On February 26th movie fans all over the world tuned into the 89th Academy Awards ceremony, better known as the Oscars, where the best films of 2016 were honored. La La Land has received a record 14 Oscar nominations, but it’s another film and its story that is gathering much critical acclaim and popular following.
Hidden Figures tells the true and inspiring story of three African American female pioneers –Katherine Johnson, Dorothy Vaughan and Mary Jackson — who played an integral role in NASA’s space-race success in the 1960s. Since its release the film has received 25 industry awards and 61 nominations. And earlier this month the film became the highest grossing Best Picture nominated film, beating out La La Land with a box-office total of $119.4 million. (more…)
I’m one of more than 21 million veterans in the U.S. today. After serving more than 20 years in the U.S. Marine Corps, I was ready to transition to the civilian workforce back in 2005. At first, I questioned how my military skillset would translate to a civilian job. However, after spending the last 11 years in the civilian workforce, I have found that my military experience has helped me thrive and actually create an entire career path.
This week, Sodexo participated in the “Upskilling America’s Workforce: Preparing for the Future of Work by Aligning Business and Education” conference, hosted by Manpower Group and Apollo Education Group at the National Press Club. The conference highlighted a ManpowerGroup’s Talent Shortage Survey, which found that 38 percent of employers globally report difficulties filling jobs.
As a top 20 global employer, with over 133,000 employees in the U.S., we recognize that a key part of the challenge is building a workforce with the necessary STEM skills. (more…)
While expanded globalization is swiftly increasing the competitive landscape for most businesses, it is also creating many more opportunities (and choices) for top STEM talent. The U.S. Department of Commerce projects that STEM occupations will grow by 17 percent between 2008–2018, compared with only 9.8 percent for non-STEM fields. In addition, the nonprofit Science Pioneers, expects demand for STEM professionals to add more than 1 million jobs to the U.S. workforce over the next four years. Compare this with the number of bachelor degrees in STEM-related fields, which has remained relatively flat for nearly 20 years, and you can clearly see the talent-gap most businesses will have to deal with. To make matters worse, the U.S. Department of Education reports that only 16 percent of high school seniors are interested in pursuing STEM careers. (more…)
In 1953, Winston Churchill said: “All the great empires of the future will be empires of the mind.” Over the years, eminent scholars and educators have echoed Churchill’s sentiments: If you don’t know history, you are condemned by ignorance to repeat, rather than learn from, the lessons of the past. The World Affairs Council-Washington, DC (WAC-DC) advocates a liberal arts education approach to help prepare teachers and students to be ‘global citizens’ in our diverse, multi-cultural and interconnected world.
International leaders in the STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts, and math) education movement also believe that educators and students in the 21st century must acquire knowledge of world history, geography, social studies, civics, arts, humanities, psychology, philosophy and communications to be successful in work and life, particularly in the international arena.
The WAC-DC is an institution ‘Where Learning Happens’ and it defines global education as: The ability to understand the interconnectedness of people and systems, to express cross-cultural awareness and sensitivity, to empathize with others, to maintain an open-mind, to see different perspectives, to apply knowledge of global dynamics, to practice effective problem solving skills and to communicate and work efficiently in diverse environments.
Our customized programs are focused on empowering educators, students and citizens through a ‘Knowledge Transfer’ process that is based on ten core ‘Global Education’ competencies, that can easily be infused into any existing high school or college curricula: Critical Thinking; Making Connections; Leadership Skills; Cross-Cultural Awareness; Problem-Solving Skills/Decision Making Skills; Communication Skills; Understanding Others Perspectives; Investigate the World; Understanding of Major Global Issues; and Media Literacy.
The Council is concluding the evaluation phase of a MasterCard Foundation-sponsored 2015/16 Global Education Teachers – International Exchange Program (GET-IEP) between high school teachers and students in the Washington, DC metro area and their counterparts in South Africa. What we’ve found is that only 13% of students surveyed in the US and South Africa said that they are currently getting the global education insights and knowledge they felt they needed to better understand their own nation, the global community, and how people and societies can work effectively together to develop understanding of, and mutual respect for worldwide differences. It’s through GET-IEP and other global education programs that we provide opportunities for learning and growth outside the classroom.
As future generations continue to innovate in the fields of science and technology, we must also empower them with a well-rounded understanding of our global history. Our world is increasingly globalized and more interconnected than ever before, so it is vital that our students learn about the world that surrounds them. A global education enables students to better identify problems, solutions and the vehicles for change; constructing modern ‘empires of the mind’.
Our students are inheriting a world that presents challenges, but it is also a world filled with immense opportunity. The WAC-DC is committed to providing those same kinds of opportunities for learning, through global education programs for teachers and students worldwide.
Tony Culley-Foster is the President and CEO of the World Affairs Council-Washington, DC. He is profiled in Who’s Who in the World; a visiting Professor in Communications at the University of Ulster; Board member of the Illinois Institute of Technology – Stuart School of Business; and is a recipient of HRH – The Duke of Edinburgh’s Gold Award; and numerous American and international commendations for voluntary service, international education, social responsibility and contribution to peace in Northern Ireland.
Today’s learners must be able to think critically, recognize patterns, solve problems and communicate effectively in the workforce and society to be successful. Sixty-three percent of education leaders state job placement as the leading success factor for higher education, though only 43% of industry leaders indicate higher education is preparing learners with the needed workforce skills.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.