Lorraine Learns: The Future Is Here. Is Your Workplace Ready?

January 23, 2019Lately, I have been thinking a lot about New Year’s resolutions: Which stick, and why? And more to the point, if your resolution is to create a gender-inclusive workplace, what do you need to do to succeed?

In 2019, this question has a special urgency. With breakthrough technologies, social movements, globalization, polarizing politics, and the #MeToo movement, diverse and inclusive workplace cultures are more important than ever. Companies and leaders must ensure their organization uses all their diverse talent to remain innovative and competitive now—and in years to come. Policies and promises aren’t enough; there needs to be bold, meaningful action.

The 2019 Catalyst Award winners, announced on January 17, have done just that. Through groundbreaking programs and initiatives, Bank of America, Deutsche Post DHL Group, Eli Lilly and Company, and Schneider Electric demonstrate how organizations can revolutionize their workplaces, creating fast change on a global scale and become leaders in the movement to build companies that work for women now, and in the future.

Preparing for the future needs to be an immediate focus of every organization and leader. Corporate social responsibility has gone from being a nice thing to do to a necessary part of every business’s strategy, as consumers, employees, and shareholders demand that CEOs and their companies walk the walk. With artificial intelligence and smarter machines, technical skills, especially in data analytics, will be increasingly important. As will interpersonal skills.

The most successful leaders of the future will be able to manage and integrate the rapid technological advances while also collaborating virtually and across cultures. Organizations unbound by traditional work structures or brick and mortar locations can attract top talent by expanding their talent pool from local to global. They can deliver a better customer experience thanks to time zone differences allowing for longer coverage periods and wider knowledge of different cultures and languages.

Finding ways to work with displaced employees, new immigrants, and employees impacted by climate change and geopolitical disruptions is essential.  Rather than viewing intersecting identities as a hindrance to cohesion, leaders will need to view them as the strengths that they are. Diverse teams and inclusive cultures that leverage their multitude of skills, backgrounds, and perspectives will be far more innovative.

Listening to and including women and other underrepresented groups will foster great ideas, strategies, solutions, products, and results. Companies that stay stuck in the old paradigms will be left behind. Those who seize the opportunities and realize the potential of employees and their organizations will have the competitive advantage.

For these reasons and more, Future @ Work is the focus of the Catalyst 2019 Awards Conference and Dinner on March 14 in New York City. We will be holding our first ever Hackathon, where participants will discuss global workforce and talent management trends and brainstorm actionable changes in real time, together.

In our Future @ Work Hall, visitors can connect with our 2019 Catalyst Award Winners, organizations enabling Technology @ Work, Thriving @ Work, and take a deeper dive into Conversations @ Work with our speakers. Attendees of our keynote speakers sessions and fireside chats will hear from the 2019 Catalyst Award winners and how their initiatives created and continue to create change. Equally important, attendees will have the opportunity to join the Catalyst community, connecting and sharing ideas with Catalyst experts and corporate leaders who are committed to building a diverse, inclusive workforce.

It will be the start of a great conversation. Learn from us and learn from each other. Join us.

Register now and help lead the way. Because workplaces that work for women work for everyone, now and forever.


The views expressed herein are solely those of the guest blogger and do not necessarily reflect those of Catalyst. Catalyst does not endorse any political candidates. The post and the comments are presented only for the purpose of informing the public.