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Is The Glass Ceiling A Myth?

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The world has experienced three industrial revolutions; steam power (1784), electricity (1870) and electronics (1969); each of these revolutions has brought such unique changes that it has changed the basic ways of living life, they have made lives easier, simpler and faster. And women have always played a huge role in each of these revolutions, right from the very first one in 1784, extensive research in each of these revolutions have shown women’s involvement as textile workers, miners and seamstresses, in a way the women pushed the wheels of the revolution forward in every way as heavily as the men did. However their contribution has been heavily undermined or absent in most sources of history that do talk about the industrial revolutions, history has always been a man’s world.

We right now in the 21st century, are currently undergoing our fourth industrial revolution, this time it is digital technology which is taking over the world, it is the umbrella that shelters every industry that exist in the books and also the walker that supports it forward. Digital technology is revolutionizing our world at an unimaginable and unprecedented pace which we have never experienced and it’s only getting faster by the minute.

Tesla’s self-driven car and the drones that hover over our heads today have managed to put us in an era which only existed in science fiction up until a few decades ago. And while that is a truth which is to be cherished, another truth is that once again, women will be left out of this. This time not because their presence wasn’t acknowledged, but because there wasn’t enough of a presence to talk about in the first place. People want to either ignore the elephant in the room or argue that it doesn’t exist, but let’s talk about the glass ceiling in the tech industry.

  1. While women make up 59% of the total workforce, they are averaging only 30% of the workforce across major tech companies. That 30% includes both tech and non-tech jobs, like marketing and HR. When it comes to representation of women in tech jobs at tech companies, they can’t seem to break even 20 percent: women hold only 17 percent of the tech jobs at Google, 15 percent at Facebook, and 10 percent at Twitter.
  2. Women-owned companies in New York City today get just 17 percent of venture funding.
  3. Of the 41 Fortune 500 companies in the technology sector, only five have a female CEO.
  4.  Only 14.3 percent of board seats of the top 100 tech companies are held by women.
  5.  A 2013 study from the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences showed that men are two times as likely to be hired for a job in mathematics when the only difference between candidate profiles is gender.
  6. Nearly 40 percent of women with engineering degrees either don’t enter the field at all or quit soon after. Women in tech with business degrees also tend to leave the industry before rising in rank.

One of the biggest implications, outlined in The Industry Gender Gap report, is just how harmful this revolution may be to the progress of women because they are underrepresented in tech. As market forces transform industries to favor technological skills, women only hold 26 percent of all tech jobs. Worse yet, they only stand to gain one new STEM job for every 20 that are lost in other disrupted industries. For men, that ratio is a much more favorable one to four.

Microsoft reported that women comprise 29.1 percent of its workforce, but only 16.6 percent work in technical positions and just 23 percent hold leadership roles. Twitter said women fill 10 percent of its technical jobs with 21 percent in leadership. And women Googlers account for 17 percent of the search giant’s tech jobs, while 21 percent manage others. Statistics and figures are always boring, but in this case they matter because they show us how few women are influencing product development and business strategies- the top two rungs at the top of the industry’s corporate ladder. Not only is that bad for women, but also it’s extremely harmful for business; studies show that companies with different points of view, market insights and approaches to problem solving have higher sales, more customers and larger market share than their less-diverse rivals.
As tech remakes the world, women will miss the chance to affect the massive economic and social changes this fourth industrial revolution will bring. If women don’t participate in tech, they are losing the chance to influence the largest economic and social change of this century. It’s a downward spiral the whole way, female representation in tech actually used to be higher in the mid-‘80s that it is now and this decline is unique to the field of computer science since women participation has increased in every other field.
What women have been experiencing in the tech industry isn’t any form of discrimination or sexism, instead they are faced with an air of condescension which just leads to isolation and discouragement. It’s time that companies admit that there is a problem. This situation doesn’t only require creating policies that create cultures that are open to women and support their career advancement, it requires changing an entire mindset. We just have to wipe out the stereotypes of the last 200 years or so, one thought at a time.

19. Writer. Dreamer.I live to create something beautiful.

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Salesforce Predicts Shoppers Moving To Mobile Shopping

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Analytics have confirmed the presence of shoppers to be on their own mobile smartphones. Jeff Barnett, CEO of Salesforce Commerce Cloud, shares his team’s vision on what’s to come for commerce in 2017. Shoppers are spotted to be taking their shopping online, strictly on mobile devices. Reports of a rate of 47% of orders from smartphones on U.S. sites grew in a span of a year alone, with costs of $2.08 worth of average spending on across U.S. E-commerce sites. In total, 4% of total traffic growth are summit to U.S. digital commerce sites. The data is looking at an uprise on mobile shopping, but in a downgrade on traditional brick and mortar retail. 

Discussion on stores making the ultimate decision on either changing their platform or to simply die off are being requested by retailers demanding flexibility in stores. The statics for mobile shopping means a decrease in retail profits. Customers have their attention on their mobile devices, neglecting traditional shopping. This forces retailers to upgrade and expand their business to newer areas.

Traditional brick and mortar retailers should shift themselves to mobile in order for their business to stay afloat. Selling online will keep the business staying competitive and consumer needs met. A majority of customers are already online, all retailers need to do is meet with them there. Distribution is made to be an easier process, with the supply being from one location. Already predicting the end of ATMs, shoppers are beginning to ditch cash with cards. With cards, customers are able to get more purchases to be conducted with extreme convenience. This is a win for both parties.

About 15% of U.S. malls will be disposed or will be converted into non-rental spaces within the next 10 years. Within 15 to 20 years, Howard Davidowitz, a retail consultant expects a near estimate of half of America’s shopping malls to fail. More and more retailers are moving their business online to secure their awareness.

“Three trends are upon us, AI, mobile, and chat, put them together, add water and shake, and what do you get, a long abated killer app for mobile commerce”. Rama Ramakrishnan, the Chief Data Scientist says. 2017 will be the year when AI chatbots for commas will soar and shift into mainstream across all stages of the shopping experience. “This time next year, we’ll look back and wonder how we ever shopped without them”.

With the promise in accelerated delivery, the mobile shopping experience is only improving. Prediction that our own voices will be the next user interface for shopping in 2017. Through services like Amazon Alexa, Google Home, and Siri, consumers can do more than web searches, but can also purchase products and services online as well. Customer centricity is becoming everyone’s main task on the use of mobile shopping. Without predicting what consumers want, through online history and searches customers can get exactly what they want in their own time of need.

The new shopping method seems to be in favor of the consumers, with new features created to cater shoppers. The evolution of shopping has changed drastically due to technology advancements, their efficiency has allowed many opportunities to open. Although the benefits are in reach for most, traditional retailers much adapt well in order to catch up with the competition. Once the adjustment is complete, finding customers and companies will be much easier.

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Getting Recognition Builds Productivity

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Getting recognition is one of the top motivators and drivers among employees in the workplace. According to studies, 78% of employees work harder if they are better recognized. More recognition for a job well done translates to better productivity and happy employees. This sounds very simple, but is actually a bit more complicated to implement. This is because employees today don’t want just compensation as a form of getting recognition. They also want a close-knit office culture, volunteer opportunities, praises, rewards and genuine recognition for their efforts. Here’s how to do it:

Reward the Right Things

Rewarding employees for every achievement is counterproductive. Instead of singing their praises for everything they do well, reward the right things such as:

  • Actions that align with the company’s strategies and goals. Recognize behavior that aligns with the company’s overall mission. If you don’t have a mission statement, now is the time to define it.
  • Big wins and small wins should also be celebrated. Big projects usually have higher risks and setbacks. To keep your team from being frustrated, celebrate the small ones as well.
  • Being a team player is essential to the survival of your organization. As such this behavior is important because employees who work well together do not let their egos into the organization. Employees like this know how to put the team in front of their own personal interests.

Understand Why It Matters

According to a study by BambooHR, 82% of employees feel that they do not get recognition for their work and are considering leaving the company. Recognition seems like a small thing and not understanding why it is needed could hurt an organization’s profitability. Think about it, a few simple words of encouragement or gratitude can save your company thousands of dollars in recruitment and training new talent. Recognition helps revenue. When an employee gets the recognition they deserve they are happy and happy employees are more productive. Companies who recognize their employees have 2.5 times more revenue compared to companies that do not reward their employees. This means that high engagement translates to a third higher profitability.

Culture of Recognition

Create a culture of recognition within your organization. For example, you can ring a bell and call everybody’s attention whenever somebody does a good job. This way everybody knows whenever the bell is rung that something amazing has happened. This action also recognizes the achievement of an employee. Soon your office will associate bell rings for getting recognition and will aspire to have the bell rung in their honor.

Tailor Fit Your Recognition

Teams within organizations can have their own culture. For example, this team loves bowling or comic books. Aside from the usual phrases and accolades typically bestowed on them, go a bit further by tailoring recognition for their internal culture like going on a celebratory bowling game after a job well done or treating them to a couple of comic books. These small actions do not only show recognition but it shows that you respect the individuality of your members as a team.

Link Recognition with Performance

The key is to promote good behavior through recognition. In the long run, the goal is to achieve better attitude and improved performance. Therefore managers should know how to tie recognition, company objectives and individual performance. Connecting behavior with specific behavior helps to drive better performance. For example, your goal as a company is to implement zero accidents in the workplace. Be sure to reward employees for avoiding accidents or coming up with a new system to improve safety. To truly drive behavior and reinforce performance, recognition from superiors should be more than just a few nice words. Superiors, management, team leaders and even the CEO should connect saying thank you (gratitude) with behavior (the purpose). Influencing behavior can boost performance and productivity while boosting morale.

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How To Connect With Employees As A CEO

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Thirty years ago, a CEO’s focus was on customers and profit. Nowadays we know that CEOs have a bigger impact. A good CEO knows that a company is more than just their customers and profits. A good connection with employees is also important to keep productivity and motivation up. CEOs need to connect with employees on a regular basis not only to inspire but also to know what is going on at the company’s most basic level. Here are ways a CEO can connect with his employees.

Social Media

Many CEOs use social media to reach out to their clients and customers in an effort to humanize their company. Why not use the same social media to connect with employees too? Sending a congratulatory tweet to a team or following an employee on Facebook can be very flattering to employees.

To some of them, the boss is on the top floor only accessible to a select few VIPs. Being called to the CEOs office is very rare except maybe if they did something wrong. Social media brings everybody closer together because they are used by all kinds of people. Connect with employees on social media to make yourself more reachable, friendly and more human.

Take Mark Zuckerberg for example. Facebook’s CEO is very accessible to all people on his social media. He shares pictures of his kids and daily activities of their family life. This makes Mr. Zuckerberg seem more relatable, not only to employees but to many people as well.

Family Day

Family day is not only a great way for families to get together on company time (and expense), it is also a good time for the boss to connect with employees. Being called by your boss by your first name can be very gratifying for employees because the CEO remembers you. This simple act of remembering first names can be very inspiring and motivating to employees.

Employees also like to see their boss in casual clothing. To them it makes them look friendly and approachable. You can be surprised how many more employees approach their CEOs when they are seen wearing casual clothing. The friendly setting of family day is also a good way for CEOs and their employees to bond and get to know each other outside the workplace.

One-on-One

Having a one-on-one with the CEO can be very intimidating. What does he want with you anyway?

This is not necessarily true. A good way to get to know employees and make them feel important is to schedule a short one on one. It does not necessarily have to be about work. It can be about getting to know each other or catching up. This has to do with people wanting to feel that they are important. A CEO’s day is full of meeting with important people and spending time with ordinary employees will make them feel special. It is an easy motivational tool that does not cost anything but time

Open Door Policy

An open door policy makes CEOs more accessible to ordinary employees. They understand that a CEO’s time is important but an open door policy also makes them feel welcome. This is one of the reasons why many CEOs prefer to have meetings in a conference room rather than their private offices. This is to ensure that ordinary employees can walk in and talk to them if needed.

The door does not have to be literally open. Just make sure they understand that they can drop in anytime or arrange for an appointment to talk with you.

Share Meetings With Employees

Employees like to know what’s going on in the company. It makes them feel involved and valuable. One of the best ways to make them feel that their contribution is important is to record your meetings and share it with them. Sharing is a good idea because it’s a communication vehicle, it shows employees how decisions are made and it encourages precise thinking, communication that reduces politicking.

Leadership style differs from one CEO to the next. CEOs wear different hats all the time. The key is to remember that employees are the lifeblood of a company and finding ways to keep them motivated is one of the duties of a good CEO.

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