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12 Things Employers Can Do to Improve Gender Equality in the Workplace

Not all workplaces provide equal opportunities for men and women, but all should try. In a presentation yesterday at the Society of Human Resource Managers’ (SHRM) annual conference, Jonathan Segal, a labor attorney, laid out 12 practical steps employers can take to level the workplace for men and women. These tips are taken from his presentation.

1. Reassess job requirements for the senior leadership team.

Companies that aren’t hiring women for senior roles should consider what barriers they’ve constructed that prevents women from filling them. That doesn’t mean diluting requirements but asking if 15 years of management experience, for example, is necessary when 10 would do. Employers should consider including other types of experience that broadens the pool of possible candidates.

2. Expand the applicant pool.

If the goal is a diverse workplace, the pool of job candidates needs to be diverse as well. That means reaching out to professional groups, such as women engineers, and contacting employees—men and women—that left the firm to raise families to ask if they’d be interested in returning.

3. Consider your biases.

As Segal says, most employers understand the concept of unconscious bias, they just don’t believe...

Susan Cain, the World’s Leading Introvert Expert, On How to Thrive in an Open-office World

If you are an introvert, you may sometimes feel as if the world is conspiring against you. In the workplace, you are correct, according to Susan Cain, author of the best-selling Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking.

A bias toward extroversion informs every aspect of contemporary work culture, Cain says. Open-office plans invite a steady hum of chatter and regular interruptions. Meetings can easily eat up the better part of a day. And in an effort to be perceived as “team players,” many introverts feel pressure to make themselves constantly available—whether for impromptu brainstorming sessions or swapping Game of Thrones theories.

“The way that many people, and introverts in particular, like to get work done is by focusing for chunks of time and getting into a psychological state called flow,” Cain says. “The workplace does not allow anyone to get into that state.”

Cain is out to change that. As the founder of the Quiet Leadership Institute, Cain has been helping organizations including GE, Proctor & Gamble and NASA create work environments that benefit outgoing and soft-spoken types alike. If your company is still lagging behind the curve, here’s some advice from...

There’s a Powerful Hack to Remember Something New You've Just Learned

The more we understand how our bodies and brains work, the more we realize that what’s good for the body is often good for the brain. In recent years, for instance, many studies have shown that a powerful way to improving your memory is to exercise.

new study even provides a hack to remember things you’ve just learned. To find it, researchers at Radboud University in the Netherlands split a group of 72 volunteers into three. Each group underwent a learning session where they had to memorize 90 image associations. The first group followed it up with a 35-minute high-intensity exercise session and then a three-hour session watching nature documentaries. The second group watched documentaries first then exercised. The third group watched documentaries but did not exercise.

The participants were then tested two days later on whether they could recall the image associations. Only the group that had exercised about four hours after the learning session performed better than the other two groups.

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Though the researchers don’t know yet what exactly helped the delayed-exercise group perform better, they believe that it...

People Are Falling in Love with a Productivity System That Just Uses Pen and Paper

I’m one of those people who is constantly testing out new productivity apps in the hopes that this is the technology that will transform my life for good. Each new app promises to make me more efficient than the last.

But I’ve never been able to find a method that quite beats the flexibility and simplicity of pen and paper. Most productivity methods force you to work their way, rather than adapting to suit your needs. Pen and paper, however, can be used any way you like. I’ve always wanted to find a system that balances this flexibility with enough structure to keep you organized.

That’s where the Bullet Journal system comes in. Created by designer Ryder Carroll, the system aims to give the humble paper notebook a little more structure.

The Bullet Journal consists of a few specific sections:

  • An index, in which you list the page numbers of any subject you want to find again later (using a notebook with pre-printed page numbers speeds up this process).
  • A future log, in which you keep track of upcoming events or deadlines for the next six months.
  • A monthly log, in which you note events and...

Criminals Steal Billions From Government Every Year; Here’s How to Prevent It

Fraud is a persistent and growing problem for government programs. It costs taxpayers billions of dollars and erodes public trust in government institutions. In fiscal year 2014, the government paid out nearly $125 billion improperly, nearly $20 billion more than it improperly paid out the previous year. Certain programs, such Medicare and Medicaid, are especially vulnerable to fraud given the large amount of funds available to eligible beneficiaries. As a result, these programs have been the victim of large and highly publicized fraud schemes. In June 2015 alone, 243 people were arrested in 17 cities for allegedly billing Medicare for $712 million worth of patient care that was never provided or unnecessary.

Combatting fraud typically is seen as the responsibility of inspectors general, and indeed, IGs are fighting the good fight every day to detect fraud schemes and recover fraudulent payments. But this “pay and chase” model is inefficient. In an environment of increasingly limited government resources, anticipating fraud and preventing it before it occurs is one of the biggest cost savings opportunities federal agencies have.

To effectively combat fraud, we must take a risk management approach. Not all fraud risks are equally as likely to occur and some would...

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