The New Shape of Work interview series addresses the challenges and uncertainty in the current business environment with a focus on how to transition to a more agile workforce for the future.

In the discussions about the evolving future of work, the idea of transitioning from traditional roles into skills-based work has many people excited. But it brings with it a challenge that we cannot overlook. According to our Global Talent Trends study, women tend not to believe that the skills that they have today could be suitable for a role they might move in tomorrow. This brings concern for gender equity in the future of work.

In this episode, we are joined by Dr. Sian Beilock, a leading consultant on the brain science behind human performance, President of Barnard College, Columbia University and President-Elect of Dartmouth, who shares her insights on the women’s confidence gap, the impact of representation on achieving equity and the unintended consequence of remote working on women’s advancement.

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Interesting moments from the interview:

  • Gender equity in careers
    "A lot of research shows, for example, that women tend not to apply for jobs unless they have most of the qualifications where men will apply. And that women tend to think that if they got the middle mark in the class they can't go on to the next class, where as a man will tend to think he can go on. Of course these are averages, but it's a really important because what it means… is that we're losing out on women who would potentially raise their hand to go on to that next role."
  • Mental health awareness
    "Well thought out mental health benefits have a significant return on investment. For instance, we found with a global client, that aligning the providers in their mental health benefits, in the mental health pathway where all providers know about each other and have sound referral protocols in place, outcomes can be very significant."
  • Flexibility in the workplace
    "One of the things that I worry about, though, is especially young people and young women not recognizing the power of being in the office for those informal connections, for chats outside of the meeting room. And if we look at who has most of the division of labor at home, it’s women. And if we're then saying, “okay you can decide when you come in the office,” it's very clear who is going to be have the flexibility to decide to come in the office – it's going to be men. And the end result is that we'll have an office full of men which…doesn't send a signal that women belong."
  • Communicating with managers

    "I would really urge employees and managers to think systematically about what work looks like in a way we've never had to do before. Are there a few days a week where everyone's in the office where you literally say to them, “you can't do Zoom meetings; this is when you do your team meetings or other things”? If you do have a remote working environment or more hybrid, how are managers making sure to connect with those people who are working more remote?"


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