THE FUTURE OF WOMEN AT WORK A WIDENING DIGITAL DIVIDE January 2019
Natalie Jameson The Heroworx Institute â&#x20AC;&#x201C; Equipping women Legacy Leaders to Lead Differently, Create Collaboratively, Grow Sustainably in the digital age. theheroworx.com
TABLE OF CONTENTS Executive Summary The Digital Divide Puts Women’s Jobs at Risk
Is Your Business Ready to Leverage Your Female Talent in this Technological Challenge? 4 The Digital Gender Divide
Today’s Digital Landscape Lacks Gender Diversity
Lack of Gender Diversity Equals Poor Tech-Driven Growth Opportunities
The Effect of Automation on Female Job Displacement
The Threat of a Digital Skills Shortage Among Women
Current Initiatives to Bridge the Digital Gender Divide “Extracurricular” & Tech Literacy Initiatives that Include Women
The Need to Shift Corporate Investment Towards Training Female Staff
Businesses Need to Harness Female Talent to Thrive in the Digital Economy
Improve Diversity-Led Profitability Through Board Augmentation with Future Fit Female Talent on Boards and as Non-Executive Directors 12 Empowering Female Staff to Use Technology to Design Their Lives
Teaching Women to Build Collective Intelligence and Big Data Views
Empowering Women through Systematic Lifelong Learning
Preparing Female Tech Leaders with Critical Analysis Skills
Leveraging Ethical Purpose-Alignment for Meaningful Tech and Work Motivation
Digitising Non-Tech Jobs by Replacing Fear of Failure with Design Thinking
About The Heroworx Institute ( HI school for Legacy LeadHERs)
Sources and References
Executive Summary AI and automation are changing the employment and skills market in unprecedented ways. With technology displacing routine and repetitive tasks, a promising prospect emerges: we can be free to apply our emotional, moral and creative abilities — the very capacities that make us human. What is more, these technological developments present an opportunity to reverse the trends of climate change, poverty and inequality. Engaging with these issues makes commercial sense: consumers and employees increasingly expect business to take the lead in driving social and environmental change — especially where government regulation is absent or inadequate. But there are challenges and risks associated with these technological advancements, too.
The Digital Divide Puts Women’s Jobs at Risk 1
The World Economic Forum predicts that by 2026, technology will replace 1.4 million jobs in the US alone. With 57% of these jobs being held by women, a significant part of the 2
female workforce is facing the threat of technological displacement. If no action is taken, these women are faced with the prospects of long-term unemployability, an inability to contribute to the development of society as well as decreased societal status and income mobility. Such negative outcomes would not just affect women: they represent lost opportunities for all of humankind. The so-called diversity dividend — the untapped value of women in STEM — is estimated at an additional $28 trillion, or 26 percent of global GDP by 2025.
Is Your Business Ready to Leverage Your Female Talent in the Digital Economy? This white paper sets out the conditions and requirements that will enable businesses to emerge as leaders in these volatile and complex circumstances: 1. Diverse development and use of technology in the digital economy: equal representation and influence of women. 2. Fostering female entrepreneurship and intrapreneurship; removing barriers to entrepreneurial thinking. 3. Change management and training to equip women with the skills and problemsolving competency needed in a digital workplace. 4. Leveraging female strengths for purpose-driven business and economic development that creates wealth, improves quality of life and gives access to knowledge for humankind as a whole â&#x20AC;&#x201D; not just the privileged few.
The Digital Gender Divide The term ‘Digital Divide’ describes a gap in access to and usage of information and communication technology. Originally applied to the question of having or not having access 4
to technology, the term is now more generally applied to digital skills: those lacking such 5
skills are destined to become more and more disadvantaged as digitalisation progresses. As disruptive change is affecting business models, jobs are displaced, and a new labour market emerges. These trends and drivers of change risk sustaining or increasing other existing, gendered inequalities. Their roots lie in many ‘offline’ issues, such as poverty, gender discrimination 6
and old-fashioned gender stereotypes, discouraging women from participating in the world 7
of technology from a young age.
Today’s Digital Landscape Lacks Gender Diversity “When engineer Debbie Sterling walked into an all-male business incubator workshop with her product prototype covered on a tray, their first thought was to ask her if she had baked them some cookies.”
Representation and inclusion of women in technology are disproportionately low: in 2015, women were found to make up only 4% of the developer population in the UK and account for just 16% of the IT sector. Today, coders are primarily men; hardware development and invention are dominated by men; only 11% of engineers and 12% of IT and digital technology workers are women.
Only 10% of executives and managers in technology companies and industries are female.
Studies have also shown that, as the seniority of roles within technology rises, the rate of gender equality plummets. While more women may be coming into tech at the ground level (19%), the rate drops off at the senior level (16%) and drops to almost half at C-suite and executive level (that depressing 10%).
As a result, the technologies that govern our daily lives tend to represent the view of men, rather than women. Especially in the UK and US, ‘bro culture’, unconscious biases and a potential lack of understanding of their female users can lead to women being alienated and potentially designed out of some technological systems altogether. They don’t form part of 11
important tech networks and are not given the same opportunities. Debbie Sterling, engineer, 12
founder and CEO of GoldieBlox, gives a practical example of such unconscious bias: when she walked into an all-male business incubator workshop with her product prototype covered on a tray, their first thought was to ask her if she had baked them some cookies. Male bias 13
has also been reported to occur in the development of cures and administering medical trials in clinical studies. And some believe that if menstruation affected both men and women, 14
products and pain relief technology would have advanced more significantly.
Lack of Gender Diversity Equals Poor Tech-Driven Growth Opportunities
There are compelling reasons for increasing women’s presence in developing technology and innovation.
This lack of gender diversity seriously limits industry’s commercial potential. Women are powerful consumers: they influence 83% of all consumer spending and control 27% of the 16
world’s wealth. They also make wide use of tech products, and half of all gamers are 18
If businesses want to maximise their commercial potential and address the full range of human needs and desires, they need to take a holistic view of the diverse values held by their target audiences. A study by Struch, Schwartz and van der Kloot shows that men perceive ‘success’ more in 20
terms of self-development and personal accomplishments, whereas women include their family in their definition of success. Men associate the value ‘healthy’ with family and national security, whereas women associate it with happiness, a comfortable life, and pleasure. Women have also been found to hold more empathetic, generous and egalitarian values, and they’re more likely to show care-based moral reasoning.
In terms of workplace values, male workers place more importance on pay, benefits, authority, status and power than do female workers. Women’s highest workplace values tend to be relationships, respect, communication, fairness, equity, collaboration and work–family balance. Interestingly, men do not tend to be especially aware of the factors that women value, and women tend to overestimate to what extent men value money, status and power.
Just as equal participation of women on corporate boards is proven to increase customer 23
reach and profits, there are compelling reasons for increasing women’s presence in developing technology and innovation. A more equal participation of women in technology would likely result in discoveries, progressions and developments that share more of the typically feminine values, and thus appeal more to a female user base.
The Effect of Automation on Female Job Displacement
Without embracing “digital” across society, large groups of citizens will struggle to find employment and inclusion in the workforce of the future.
While the majority of the disruption caused by new technologies has so far been focussed on the manufacturing sector, the 2017 Deloitte Human Capital Trends Survey found that 41% 24
of companies in all industries have fully implemented or have made significant progress in adopting cognitive technologies, AI and Robotics. 67% of employees believe they must continuously re-skill themselves to stay in their career, and 58% believe they will have a new career within five years. Some roles in these areas may cease to be carried out by humans altogether. An empirical study at Oxford University found the following roles 98% likely to be automated: 25
● Bookkeeping clerks ● Accounting clerks ● Auditing clerks ● Legal secretaries
● Credit analysts ● Mathematical technicians ● New accounts clerks Popular career choices for women will thus be among the worst hit by the wave of displacement coming to professional services, financial services, customer services, administration and clerical roles.
Technology may destroy jobs in some markets; it can be a job creator in others: Cybersecurity, social media, user experience design, AI and ride-sharing apps — and the jobs of their creators — have all come about in the last 10 years. That trend will likely continue as technology evolves. To be able to benefit from these new jobs, women will need to retrain, upskill and get ready for this changed work environment. Without embracing “digital”, women will struggle to find employment and inclusion in the workforce of the future.
Defining displacement in tech is the subject of an interesting project at the Federation a coop socially conscious working collective. The project is being led by Social Impact consultancy Noisy Crickets Founder Lauren Coulman is the subject of an ongoing co-created social impact project underpinned by a body of research from the likes of Kainos , Open Data Manchester , Thoughtworks and Hyper Island . Heroworx founders among others are helping to shape a tool to guide developers, designers and leaders to consider tech ethics their processes. The team welcome contributors and you can get involved by emailing email@example.com and following the blog at http://www.thefederation.coop/news/defining-displacement-in-tech. 27
The Threat of a Digital Skills Shortage Among Women
Those unfilled jobs are not just a simple staffing issue; they’re a matter of national security, caused by the lack of digital skills in this area.
99% of new jobs being created now require digital skills. As a result, digital skills 33
increasingly define social mobility; those who have no access to computers, the internet or other forms of IT are at risk of falling behind. The UK in particular is facing a digital skills crisis: an estimated 12.6 million adults lack the basic digital skills needed to cope in our modern society, and 5.8 million adults have never used the internet at all. Especially women are often reticent to pick up new technologies and 34
digital skills and therefore at greater risk of unemployment and lack of social mobility. 35
Cisco estimates that more than 1 million security jobs worldwide are unfilled. (ISC)2 reports 36
that women currently represent only 11 percent of cybersecurity professionals. Those 37
unfilled cybersecurity jobs are not just a simple staffing issue; they’re a matter of national security, caused by the lack of digital skills in this area.
Current Initiatives to Bridge the Digital Gender Divide The current women in leadership training marketplace is characterised by generic programmes which tend to focus on the confidence gap rather than preparing women to lead in the future of the digital enterprise. They do not prepare female talent with a digital mindset or the specific skills they need for the future of work.
Women will fall behind when technology is outpacing skills and organisations are not keeping up. A number of attempts have been made to counteract these problems. 38
“Extracurricular” & Tech Literacy Initiatives that Include Women
Megan Smith was the 3rd Chief Technology Officer of the United States and Assistant to the President, serving under President Barack Obama. She’s also a former vice president at Google. Her big vision is for every child, including girls, to be able to code. For students to 39
be able to understand the technology that they use every day, they need access to those building blocks from an early age. In a similar vein, Microsoft has set up youth hubs to support the disadvantaged in developing their digital skills for the workforce. In these areas, young people reported a 90% improvement in their technology skills, while 87% felt more confident to pursue a digital career and 88% showed improvements in motivation, responsibility and resilience.
In Manchester and across the country, a number of tech meetups cater for people at all skill levels from learner to ‘digital jedi’. For example, 0161codepen is an informal, all-black, female-led beginners’ coding collective operating on an #eachoneteachone basis. Another 41
such collective is stackofpancakes, where beginners can learn and share the basic skills 42
needed to build a website. There are also a number of mentored programs emerging which is promising. Code First Girls works with companies and women to increase the numbers of 43
women in tech, Codebar mentors only share their coding skills 'toolbox' but practical 44
knowledge of how, where and when to use each 'tool'. Code Up which is an adult version of 45
the kid focussed Code Club, providing free and friendly adult coding tuition. Code Your Future an impact-led coding school for refugees. There are few on the horizon including 46
diversity in tech advocates Kirsty Devlin’s and Anna Holland-Smith's 'Recode' which 47
launches in Spring 2019. Recode is based in Bolton and will provide 500 adult students to go all in a free three-month intensive coding boot-camp. These are all important initiatives which should be modelled and replicated on a much bigger scale if they are to have a wide and lasting effect on the British workforce. More also has to be done to specifically attract, retain and retrain women into positions of influence, drive sustainable organisational change, design out bias and equip women thrive in the digital age. The current female leadership training marketplace is characterised by generic programmes which tend to focus on the confidence gap rather than preparing women to lead in the future of the digital enterprise. They do not prepare female talent with a digital mindset or the specific skills they need for the future of work.
The Need to Shift Corporate Investment Towards Training Female Staff According to the Deloitte survey cited above, 50% of companies adopting robotics are retraining their workers to work side-by-side with machines. At the moment, training initiatives are still lacking in professional services, financial services, customer services, administration and clerical roles — traditionally popular career choices for women.
It seems probable that at least some of their inaction is due to uncertainty: which skills will their talent need? For what kinds of jobs should employees retrain? And what type of training promises to be effective?
Only when we embrace the fact that the future is not a destination we can prepare for in detail — but rather, a period of continuous, accelerating and disruptive change — can we devise the training that will foster the necessary skills and mindsets.
Businesses Need to Harness Female Talent to Thrive in the Digital Economy
Being able to synthesise and utilise collective ideas from teams, data, systems and methods across functions borders and organisations is a vital success factor.
19% of organisations see their lack of agility (particularly in the digital realm) as their biggest failing point — and yet, do nothing about it. This is partly because leadership is not aware of 51
what their workforce needs in order to deliver a future-proof business strategy. It’s a company’s people who hold the key to a technologically enhanced future. The female 52
workforce of the future will need to embrace digital skills, learn to systematically learn, use
creative problem-solving skills in a design-oriented way and have an understanding of how technology can further one’s goals.
Improve Diversity-Led Profitability Through Board Augmentation with Future Fit Female Talent on Boards and as Non-Executive Directors Augmented diversity through Non-Executive Directors (NEDs) is a feasible and easily implemented way to achieve diversity at board level. Professionally equipped female NEDs would introduce a system of ‘checks and balances’ that includes and embraces perspectives of both genders, and thus help prevent faux pas based on unconscious biased — resulting in better risk management and return maximization. Universities and professionally accredited organisations such as NED on Board could partner to provide future-board skills 53
programmes that give rise to female digital leaders and directors.
Empowering Female Staff to Use Technology to Design Their Lives
The development of the ‘gig economy’ has given rise to the portfolio career, built on people’s new-found ability to combine several interests into one productive livelihood. #portfoliopower
Forrester Research predicts that today's workers will hold twelve to fifteen jobs in their 54
lifetime. Building creative problem skills will help to open up such nonlinear career paths. The development of the ‘gig economy’ has given rise to the portfolio career, built on people’s new-found ability to combine several interests into one productive livelihood. Thanks to technology-enabled flexible working, the number of working women with dependent children has gone up by one million in the last two decades, according to official figures for England 55
alone. Positive developments like these are contingent on companies embracing technology, employee autonomy, a mindset of trust and flexible ways of working as a win-win for both employer and employee. Only when men and women are equally empowered to design the way they wish to balance their working and family lives will both genders be able to break
through stereotypes. For women to contribute fully to the digital future, using flexible ways of working to share equal responsibility for life outside of work has to become the “new normal”.
Teaching Women to Build Collective Intelligence and Big Data Views One of the internet’s biggest achievements is opening up a borderless world of collaborative possibilities. Being able to synthesise and utilise collective ideas from teams, data, systems and methods across functions borders and organisations is a vital success factor. The ability to successfully and harmoniously harness the ‘crowd’ and create objective collective intelligence brings a significant strategic advantage.
Empowering Women through Systematic Lifelong Learning
Digital skills training, workshops and continued development are vital components of making teams fit for the future.
It’s impossible to predict the factual learning requirements in order to thrive in perpetual, radical, continuous and accelerating change. Far more important to learn to adapt to change, continuously seek new input and embrace complexity. In the next era of work, the most consistently successful people will be those who can use repeatable innovation and problemsolving processes.
But distinct digital skills requirements exist, too. According to NESTA, the five most 58
promising digital skills in the future will be: 1. animation 2. multimedia production 3. design in engineering 4. building and maintaining IT systems and networks and 5. research and quantitative data analysis.
In contrast, 1. invoice processing and management of accounts using accounting software 2. data input and preparation of payroll and tax reports 3. clerical duties (e.g. typing, using a word processor, spreadsheets, email and calendar software) 4. sales support and processing of orders in sales management systems and 5. stock and inventory management using inventory control systems are listed as the five least promising digital skills. Thus, digital skills training, workshops and continued development are vital components of making women fit for the future. These could be in blended form to account for different learning styles, e.g. live training, immersive, face-to-face training, online courses, video instruction, as well as live one-to-one mentoring. A blended full-time or part-time approach should be offered to fit around busy schedules. To make such training a success, it should be delivered by female mentors who have experienced the learnersâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; reality â&#x20AC;&#x201D; but, after breaking through the learning barriers themselves, transitioned into a tech field from a non-tech background, or became digital entrepreneurs.
One of the pitfalls of generic training consists of learners struggling to link abstract concepts to their concrete jobs and tasks. Even though many courses feature real-world examples, it is still more effective to work on an actual project such as a side-business or mini project for their employers. Not only does this provide the learner with the opportunity to immediately relate what they are learning with a clear actionable goal; businesses can also realise an immediate positive effect on their culture, effectiveness and employee happiness.
Preparing Female Tech Leaders with Critical Analysis Skills
The simplest foray into critical thinking is to ask questions; a type of behaviour not all teams and companies encourage in their staff.
Critical Analysis is the foundation that brings Science, Humanities and Arts education together to change STEM into STEAM and allows us to form a rational — sometimes sceptical —, unbiased evaluation of the factual evidence before us. While related to lifelong learning, promoting critical analysis is more dependent on corporate culture. Both our personal and our working lives present all of us with a huge amount of complex data to analyse and judge every day. To meet this challenge, we must harness our ability to think critically and without bias. The simplest foray into critical thinking is to ask challenging questions; a type of behaviour not all teams and companies encourage in their staff, and which women tend to practice less than men.
Overcoming bias is another important facet of Critical Analysis. Academics are in agreement that one of the best ways to counteract the influence and subjective nature of social conditioning and the mass media (and thus, bias) is to read books ‘backwards in time’ — starting with those printed in the last 10 years and going back to literature produced 2,000 years ago. An on-site fiction library presents a simple and inexpensive way for businesses to 61
open all their employees’ minds to alternative ways of experiencing the world.
Leveraging Ethical Purpose-Alignment for Meaningful Tech and Work Motivation In line with the growing ‘purpose at work’ and ‘purposeful work’ cultures and the rise of the double bottom line, most employees of the millennial generation want their careers to be a 62
catalyst for change. The United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDG or Global Goals) are a set of 17 directives to be completed by 2030, with the aim of significantly improving quality of life for all people on Earth. By aligning a business with one or more of the 17 Global Goals, staff 63
can identify as ‘change makers’ — which helps to integrate more typically female values into company culture.
Digitising Non-Tech Jobs by Replacing Fear of Failure with Design Thinking Design Thinking can future-proof the entire business or even industry, not least because it embraces failure as a necessary part of the problem-solving process.
Design Thinking is a method for evidence-based creativity that uses a set of proven and 64
repeatable protocols, thinking paradigms, tools and techniques to understand the root of a human need and its connection to a business need â&#x20AC;&#x201D; before starting to develop solutions. This methodology offers actionable pathways based on knowing the right questions to ask. Time is allowed for collaborative, divergent and convergent idea generation to trigger real innovation as opposed to regurgitation. Only after a period of research and discovery can capabilities or collective resources be used effectively to solve a problem. Far from being the exclusive property of designers, Design Thinking is used by innovators in fields such as architecture, literature, art, music, science, engineering and business. It works for all types of organizations, from big ones like Apple and Google who have embedded design thinking in their day-to-day operations, to small brick-and-mortar retailers. Once teams can use the power of empathy-based design thinking, they turn into agile adaptable problem solvers who can take an entrepreneurial approach to solving problems across industries and traditional boundaries. Not only does this serve to future-proof their own careers â&#x20AC;&#x201D; which is especially important for women at risk of displacement. Design Thinking can also future-proof the entire business or even industry, not least because it embraces failure as a necessary part of the problem-solving process. While women have traditionally suffered from perfectionism , accepting failures as part of 65
the normal process would allow them to develop an entrepreneurial mindset and push forward in these times of uncertainty. According to a recent survey, 94% of millennials 66
believe that entrepreneurial education is important, with 72% of college students being interested in an entrepreneurial education, despite two-thirds having no entrepreneurial training or education at all. Companies that integrate Design Thinking into their standard
practices therefore increase their ability to leverage womenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s contributions while making themselves more attractive to the young, digitally aware workforce.
Conclusion As the labour market continues towards emerging roles in digital technologies and engineering-related fields, women are at particular risk of losing out on tomorrow’s best job opportunities. The pace of technology will increase this gap even further, and today’s female talent is in danger of irreversibly falling behind. In the context of future skills needed for the digital economy, there is a noticeable lack of tailored training to address this digital gender divide. Unless this gap is addressed, individual businesses as well as society and the economy at large will feel the negative effects. Achievement of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals relies on the full participation of all to reverse the trends of climate change, poverty and inequality. The effect of a reducing diversity dividend is detrimental to the economy, society and the planet.
If, however, we take action now to empower women through widespread retraining and flexible working conditions, we will be able to reverse the digital gender gap trends. We can create a collective tipping point that elevates talented women into positions of impact in the digital economy. Let’s write a significant verse in the book of gender parity together. Book a career strategy call by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org today to find out more and or attend a workshop/ leadership development program.
About The Heroworx Institute ( H.I. School for Legacy LeadHers) The Heroworx Institute is a training and development company. We equip talented emerging and experienced women to uncover with their core purpose, joy and teach them the skills to develop a leadership practice to secure lifelong financial wellness, work flexibility and contribute to a sustainably developed economy and world in the digital age. The program supports project-based learning with coaching, goal tracking and e-learning. Heroworx’s mission is to educate, empower and position women to lead social and economic change in the digital era. H.I. School offers career strategy sessions, workshops and seminar. The core program is a six step 9-month blended learning leadership training program called F.U.T.U.R.E Legacy ‘Lead-Her’, which is aligned to the 17 U.N. Global Goals for a sustainably developed world by 2030. Delivered by a consortium of passionate teachers who are digital enterprise stars in their own right, including Entrepreneurs, Tedx speakers, Digital Designers, Artists, Scientists, Ph.Ds., MBAs, Authors and Software developers who are all dedicated to empowering women to release the 28 trillion of untapped social and economic value into our world. Unless we retain and retrain women in all stages of the corporate pipeline, we will never reach gender parity. By teaching women to think digital and embrace design-thinking they can release more value in their lives, the workplace and our world. With the help of www.B1G1.com community we are building a new paradigm in further education. We envision physical and virtual universities developing female Legacy LeadHers and girls all over the world. Founders - The Heroworx Institute Natalie Jameson – CEO and Founding Member of The Heroworx Institute - a multidisciplinary business women, best-selling co-author, diversity advocate and tech4good mentor. She gets up in the morning to help women uncover their purpose and then empowers them to release their value into their lives, their work and into our world. Natalie’s hybrid education of business, finance and sustainable interior architecture has enabled her to build an extensive portfolio career and steer it through, two children, four industries and 5 countries (often as the only women).
Her teachings include experiences from Mergers, Acquisitions Funding, Architecture, and Start Up Healthcare. The final piece of the jigsaw and inspiration to starting Heroworx, was heading up the UK finance arm of a Food Industry digital transformation team at the tech giant Siemens Plc. The closer she got to the technology shaping our world and saw how unrepresented women and minority groups were, the louder the call for action got. Connect at www.linkedin.com/in/natheroworx , https://authorcentral.amazon.co.uk/gp/profile , email@example.com 07872 569324 , https://www.instagram.com/natheroworx/ njc02design twitter
Annie Mbako - Programme Director of The Heroworx Institute and a super-connector with a passion for embracing and embedding diversity in organisations fuelled by her upbringing in multicultural communities. In the 10 years of her career in Investment Operations and Client Services, Annie was awarded with numerous accolades for leading company-wide initiatives on Diversity and Inclusion. Her current projects and ambitions lie within the #tech4good space as she pivots her career for the second time. www.linkedin.com/in/annietheheroworx firstname.lastname@example.org 07737977017â&#x20AC;Š
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