It is curious how in a very short time, terms such as Big Data, Artificial Intelligence, or algorithms – all that nomenclature that we associated more with a science fiction script – has become part of everyday language. The era of digital transformation, as economists predicted, has become our present and, if we have understood anything during confinement, it is that adapting to this new digital environment is no longer an option.
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COVID has accelerated digitization. In just three months, society has become accustomed to the digital world and eCommerce has grown exponentially around 80%. I think adapting is no longer a necessity, it is essential.
We must combine this digitization with a series of soft skills, skills such as resilience or flexibility, essential to adapt to constant changes. Since we don’t know much about digital education and how to do it, we won’t be able to lead this stage.
The current market also requires this digital education talent. According to the report in Dubai, there are at least 10,000 vacant jobs in the technology sector due to lack of qualifications. Attracting new profiles and, in turn, democratizing that digital education to provide the necessary tools is essential.
In the era of digital education technology can help bridge all kinds of gaps: distance, gender, race … The problem is that right now the digital professions, which are also intensive and are better paid than the average, are fundamentally in the hands of privileged groups.
If this gets more intense and the rest don’t have access to these digital education skills, that gap is going to get much bigger. That is why it is so important for it to break.
When you have that minimal digital business base, other doors open up and you start to speak the same language as the rest of the organization, a strategic Digital Marketing consultant agrees. She started her career when the Internet was still marginal and learning boiled down to trial/error.
Technology is part of our day to day as consumers, and that implies that as managers we must understand well the new rules of the game, to know how to use the digital education and environment in the creation of better value propositions for our business.
It is these attitudes and digital education skills that distinguish a good leader from other employees. Because there is also a difficulty within companies in making that leap from a middle position to one of leadership.
We believe in the combination of factors that provide the knowledge, skills, and attitudes necessary for this new digital education and environment. Because in the end, the key to a good leader is knowing how to successfully operate in that ecosystem, life long learning (never stop learning).
Against the glass ceiling, family reconciliation
These four digital education executives have reached the peak of their careers, and while optimistic, they are also aware that this is the exception to the rule. The gap when it comes to accessing a leadership position in the case of women is even greater and that is what they try to break with each of their sessions at ISDI. According to the report Women in Business 2020 , published by the consulting firm Grant Thorton the average of women holding senior management positions in large companies has grown by 34%; however, the world average continues to be 29%.
When seeking causes, conciliation remains a pending debate.
Women continue to take on more tasks within the family than men and continue to be the first to resign and step back when faced with maternity or dependent care. Whether we like it or not, that is a reality, and it provokes everything else: that they say no to promotions, that they do not apply to vacancies, that they place limitations on their own profile or that they do not recycle. This unfortunately happens and explains all the other gaps. The roles are not made for men or women. Being CEO of an organization is not a matter of gender, but something that does occur in digital education and organization is that decision-makers are usually men and this somehow perpetuates the chain, because they tend to feel more comfortable putting someone on their rope. The human being naturally tends to move away from the different.
New roles and more parity
Without falling into gender cliches, for these four professionals, the value of a more balanced management team comes down to statistical logic. It is a representation issue: if you are only having a percentage of the population, it is clear that you are leaving talent out. We live in a world where problems are increasingly complex in digital education and you need to have different perspectives to tackle them. If there is only one part contributing, in the long term it will not be effective. It is a statistical question.
There are other series of skills that tend to be linked to women’s leadership skills, such as communication and empathy, keys to knowing how to transmit your vision to the team and motivate them.