Humankind has innovated so many remarkable achievements - from eradicating disease to walking on the moon - that it’s unfathomable it has taken so long to achieve gender equality.
At Deloitte, we not only have a global commitment to accelerate women into leadership roles but, in line with SDG 5, our WorldClass initiative aims to support 10 million girls and women in India by 2030 through education and skills development. All across the globe, Deloitte has set measurable commitments to gender inclusion internally and externally to do our part toward closing the gender pay gap.
We are committed to holding ourselves accountable through initiatives like these, but there is still much more for us to do to create sustained change - the findings highlighted in this article plainly underscore that fact. Let’s make gender equality a crowning human achievement.
This report’s findings speak for themselves: where there is higher representation from women, businesses succeed and innovation thrives.
Deloitte global member firms have made commitments to gender inclusion. Our partnership with Girls Who Code funds scholarships to close the gender gap in technology. And in India, our WorldClass program aims to support 10 million girls and women by 2030 through education and skills development.
But that’s just the start. Businesses must continuously and thoughtfully engage on issues of gender inclusion in order to truly succeed.
In each industrial revolution, it is true that certain jobs are eliminated, but it is also true that other jobs are created – that is, it is not always a zero-sum game. Organizations with a strong sense of purpose beyond just the bottom-line are those that tend to navigate these transitions well.
At Deloitte, we see technology as augmenting human work, not completely replacing it. Our WorldClass initiative aims to empower 50 million people to succeed in a rapidly changing global economy by 2030 through education and skills development.
Businesses – working alongside policymakers, education organizations, civil society and others – must be ready to help mitigate any job displacements to ensure a more inclusive future of work.
It is critical that young women and girls see role models when they look at STEM career paths. At Deloitte, women lead at all levels, and we are aiming to triple the number of female partners by 2030. We provide mentorship to young women globally through our WorldClass program – everywhere from Luxembourg, where WorldClass helps women overcome entry barriers in the financial industry, to India, where the program aims to support 10 million girls and women by 2030 through education and skills development. We all can and should do more.
Policymakers, economists and others are right to be concerned about the impact of new technologies, like AI, on people’s jobs. They must begin to plan now for a world where much work will be substantially augmented by new technologies. And business must step up to help. At Deloitte, we are focused on helping people succeed in this new world of work through global initiatives such as WorldClass, which aims to prepare 50 million futures for a world of opportunity through education and skills development. If business acts proactively, it can help mold the future of work—one that is inclusive, ethical and offers opportunity for all.
Creating 10 million new jobs a year just to keep pace with the potential workforce is one side of the coin—the other is job readiness. While it’s good news the Fourth Industrial Revolution has accelerated the digitization of India’s economy and is creating new jobs, the fact is, workers need the right skills in order to fill these roles. And there’s some debate about how they’ll develop those skills. In our latest Millennial Survey (launching next month) global respondents said business has the greatest responsibility for preparing workers, followed by educational institutions. (Government actually bore the least responsibility in the eyes of millennial and GenZ workers.) If business does its part, we can change the course of humanity—and the time is now.
It’s clear that Industry 4.0 technologies like AI are already transforming the workplace. As we begin to address its impact on the workforce and the growing skills gap, a critical question comes to mind: Who bears the responsibility of reskilling? Does the onus lie solely with business? In our latest Industry 4.0 research, surveyed executives ranked government and individuals as having the most responsibility for preparing workers. Yet eight out of 10 respondents in our 2018 Millennial Survey suggested that the onus rested with business. In order to effectively prepare the workforce for the future, individuals, educators, business, and government should collaborate and rise to the challenge. Business must also embrace the growing trend of "employer as educator.
In June, my colleague Sharon Thorne will become the first woman to lead the Deloitte Global Board of Directors. This is a major milestone in Deloitte’s history—but I’m more excited about what it means for our future. As the article states, if the tone at the top isn’t being set by the board, more likely than not it’s not being set further down—a potentially fatal flaw for businesses. Our millennial research shows a strong correlation between employee loyalty and perceptions of workforce diversity. In other words, diversity—at all levels—is key to loyalty. It’s not just the right thing to do, it’s good for business.
As we navigate Industry 4.0, it is clear that much has changed, particularly the expectations of business when it comes to social impact. In our recent survey of C-suite leaders, they ranked societal impact as the most important factor when evaluating their organization’s annual performance, outranking even financial performance. Yet some also struggled with the reconciliation of societal impact and profit. Despite uncertainties, this article is spot on: Social impact is the future of business. Exploring our ever-changing business environment through the lens of positive impact will create the opportunity for new revenue streams, differentiation in the marketplace and ultimately allow organizations to do well by doing good.
Not only are these young leaders ditching traditional models in the workplace—but this rings true in their personal lives too. Our next Millennial survey, coming out in May, suggests that many cultural and social norms—like marriage and mortgages—are being abandoned. Perhaps the disruption they’ve experienced while growing up and entering adulthood has been so profound that it’s causing millennials and GenZers to rethink their life aspirations. They want flexibility to travel the world and take on meaningful work. They care about purpose over profit. And the companies who invest in their growth—through training, reskilling and opportunities—will see higher levels of loyalty among this growing cohort.
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