By Amanda Allan, Client Experience Manager, PARC
Women in the new age of work. What does it mean? Research suggests that diverse talent, perspectives and backgrounds are crucial to innovation and new idea development. With companies vying to stay relevant and access new markets, it’s critical for women to be in leadership roles.
Consider some facts:
- More women than ever are choosing either freelance or entrepreneurship.
- Research into future of work shows a rise in freelancing and entrepreneurship in the U.S. More than 11.6 million firms are owned by women. These enterprises employ more than 9 million people and generate more than $1.7 trillion in sales.
- The World Economic Forum estimates that with retraining, 96 percent of the most immediately at-risk U.S. workers would find decent jobs that offer higher wages. What’s more, spending two years to retrain for a new position could to lead to an average annual salary increase of $15,000. This could benefit women most as it could lead to a bump in pay for 74 percent of all currently at-risk women, while offering the same for only 53 percent of men.
Meet the hosts
Rob Biederman, co-founder and CEO of Catalant. This market leader helps companies build an agile workforce, and reimagine the way work gets done. Catalant deploys technology and programs that enable companies to access the talent they need, when they need it, wherever it is.
Toni Clayton-Hine is the chief marketing officer for Xerox. She is responsible for overall marketing strategy, brand management, and increasing awareness, consideration, and demand for the company and its offerings to deliver profitable growth.
- More than 57.3 million people are freelancing in the U.S. The majority of workers will be freelance by 2027. (Upwork.com and Freelancers Union: “Freelancing in America 2017”)
- Technology enables people to work wherever, whenever they please.
- Millennials will make up 75 percent of the global workforce by 2025 (Ernst & Young: “Global Generations”)
- The Global Workspace Association reports a rise in co- working spaces.
Compelling as these facts are, how do you convince busy Silicon Valley executives to give up a precious evening? First, you keep the group small and intimate. Second, cocktails and dinner – ditch the PowerPoint and let the guests do the talking.
PARC: In the business of breakthroughs
PARC, a Xerox company: Learn how PARC creates new business options, accelerates time to market, augments internal capabilities, and reduces risk for their clients.
Innovation at Xerox: The best way to predict the future is to invent it. Here’s what the future looks like, and where it’s being invented.
Xerox Connect reports on innovation: Reports on the innovative Xerox people and the technologies they invent.
“The new age of work” means…
This was not a typical evening of monologues, PowerPoints and over-cooked chicken. Atypically, the attendees seated themselves family style at a single table, in order to facilitate uninterrupted conversations from the cocktail hour – which ran over. (No one complained.)
Information and ideas were shared through actual conversations led by Rob and Toni. Hot topics included:
- What the new age of work actually means to everyone.
- Diversity in the workplace (specifically focusing on age, race and gender.
- Unconscious bias.
- Millennials in the workforce.
- How to keep a workforce connected when work isn’t a physical location any more.
- Work-life balance.
- Flexibility versus mobility.
It’s all about finding good people, and making sure they know you appreciate their talent and contributions. In essence, how do you bring conversations among the heads of business to their employees? Turns out, it’s not difficult at all.
My own talents for this event required attention to a thousand details, any one if which could go sideways at a moment. As such, I planned to work through the event and grab a plate behind the scenes. Toni had other plans.
“Join us at the table,” she said. I could not, and did not, say no. I tossed my dinner plans aside, and work took care of itself. I enjoyed taking my seat at the table for a wonderful dinner with fascinating companions.
Feedback from the attendees shows the event was successful. The Xerox Client Briefing Center at PARC will host others events on various topics, and we will share those insights on this blog.
From the editor: Independent conversations happen around the world. From the United Kingdom, Xerox public relations manager Sonia Panchal posted her thoughts on LinkedIn about the latest Woke Lean In Circle meeting facilitated by worklife balance expert, Anna Meller.
They discussed the value of rewriting the script and your roles in the workplace and at home. “Women say they find it challenging managing home and worklife,” Sonia wrote. “They have concerns that moving into more senior roles will mean more work rather than better and smarter work. It’s time to think differently.”
Sonia is the founder of the Woke LeanIn Circle, bringing together an amazing collective of women who regularly meet to collaborate, learn, grow, and ensure their voices are heard in an evolving workplace. Follow Sonia on LinkedIn.