their work listed high on search engines, they can receive more traffic on their sites without spending a penny. Becoming a digital marketer is an excellent option for those who like to deal with customers. Digital marketers need a lot of patience and creativity to create outstanding strategies and help companies keep customers happy.

Thinkful offers a digital marketing program that enables aspirants to get equipped with SEM, content marketing, and email marketing skills in only six weeks. Students need to spend 40 hours per week on learning. However, as it’s available online, it’s a great choice to make a career change in 2021.

Web Design

In 2021, customers are more concerned about their experience, and companies are investing vast amounts of money trying to meet their needs. Providing an excellent user experience is what companies are aiming to do. A good user experience allows companies to engage visitors, which means firms are offering fantastic salaries to attract the most skilled web designers.

Web designers are responsible for creating storyboards, user flows, and wireframes to communicate design ideas. Without web designers, websites would not be user-friendly. In fact, they would be very complex and hard to navigate. Web designers also have to keep designs as simple as possible to meet customers’ needs and allow companies to stay at the top of the competition.

Many coding schools offer web design courses. Consider joining Springboard’s coding bootcamp if you’re looking to learn from home. The company provides a self-paced UI/UX design program that allows aspirants to master a skill in 36 weeks. During the course, you’ll have private video calls with a mentor every week. They will answer any question about the curriculum, provide project feedback, and career advice. Springboard’s course is suitable for anyone who’s looking to start a new career in web design.

SQL

SQL has become an important skill for those looking to enter the tech industry in 2021. It’s the right tool to deal with large pools of data. Also, it makes tech workers’ jobs much easier as it is excellent for combining data from multiple sources. Today, a SQL developer can make, on average, $81,622 per year, according to Glassdoor. Whether you seek to become a mobile developer, software engineer, or data scientist, learning SQL will allow you to make a career transition with ease.

Learning SQL is as easy as enrolling in Kenzie Academy’s coding bootcamp. Their software engineering course allows you to become a skilled coder in 12 months. The program is designed to provide students with the right knowledge to design, build, and maintain complex apps. Also, students learn core computer science concepts that are indispensable for accessing senior roles.

In Summary

The digital transition has accelerated its pace in 2021, and the need for tech skills will continue to increase. Learning these tech skills is necessary if you’re willing to make a career change and get hired. They will allow you to become an attractive candidate and change your way of life. And, as you’ll be ready to face any challenge, you don’t have to be afraid of losing your job or being left behind.

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    August 16, 2021 - August 19, 2021
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    August 16, 2021 - August 19, 2021
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    September 8, 2021 - September 10, 2021
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    September 15, 2021 - September 17, 2021
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Upcoming Events

  1. Women in Federal Law Enforcement (WIFLE)
    August 16, 2021 - August 19, 2021
  2. WIFLE Annual Leadership Training
    August 16, 2021 - August 19, 2021
  3. WiCyS 2021 Conference
    September 8, 2021 - September 10, 2021
  4. 2021 ERG & Council Conference
    September 15, 2021 - September 17, 2021
  5. Wonder Women Tech
    October 26, 2021 - October 29, 2021