Prediction 1: LEADERS MUST FOCUS ON DIVERSITY, EQUITY, AND INCLUSION (DEI) TO SOLVE WORKFORCE DISPARITIES

Episode 21.1 December 17, 2020 00:12:54
Prediction 1: LEADERS MUST FOCUS ON DIVERSITY, EQUITY, AND INCLUSION (DEI) TO SOLVE WORKFORCE DISPARITIES
The Edge: A Skillsoft Podcast
Prediction 1: LEADERS MUST FOCUS ON DIVERSITY, EQUITY, AND INCLUSION (DEI) TO SOLVE WORKFORCE DISPARITIES
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Hosted By

Michelle Boockoff-Bajdek

Show Notes

In 2021, leaders must help women re-board into their organizations after the pandemic forced so many to leave work. Skillsoft VP of Global Talent Enablement, Elisa Vincent, explains how, with insights on DEI competencies leaders will need to learn and act upon.

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Episode Transcript

Speaker 0 00:00:01 <inaudible> Speaker 1 00:00:07 Welcome to the edge, a Skillsoft podcast for learners and leaders alike. In every episode, we engage in candid thought provoking conversations on the topic of learning and growth in the workplace. But this, this is different. This episode is one in a special five part series. We're going to be talking to five Skillsoft experts. Each of whom is going to share his or her predictions for the field of learning and development in 2021. Now, to look at the year ahead, you have to take into account what you've seen and experienced in the year. That's about to end and, Oh, wasn't this one, a doozy. I will say it started auspiciously for me. I actually broke my ankle on January 1st, but now let's come back to the industry because I think one thing that we've witnessed is that the learning industry looks a lot different than it did a year ago. Speaker 1 00:00:59 And that's largely because of the pandemic. 2020 was tough. It was full of challenges. It was full of sacrifice and a whole bunch of stress. 2020 was a tough year full of challenges, sacrifice and stress. But I do believe it is important to look for the silver linings. Clearly 2020 has prompted so many of us to question norms, to rethink how we've always done things to grow as people and to speak up when events have called for it. So with 2021, just around the corner, it's imperative, that is champions for learning and growth that we build upon those silver linings and ask the important questions. Like what are the key learning trends that will define 20, 21 and how can organizations act upon them even more? How can we create inclusive, innovative, and safe environments that allow people to learn, grow, and gain access to opportunities? That's what we're going to unpack in these sessions. I hope you enjoy the series. In this episode, we'll be speaking with Elisa, Vincent vice president of global talent enablement for Skillsoft. Who's going to share her 2021 predictions focusing on diversity, equity and inclusion. Welcome Elisa. Um, it's so great to have you here, you know, you and I have done the podcast before, so I'm excited for you to share maybe just a little bit about yourself and your role at Skillsoft for those folks who maybe didn't hear our session before. Speaker 2 00:02:34 Thanks so much, Michelle. I am delighted to be here. So I am vice president of global talent enablement at Skillsoft. And what that means is, um, I work closely with all of you and with my team to empower learners in our organization, um, to help enable our culture and then to help drive business results through our people. And part of that is really about creating that end to end fully integrated experience of diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging for our employees. So I'm delighted to be here with you today. Excited to talk about this topic. Oh, it was fun to look forward to that future. Speaker 1 00:03:15 Oh, and don't, we all really, really, really want to get out of this year and head into 2021. Absolutely. So let's go ahead and dive right in there. Let's share your 20, 21 prediction with our listeners. And look, you can focus on a big theme, one key takeaway, but I do want you to discuss the implications that this prediction has for our leaders and our learners who are listening in. Speaker 2 00:03:40 Great. Thank you. So I have three predictions and, uh, you know, I've been doing this work for quite some time now, 20 plus years, and I believe number one next year, we're going to start seeing these maturity models fading. And what I mean by that is that, you know, we always talk about diversity, equity and inclusion in terms of a maturity model where our organizations on a scale of foundational to completely innovative and how are we measuring KPIs and what I believe we're going to see more and hear more of in the coming year and beyond is this, this language of a journey. So we are all on a journey as individuals who make up organizations and as organizations themselves. So we're going to be talking about individuals, about leaders, about organizations as these living, breathing entities, these rich ecosystems that all are on their own journey. Speaker 2 00:04:37 And part of this diversity equity and inclusion conversation is going to shift from just training and programs to really, how do we dissolve get rid of eliminate systemic bias, racism, sexism, and all of those things that continue to plague our social structures, our workplaces, our communities, all of them. So we're going to hear so experts, but more importantly, within our organizations, regardless of size, we all have a role in responsibility in being able to do this. And we're going to be talking about being gentle with ourselves, gracious with ourselves, acknowledging and being realistic about where we are in these journeys and how we can move forward in a strategic and smart way so that we don't, you know, build expectations for ourselves that aren't realistic, but that we stay focused one step at a time. I also think Michelle, if I, if I can move on to number two here, that whenever we think about diversity equity and inclusion, we always talk about leadership competencies, right? Speaker 2 00:05:42 I mean, how many times have we talked about inclusive leadership and needing to train all leaders on inclusive leadership, diversity awareness, unconscious bias, but what we're going to see moving forward. And what we've learned through COVID is that our lives have disrupted and there's both challenge and opportunity there. The challenge is in our digital space. And so when I think about, you know, how we talk about diversity and inclusion, and we include the word equity in there, and we were studying, um, anti-racism and belonging and, you know, true cultural transformation, we're going to see leadership competencies such as digital dexterity, um, unconscious bias and awareness of, of, um, implicit bias, right in, um, machine learning through artificial intelligence and how we need to be able to have a common theme in thread of DEI as we've come to call it throughout all of our leadership competencies, strategic planning, digital leadership, not just empathy and ETQ, which we will continue to see on the, on the uprise. Speaker 2 00:06:47 And we're going to be talking more and more about, and, you know, not just talking about how to build these competencies through training, but how to build awareness and how to build those core learning experiences. So you can talk to me all about my bias, um, and what types of bias I have, but it is through stories of other people it's through access and exposure and having those conversations that I'm really going to start to build my awareness. So we're going to see more and more of that. And the last thing Michelle really is we'd be remissed if we didn't talk about the mass Exodus of women in the workforce in the United States, um, especially, um, during COVID and our responsibilities to not only help our children learn from home learned in hybrid models. Um, but in September alone we saw 617,000 women leaving the workplace in the United States and 78,000 men versus 78,000 men. Speaker 2 00:07:48 And so it is going to be on our organizations moving forward to think about how we can bring those women back, continue to diversify, not only our C-suites, but every structure in our organization and build those re-entry opportunities and programs that help women continue to bring the rigor that they bring to the workplace and to help them continue to advance and grow our concern with these predictions. Right. When we see these numbers is that women are taking a step, a step back and out of the workplace, um, and we're diluting their impact and their potential for career growth. So that is another trend that I think we're going to be continuing to talk about more and more in the coming year. How can we do that effectively, Speaker 1 00:08:34 Lisa, thank you so much for that. And I want to touch on that last one for just one more moment, if we can come back to it, you know, when you think about this Exodus of women or, or the concern that we have, that women are leaving the workplace at, um, more than what almost three times, no more than three times men, um, what guidance would you give organizations, your counterparts out there in terms of how they can, what they can start doing now to help, you know, turn this tide. So Speaker 2 00:09:07 I think it starts with acknowledging the reality and investing in what many of us are calling, which is extreme listening and helping leaders build that capacity as well. We all need to continue to grow our businesses. We all need to continue to keep up with the pace of all of this change that we're experiencing, but I encourage organizations. I encourage chief learning officers and encourage all of us who work in the human capital space to help leaders in the organization, listen to their employees and ask the right questions. Right. We can see each other now on video, we can see, you know, each other's faces, who's tired. Who's not tired, not making assumptions, but asking questions, how are you doing? How can I help? What does your Workday look like? What are your home responsibilities? And it goes back also to this conversation about bias. Speaker 2 00:10:03 What biases do we have ingrained? You know, are we talking about our families and our caregiving responsibilities? Are we able to say openly in a conference call, I tested positive for COVID and I'm healing. You know, so it is organizations during the difficult work of asking questions, listening and creating those safe spaces where employees can talk about how their personal and work and professional lives are coming together. I think Michelle gone are the days of work-life balance gone are the days even of work-life integration. I think more and more as organizations, we need to build understanding awareness in structure for this delicate dance that we all have to do on a daily basis. There's also some pure, um, technical and, and human capital HR, um, things that we should be doing. And that is making sure that everybody has equal access to technology, making sure that people are aware of the benefits that they have available to them, that they can take advantage of without stigma and without ramifications, um, and across the organization. Speaker 2 00:11:12 Um, and also offering wellness programs. We are going to continue to see wellness programs, um, rising in organizations and in, in organizational leaders really needing to invest and provide their employees with the time to be able to, to do that. And then it is also about when someone has to take a leave when someone feels that they need to take some time off, being able to coach them, we invest millions of dollars, um, in the onboarding and pre-boarding industry as organizations. We just need to flip how we think about that and look at that and think about how we reward those that need to take leave. Thank you again, Elisa Speaker 1 00:11:54 For sharing your 20, 21 predictions. And there you have it. One of the five predictions that will shape and define the field of learning and development in 2021. Boy, I can't wait to see how this unfolds and I encourage you to check out the other four predictions in our special edition series of the edge podcast. I'd like to thank our Skillsoft guests for taking the time to join me here today and share their visions and to our listeners. Thank you for tuning into this. And every episode as we unleash our edge together on behalf of the entire Skillsoft team, we encourage you to keep learning and keep growing. And in light of our conversation today, look ahead to 2021. Think about these predictions and make a game plan for how you're going to contribute to a new game changing era for the learning and development field. I'm Michelle BB. This is the edge Speaker 3 00:12:44 <inaudible>.

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