Future of Work is Human Community latest news

It’s been a busy 2018 already. Our Future of Work is Human community has been exploring some of the key issues facing work today from data technology, AI and corporate governance to sexual harassment and BAME diversity in the workplace – and it’s only March.

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A human work place

Over the past few months we have hosted a number of milestone events, starting with our CEO roundtable on Data Tech and what it means for the human work place. Co-hosted with John Thornhill (Innovation Editor for the Financial Times) and Anthony Painter (Director of the Action and Research Centre at the RSA), the group of 16 business leaders, academics, media and tech disruptors explored some dramatic new ideas around the relationship between technology, people and work. A blog outlining some of the key themes including data as the new oil, a mass digital detox, agency, meaning and “andism” can be found here.

Thoughts and challenges on corporate governance

Next up, Stephen Haddrill (CEO of the Financial Reporting Council) and Saker Nusseibeh (Chief Executive Officer of Hermes Investment) led our breakfast discussion on rethinking corporate governance. From cultural issues to risk management, strategy and pay, effective governance is central to ensuring organisations deliver value to their many stakeholders. But in the 25 years since the Cadbury report, do we have a governance environment fit for modern UK business? Is corporate governance a challenge of compliance or is it really corporate culture that needs to change? Here you can read the thoughts and challenges of regulators, disruptors, academics, business leaders, policy-makers and media.

What do we need to do to tackle sexual harassment at work?

Our HRD Forum has also been gathering pace. The HR Forum provides HR leaders with an opportunity to have peer-to-peer conversations on difficult and timely workplace issues, supporting professional development as well as shaping and informing the work of the CIPD. In light of recent allegations and scandals, an emergency session was called to discuss the #MeToo movement, with Hannah Peaker (Chief of Staff, Women’s Equality Party), Claire Fox (Director of the Institute of Ideas) and Diane Perrons (Co-Director of Gender, Inequality and Power Commission, LSE) sharing their wisdom and experience. A full write up of the challenging, at times uncomfortable but thoroughly inspiring discussion is available here.

Racial equality at work

There was also a great thirst among the members of the forum to have more honest conversations about Race. The business and ethical case for diversity is well-known and we are seeing notable progress on gender, but research shows we’re still not seeing a shift in racial equality at work at the extent or pace required. As stated in CIPD’s recent report, while one in eight of the working-age population is from a BAME background, this group still only holds one in sixteen of the top management positions. Despite governmental and business focus we are failing to make a meaningful and lasting impact. So what’s holding us back? Frank Douglas (CEO, Caerus Executive) and Mark Lomas (Head of Equality, Diversity & Inclusion, ‎High Speed Two) led a full and robust discussion on why we find it easier to talk about gender than BAME diversity in the workplace. This is obviously a conversation that is already happening - and has been for a long time - and lots of people need to catch up to drive more action but there was a great deal of energy and enthusiasm in the room to cut through the "politeness", speak truthfully to one another and take this to the next level. A full write of this motivating discussion can be found here, and we will shortly be publishing a podcast that draws on some of the themes discussed. Watch this space for more.

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Thought pieces

Corporate governance is about what people do and why

Society is changing. Organisations are not solely focused on delivering value for their shareholders, they accept they have a wider remit to act as a responsible business and deliver on more than just a financial level. But does this actually happen in reality? Is corporate governance a challenge of compliance or is it really corporate culture that needs to change?

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