The news about U.S. women’s presence in the C-suite — and especially the CEO job — has been pretty bleak. Nationwide, fewer than 5% of CEOs of public companies are women. In the Fortune 500, that number fell by 25% from 2017 to 2018, dipping from 32 (6.4%) to 24 (4.8%), before rising back in 2019. To hire a female CEO, a public company’s board of directors must identify qualified women to be included in the candidate pool. The historical pattern has been to require that candidates have prior CEO experience. This, of course, creates an obvious problem: Because there are so few female CEOs, there are few female candidates in a public company’s talent pool. HBR’s data suggests corporate boards have been finding a creative way out of this chicken-and-egg dilemma. Specifically, they seem to have relaxed the prior-CEO-experience requirement for women and are using prior corporate board service as a proxy qualification. HBR
The National Association of Manufacturers is the latest organization to sign President Trump’s Pledge to America’s Workers, with manufacturers committing to provide training opportunities to more than 1 million manufacturing workers over the next five years to address the industry’s skills gap crisis. The Pledge, which is enthusiastically endorsed by SHRM (causing a firestorm of backlash from liberal HR pros angry to be partnering with this president) asks companies and trade groups nationwide to commit to expand programs that educate, train, and reskill American workers from high school age to near retirement. For NAM, it’s about demonstrating their commitment to employees, giving them the opportunity to learn, grow, and take on new challenges. PR Newswire
Democratic presidential candidate Andrew Yang is proposing his version of universal basic income: $1,000 for every American, every month. He’s not the only one who thinks it’s a good idea. Elon Musk, Mark Zuckerberg, and Richard Branson are all advocates of the idea. What would it mean for business in America? Economic stimulation for one thing. But it would also profoundly impact HR. According to Motley Fool, 60% of people are unhappy in their jobs. (Ouch.) With a cool $1,000 guaranteed every month, they’d have the freedom to look for something they’d like better. It would be easier for people to take risks and explore new things, knowing they have a safety net. Yes, it might lead to a lot of turnover, but HR’s job would be so much easier if more than half the cubicles weren’t filled with people phoning it in. Inc.
Today, artificial intelligence and automation is largely invisible to employees. According to a new survey of IT managers published in Workflow Quarterly, 64% estimate that work processes in their organization are predominantly automated. But in a broader accompanying survey only 27% of workers said that work processes in their company are predominantly automated. There’s a gap between how much automation may actually be powering a company and what employees perceive. That may be because workplace automation is largely under the radar, just like in our consumer life. Perhaps this is why, while the term automation has been used for almost 75 years, Tom Davenport reports that digital workflows is a better description of how automation shows up in the workplace. Increasingly, digital workflows show up as smart machines working side by side with smart people, shifting the focus of human workers from repetitive tasks to more analytical ones. Forbes
Interesting think piece by Deloitte this week about why these trend-of-the-month office redesign fads like open plan (please, for the love of Les Nessman, no) and “hoteling,” in which nobody has assigned desks and it’s like musical chairs each morning trying to find a place to sit and do your work, have, for the most part, spectacularly failed. Deloitte found that quick decisions based on fads wear thin and become dated, leaders are making these decisions without taking the pulse of people who will actually be using the space, and they don’t articulate the reasons and benefits for the change. HR needs to take the lead here since disastrous office redesign ultimately becomes HR’s problem, because it affects the morale, productivity, teamwork, sense of security and privacy, and ultimately happiness of the entire workforce. Deloitte Insights