Health & Wellbeing
Surprising Super Bowl Health Risks and How to Avoid Them in Your Office
Michael Norris
Michael Norris

This Sunday, countless Americans will attend Super Bowl parties — whether they’re football fans or not. Bowl parties are notoriously unhealthy because they feature high-fat, high-calorie foods. The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) calls Super Bowl Sunday the second biggest food day in the U.S., behind Thanksgiving. But there are other health risks that come from Super Bowl parties, too. (more…)

Workforce & Workplace
Creating The Lab of the Future: A Shift Toward Agility, Flexibility and Efficiency
Michael Norris
Michael Norris

This is the eighth in a continuing blog series based on insights and findings from the Sodexo 2016 Workplace Trends Report. The Report examines nine key trends impacting business outcomes and affecting the quality of life of employees and consumers in the workplace. To learn more, access the full article: Creating The Lab of the Future: A Shift Toward Agility, Flexibility, and Efficiency

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Community Engagement
Empowering Educators and Students to Lead
Michael Norris
Michael Norris

Technology has rapidly increased globalization creating a worldwide system of integration the likes of which we have never seen or experienced before in history.  In the past, countries and their economies could be nearly 100% self-sufficient. But technology has now enabled ideas, products, services, people and knowledge to transfer around the world, linking economies and nations and making them both interconnected and interdependent.

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Community Engagement
Is Technology Moving Us Forward or Holding Us Back?
Michael Norris
Michael Norris

We love technology. We live in a digital world. On our wrists or through our fingertips, most of us are connected to a device 24/7.  Technology is present in almost every aspect of daily life.  Growing numbers of people would rather communicate over social networks, email or text than to have a face to face conversation.

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Inclusion
Accommodating Pregnant Women and New Mothers in the Workplace
Michael Norris
Michael Norris

In the past several decades, there has been a dramatic demographic shift in the workforce. Not only do women now make up almost half of the workforce, but there are more pregnant workers than ever before and they are working later into their pregnancies.  According to the National Partnership for Women & Families, holding a job during pregnancy is more common than at any other time in history. In a recent survey, 61 percent of respondents reported being employed during pregnancy. More families depend on women’s income than ever before. According to the Pew Research Center, women are the primary or sole breadwinners in nearly 40 percent of families with children.

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Workforce & Workplace
Has 2015 been the Year of the Employee?
Michael Norris
Michael Norris

Employers have enjoyed a substantial advantage in the labor market since the Great Recession began nearly seven years ago. At the peak of unemployment in 2009, there were roughly five unemployed workers per job opening, creating a buyer’s market in which businesses could afford to skimp on programs aimed at motivating and retaining workers. Of course employees would continue showing up for work; no one else was hiring.

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Inclusion
STEM Education: Closing the Gap in Leadership for Women
Michael Norris
Michael Norris

According to the Pew Research Center Americans widely believe that men have a better shot at leadership positions in business and politics, even as majorities say that men and women make equally good leaders. There is little consensus, however, on why women remain underrepresented in these fields.

LinkedIn recently summarized findings from data that measured gender diversity across several industries. They found:

  • A leadership gap showing a difference in females represented in membership overall and members in leadership positions
  • This gap is most pronounced in healthcare, retail and financial services
  • In accounting firms, women represent nearly half of the total employee base, but only 26% of leadership
  • Companies that operate in e-learning and information services industries have the most gender equal workforces
  • Insurance, commercial real estate and venture capital all have leadership gaps of 16% or higher

And current trends are not helping close this gap. A Forbes report revealed that the most popular majors for women include History, English language and literature, Nursing, Accounting, Psychology and Business Administration and Management (which is number one). In contrast, Kiplinger’s list of most in-demand degrees center more on STEM fields and include Finance, Civil Engineering, Economics, Information Technology, Software Engineering, Management Info Systems and Computer Science.

Creating interest and opportunities for women around STEM-related fields is an important step towards realizing greater economic success and equality for women across the board. But it requires more effort by individuals and by companies. According to WhiteHouse.gov, supporting women STEM students and researchers is not only an essential part of America’s strategy to out-innovate, out-educate, and out-build the rest of the world; it is also important to women themselves. Women in STEM jobs earn 33 percent more than those in non-STEM occupations and experience a smaller wage gap relative to men. And STEM careers offer women the opportunity to engage in some of the most exciting realms of discovery and technological innovation.

STEM Leadership

 

Women who want to move up the ladder at an accelerated pace should consider coursework in skills that will make them more sought-after in the marketplace and position them for advancement. This may include advanced computer skills, finance or project management. And companies must do more to identify, encourage and support women who have in-demand skill-sets. Stretch opportunities, mentoring and sponsorship are just a few of the ways organizations can encourage the next generation of women leaders.

Another role that appears less common – but is, frankly, more beneficial – is that of a coach.  A coach’s conversations are more directive because their job is to help their client achieve his or her specific workplace objectives or goals. In other words, a good coach understands what you need to do to get ahead and helps you do just that. While coaches are often assigned only to executives by a company, the Wall Street Journal published a compelling article on the process and benefits of finding your own career coach. An experienced and objective coach may be the best career investment, providing sound advice on what courses to take, which skills to polish and what organizations are the best suited to quickly advance your career.

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Michael Norris is COO and Market President for Sodexo Corporate Services and a strong advocate for the new performance frontier: Quality of Life. Mr. Norris is committed to developing the next generation of STEM leaders – both women and men – and helping to prepare all young leaders entering the workforce to be successful.

Health & Wellbeing
Healthcare Opportunities — The STEM Work Force No One Talks About
Michael Norris
Michael Norris

Michael Norris, COO and Market President of Sodexo Corporate Services, was invited to share his insights on the importance of STEM education in the Health Care field at the University of Phoenix Healthcare Forum. In an associated post on the University of Phoenix’s blog, Michael outlines why more emphasis needs to be given to STEM careers in healthcare, the fastest growing segment of STEM jobs. For example, clinical nutrition and clinical technology management are projected to grow 21 percent and 30 percent respectively from 2012 to 2022, much faster than the average for all occupations.

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Inclusion
Bringing a Global Perspective into the Classroom
Michael Norris
Michael Norris

The world’s population is growing at a staggering pace, which is a relatively new phenomenon. After expanding only a tiny fraction for tens of thousands of years, according to History.com, the population hit one billion in the 1700s. The following century, the number of people in the world quadrupled.

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Community Engagement
STEM Education to build the FM Workplace
Michael Norris
Michael Norris

Jobs requiring skills in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) are a rich source of employment opportunities and economic growth in the U.S. Nearly 80 percent of the fastest growing occupations in the United States depend on mastery of mathematics and science, and yet U.S. student achievement in both disciplines lags behind students in Asia and Europe. Many job vacancies go unfilled, particularly in facilities management (FM), and the economy is lagging as a result.

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Community Engagement
Advancing a Jobs-Driven Economy: Corporate Social Responsibility Takes a Different Form
Michael Norris
Michael Norris

In the 21st century jobs-driven economy, companies are demanding a workforce armed with STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) skills, along with effective team building, communication and problem-solving ability. Business leaders, industry experts and academics must collaborate to develop a strategy that ensures the next generation of STEM-educated leaders is prepared for the jobs of tomorrow. Just like an Olympic athlete who invests years of training to prepare for an event, our talent development strategy must reach future employees long before they enter the workforce.

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Workforce & Workplace
Is Your Organization Ready For The Year of The Employee?
Michael Norris
Michael Norris

Workplace Trends CoverOne of the essential qualities of any strong leader is the ability to continually look forward and ask the question: What’s next? The truth of the matter is that these days building a successful business is so much more than strategy and operational savvy; it’s now also about cultivating an environment where employees can thrive.

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Community Engagement
Using the Power of Three to Build the STEM Pipeline — STEM Global Talent Summit
Michael Norris
Michael Norris

Globalization is quickly changing the rules of how business gets done. The size and scope of a company is becoming less important – agile and innovative start-ups are changing the rules and context of business. Now the battle for talent, markets, innovations and information is global. People specializing in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) are swiftly becoming the most sought-after employees because they are in short supply and those fields are critical to the prosperity of organizations operating in the global economy.

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Workforce & Workplace
How to get 70 million Americans to like their jobs again
Michael Norris
Michael Norris

If you’re running a company and you happened to skim Gallup’s recently-released State of the American Workplace report, you perhaps have alegitimate reason to worry about the future.  It finds that, of the approximately 100 million people in America who are employed full-time, only 30 percent are engaged and inspired at work.  That means 70 million people in this country are either “actively disengaged.”  Or, only slightly better, they are just not engaged. Put more plainly, employees have checked out.

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Inclusion
Advancing Women and Girls in STEM Careers
Michael Norris
Michael Norris

Young girls and women are less likely than their male counterparts to work in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) fields. In fact, just 24% of women work in STEM fields. The good news is that women in STEM careers earn 92 cents for every dollar their male-STEM counterparts earn versus 75 cents in other fields. What’s more, 80 percent of the fastest growing occupations in the United States depend on mastery of mathematics and scientific knowledge and skills.

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Workforce & Workplace
30 Jobs for 2030: Creating Jobs of the Future is Simpler Than You Think
Michael Norris
Michael Norris

We all want to hire the best and the brightest talent in the future, but what will they be doing? The 30 Jobs for 2030 trend in Sodexo’s recent Workplace Trends Report offers a real glimpse into the workplace of the future listing 30 emerging job titles that may be needed in the years ahead. Energy Harvester, Green Career Coach, Agri-Restaurateur, Chief Experience Officer or Healer may seem far-fetched, but our friends at the World Future Society say these jobs will enable companies to solve problems that may be found in the future.

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Workforce & Workplace
2014 Workplace Trends: Create your workplace of the future today
Michael Norris
Michael Norris

When reading about business trends, we tend to think about them in terms of the distant future. However, with studies showing that only 30 percent of Americans are engaged at work and billions of dollars are lost in productivity as a result, it would appear that businesses need to start looking for possible solutions now. That’s why our 2014 Workplace Trends Report is a timely, valuable tool for companies to examine ways to create a work experience where employees are energized, engaged and productive.

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