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Employees Often Perceive Their Organizations To Be More Or Less Diverse Than They Actually Are

When it comes to having diverse leadership, perception doesn’t always align with reality. Media attention and reports targeting certain industries can serve to create misconceptions about their relative diversity while inadvertently allow other industries to fly under the radar.

When the crowdsourced competitive intelligence platform Owler asked its community of 1.5 million users whether their company had a diverse leadership team, much of what was self-reported by the 11,700 respondents across 1,100 organizations wasn’t actually the case.

“A lot of the companies that were perceived as highly diverse are run by white men,” notes Owler founder Jim Fowler. He points to Snap-on, Autozone, Mary Kay, New York Life Insurance and MillerCoors as examples of companies that landed amongst the top of the list for being perceived as most diverse despite a high proportion of executive roles and board seats at those companies being filled by white men.

Overall, retail was perceived to be the most diverse industry, outranking financial services (8th) and technology (7th). According to a recent report by PricewaterhouseCoopers, however, retail and financial services have the same gender diversity among directors, with women comprising 26% of corporate boards. According to the same report...

Arianna Huffington's Solution For Women Who Don't Know What To Wear To Work

While men can easily repeat the same suit without anyone noticing (as former US president Barack Obama did for eight years), women often spend excess time and money searching for fresh, appropriate workplace attire.

Arianna Huffington prefers not to.

Instead, the Huffington Post founder and Thrive Global CEO picks from the same handful of dresses for every public event she attends.

“Men have a competitive advantage,” Huffington explained in October at Fortune’s Most Powerful Women Summit, where she addressed her apparel choices. “They don’t have to waste the kind of energy we waste.”

Huffington said that she’d rather spend her energy on business decisions than clothing decisions—a perspective widely shared by male leaders, like Steve Jobs and Mark Zuckerberg, but infrequently preached by powerful women.

Aware that gender biases are not easily reversed, Huffington leverages her Instagram account to publicly advocate for outfit repeating, tagging photos of herself wearing the same dresses with the hashtag #repeats.

It’s Time to Improve Government’s Use of Metrics and Analytics

The final report by the Commission on Evidence-Based Policymaking promises to refocus attention on the use of performance data. This is not new of course; the use of metrics has evolved over more than two decades across all levels of government. Even with extensive experience, the Commission was created by Congress in early 2016 to “fulfill the promise of evidence-based decision making” “to facilitate program evaluation, continuous improvement, policy-relevant research and cost-benefit analyses.”

The value of metrics and more recently analytics has been proven repeatedly. When used effectively in managing performance, the gains can be impressive. In 2011, the Partnership for Public Service worked with the IBM Center for the Business of Government to develop three excellent reports highlighting success stories, “From Data to Decisions.” Everyone interested in this subject should read the reports.

John Kamensky highlighted a key reason why the commission was needed in a recent column, “Proponents of Evidence-Based Policy Face a Critical Challenge.” He commended the Commission for taking an important step to create “a better supply of data for researchers and policymakers.” That’s clearly important, but it’s only the first step. As he argues, “the next step is huge—getting people to use...

Going Into The Office Will Help Your Career

In certain professions (I’m looking at you, developers and designers) the ability to work from home is a perk regarded above all others, save a paycheck.

Employees, however, should consider their professional goals before gleefully signing on to a commute that ends at their own kitchen table or home office.

The reason is a long-known effect of social psychology called the Proximity Principle, which simply states that we’re more likely to make connections with those who live or work closely to us. While studies tend to contradict one another on whether remote workers are more or less productive, the connections you make in the office are key to your success in two other important areas: your network and your ability to innovate.

First, consider your network. Think about all the ways your professional life is shaped by the people you know. Who would you call for help finding a new job: The guy you’ve called from your living room six times or the person who sat in a cubicle next to yours for a few years and who you ate lunch with on the regular? How about making a good impression on your supervisor for a big...

Seven Drivers of Government Transformation

The forces affecting governments in the United States and around the world continue to increase in complexity, impact, and speed. Agency leaders must continually adapt to this ever changing landscape, but how? What are the key drivers that determine how government can transform? How can government’s partners help the public sector harness these drivers?

These were the questions that framed a discussion earlier this year hosted by the IBM Center for the Business of Government, which brought together government, academic, industry, and nonprofit leaders to explore the key challenges and opportunities facing the public sector.  

Participants agreed that government will continue to focus on controlling costs while improving operational performance. The group underscored the importance of transforming the people, processes, and cultures to drive results in an environment of constrained resources. They concluded that driving meaningful and sustained change requires innovative, effective and efficient decision-making.  

At the end of the roundtable, participants finalized a set of priorities, which we used to create a new report, Seven Drivers Transforming Government. This special report provides a resource from which government can draw practical, actionable recommendations on how best to address government’s Magic 8-Ball questions.

These seven drivers include:

  1. Insight – Using...