Women remain underrepresented at every level in corporate America, despite earning more college degrees than men for thirty years and counting. There is a pressing need to do more, and most organizations realize this: company commitment to gender diversity is at an all-time high for the third year in a row.
Despite this commitment, progress continues to be too slow—and may even be stalling. One of the most powerful reasons for this is a simple one: we have blind spots when it comes to diversity, and we can’t solve problems that we don’t see or understand clearly.
Women in the Workplace 2017 is a comprehensive study of the state of women in corporate America. This research is part of a long-term partnership between LeanIn.Org and McKinsey & Company to give organizations the information they need to promote women’s leadership and foster gender equality.
This year 222 companies employing more than 12 million people shared their pipeline data and completed a survey of HR practices. In addition, more than 70,000 employees completed a survey designed to explore their experiences regarding gender, opportunity, career, and work-life issues. To our knowledge, this makes Women in the Workplace the largest study of its kind.
Many employees think women are well represented in leadership when they see only a few. Because they’ve gotten comfortable with the status quo, they don’t feel any urgency for change. Further, many men don’t fully grasp the state of women in the workplace, and some worry that gender diversity efforts disadvantage them. As a result, men are less committed to the issue, and we can’t get to equality without them.
Many companies overlook the realities of women of color, who face the greatest obstacles and receive the least support. When companies take a one-size-fits-all approach to advancing women, women of color end up underserved and left behind.
BY THE NUMBERS
Women face challenges at every step of the pipeline. Hover over each level to learn more.
1 in 5 C-suite leaders is a woman, and fewer than 1 in 30 is a woman of color.
By the time women reach the SVP level, they hold only 21% of line roles. Since the vast majority of CEOs come from line roles, this dramatically hurts women’s odds of reaching the very top.
Women of all levels are less likely to interact regularly with senior leaders, yet employees who do are more likely to aspire to be top executives.
Contrary to conventional wisdom, women are not leaving their companies at higher rates than men, and very few plan to leave the workforce to focus on family.
On average, women are promoted at a lower rate than men. The biggest gender gap is at the first step up to manager: entry-level women are 18% less likely to be promoted than their male peers.
Despite representing 52% of the U.S. population and earning 57% of college degrees in this country, women make up 47% of entry-level hires.
BY THE NUMBERS
BY THE NUMBERS
% of women and men who think…
My gender has played a role in missing out on a raise, promotion, or chance to get ahead
I have equal opportunity for growth as my peers
% of women and men who think…
The best opportunities go to the most deserving employees
Promotions at this company are based on fair and objective criteria
% of women and men who say…
My company is doing what it takes to improve gender diversity
Managers at my company address gender-biased language and behavior when it happens
% of women and men who say…
Gender diversity is a very important
or top personal priority to me
Nearly 50 percent of men think women are well represented in leadership in companies where only one in ten senior leaders is a woman. A much smaller but still significant number of women agree: a third think women are well represented when they see one in ten in leadership.
At the first critical step up to manager, women are 18 percent less likely to be promoted than their male peers. This gender disparity has a dramatic effect on the representation of women: if entry-level women were promoted at the same rate as their male peers, the number of women at the SVP and C-suite levels would more than double.
Women of all races and ethnicities negotiate for raises and promotions at rates comparable to their male counterparts. However, men are more likely to say they have not asked for a raise because they are already well compensated or a promotion because they are already in the right role.
Women are less likely to receive advice from managers and senior leaders on how to advance, and employees who do are more likely to say they’ve been promoted in the last two years. Similarly, women are less likely to interact regularly with senior leaders, yet employees who do are more likely to aspire to be top executives.
Women are less likely than men to aspire to be a top executive, and those who do are significantly less likely than men to think they’ll become one. However, when you look at ambition by race and ethnicity, both women and men of color are more interested in becoming a top executive than white women and men.
Men are less likely to say gender diversity is a top personal priority and point to concern over de-emphasizing individual performance as the primary reason. Some men even feel that gender diversity efforts disadvantage them: 15 percent of men think their gender will make it harder for them to advance.
On average, 54 percent of women do all or most of the household work, compared to 22 percent of men. This gap grows when couples have children. Women with a partner and children are 5.5 times more likely than their male counterparts to do all or most of the household work. Even when women are primary breadwinners, they do more work at home.
We can’t unlock the full potential of the workplace until we see how far from equality we really are. There are six actions companies can take to level the playing field, and this year we’re able to point to actions that are more common in top-performing companies. It is also critical that companies address the distinct barriers women of color face and get sufficient buy-in from men.
Robotics Process Automation (RPA) offers companies significant benefits; however, like every technology there are limitations with its functionality and may not be suitable to all processes.
In our last post, we talked about the “buzz” surrounding RPA and the potential efficiencies that RPA implementation can deliver. In this post, we will talk about the benefits – and the limitations – of RPA.
The benefits of RPA are undeniable. Companies implementing RPA can significantly lower costs, create service excellence, enable greater agility and build scalable capacity into their operations. Through our experience in the implementation of this technology, our clients across the board have seen an 80% reduction in processing costs; average handling times reduced by 40% with a 24/7 resilient operation – free of any human error; and an increased scalability through a 24-hour virtual workforce.
From a workforce perspective, RPA supports higher staff satisfaction by taking over monotonous tasks. allowing individuals to focus on higher value work. In fact, we have seen a 43% increase in FTEs able to re-direct their focus from non-value add activities to customer outcomes. In general, when implemented at scale, RPA can deliver a return on investment in approximately three to six months (Source: Accenture Research 2016).
It is these benefits that are generating the boom in RPA interest – and a good measure of hype. However, every technology has its limitations, and RPA is best viewed as an additional cost reduction lever and a foundational technology rather than an operational panacea.
Limitations of RPA include:
In the final blog in this series, we will examine whether RPA meets the criteria for being a truly transformative technology and how it relates to other technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI).
by Ian Barkin
Robotic Process Automation (RPA) is a critical component of the ‘Future of Work’ toolkit. If you’re new to the concept of Robotic Process Automation you may be wondering what the term actually means. We’ve created this blog post to help you understand RPA and learn about the many ways it can add value in your enterprise. By the end of this article, we hope to have given you concrete information about what RPA is, and answers about the ways RPA can be used.
Symphony defines RPA as any capability (software and services) that allows you to transact in any IT application or website, typically in the same way a human would, to automate complex, rule-based work. In other words, RPA software allows developers to tailor complex automations to a company’s processes. When an RPA robot is at work, it performs tasks just like a human would: logging in, operating applications, entering data, performing complex calculations and logging out.
Because RPA is software-based, it can be used to perform various tasks. These include maintenance of records, queries, calculations, and transactions. Additionally, any application commonly used by your company can be operated by RPA. For example, Citrix, .NET, HTML, and Java are all technologies commonly supported by RPA. Compatible systems include Mainframe Terminals, SAP, Oracle, Blackline, and many more. Programmable automation means that RPA can be configured to perform almost any rule-based task.
RPA can help digitally transform your business and unlock value by providing:
All these factors can set your company apart from competitors and are highly valuable in terms of shaping your business’s digital operations strategy.
RPA can be applied to all sorts of rules-based process in a wide range of sectors, including process automation of office tasks, IT support, and assisted automation in customer service. With such a variety of areas that RPA is known to be successful in, it’s no wonder that so many companies are taking advantage of the technology.
If you’re worried about RPA being able to suit your company’s needs, don’t be. WorkSocial has worked with clients across a wide range of industries including banking, healthcare, logistics, consumer products, food & beverage, entertainment and more; and on as wide a scope of processes as HR, Finance, Supply Chain, Procurement and beyond. So we can assure you that RPA easily translates to many different industries and functions. Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org if you’d like to discuss how RPA might apply to your particular industry or business function.
There is no one-size-fits-all approach, but Symphony does suggest a few important steps. First, get educated. This often begins with online research (like you’ve done to find this blog). Then, speak to experts who’ve gained experience through doing. There are a lot of RPA tools out there (seemingly more every day). Get objective and experienced advice. Finally, have a change management plan. Successful RPA deployments require a broad set of stakeholders involved. Of most importance, and we can’t stress this enough, plan to engage IT sooner than later – they are your ally and partner on this journey. Plan to identify areas of highest impact and benefit. And plan to have budgets and resources necessary to make substantive progress in 2017.
Want more information on the details of RPA? We’ve got it. Check out our blog for insights from our experts. We also have a technical blog series on RPA to teach you about the most important features to look out for when selecting an RPA tool. We hope this article, as well as our other posts, help you to get a better understanding of Robotic Process Automation and how it can be an important component of your digital transformation toolkit.
In recent years, Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) and Robotic Process Automation (RPA) have often been discussed in the same forums.
BPO and off-shoring have been widely used by businesses to reduce back office and operational costs through the use of low-cost labour markets.
Now RPA is being seen as the way to continue the drive for business process efficiency and cost reduction. At the same time, RPA is acting as a fundamental disruptor to the conventional wisdom of labour arbitrage.
Forget the idea of walking into an office and seeing humans replaced by rows of androids; the “robots” of RPA are invisible. They sit inside your systems, moving between different applications, inputting, checking, updating and processing far faster than any human could.
Sometimes they’re only “hired” to work an hour a day, or overnight, by a particular business unit – so a single robot could be shared with another department or even organisation.
Like workflow-building applications, RPA software can lead to an immediate increase in process efficiency, accuracy, compliance and speed of completion – all while removing manual errors and increasing customer satisfaction.
Actual results will vary for each organisation and for different processes, but RPA programs typically deliver cost savings of 25% to 45%. Pay-back periods are often measured in weeks, instead of the months and years required for some software development projects.
In the context of BPO, RPA can enable the business to bring processes back onshore at the same — or reduced — cost, with the advantage of gaining increased control over those processes. Instead of the vanilla, one-size-fits-all approach of BPO, the business can tweak processes according to local needs.
All the usual suspects can benefit from RPA: mundane, repetitive, frequent, high volume tasks; rule-based vs. judgement-based decisions; manually intensive and error-prone processes.
However, because it’s so quick and easy to make changes, RPA is also highly suited to processes that regularly change and adapt – especially those that are too costly or complex to re-engineer in the traditional way within the short term.
Good candidates for RPA are processes that intake structured data and transfer it across multiple systems – as well as time-consuming, low-volume activities that require frequent “system hopping,” for example, HR onboarding.
Apart from the availability and emerging value of RPA technology, there are some strong business drivers for adoption.
Over the last couple of decades, many enterprises have exhausted their options — including global labour arbitrage and lower telecommunication costs — for achieving back-office cost efficiencies.
It’s often overlooked that big outsourcing contracts demand constant management and legal oversight. This additional overhead is borne by the client and rarely factored into the true cost of an outsourcing deal.
We’re starting to hear the terms “on-shoring” and “back-shoring” used more often… and RPA can be the enabler. Because robots cost around a third of an off-shore worker and can work around the clock, even tasks that have been relatively cheaply outsourced can be brought back under control again, for less cost.
It’s not feasible for IT departments to deliver on the “long-tail” of minor change requests from the business, while continuing to deliver on medium- to long-term technology programs and new, cutting-edge innovation.
Priorities are set, and sometimes it takes too long for seemingly simple amendments. This means the business can’t respond to market change or customer demands fast enough to remain competitive.
Many change requests – whilst critical to process improvement – are not cost-efficient to deliver through traditional system enhancement and system-integration solutions. Some lead to knock-on effects on existing system functionality.
RPA focuses on the business process and leaves the existing IT systems alone. As such it is essentially a tactical “non-IT” solution that can be built and deployed quickly for immediate benefits.
RPA technology works on top of existing IT architecture at the presentation layer of business applications. Developers build robots through point-and-click functionality, using a graphical interface similar to MS Visio.
People with no specific knowledge of software programming language – but who have process expertise and an analytical bent – can be trained within a few weeks to automate processes using an RPA tool.
It’s fine to jump straight into an RPA pilot without an overarching strategy. However, while discreet pilots may deliver local wins to individual departments, it could leave you with potentially broken or sub-optimal end-to-end processes. Additionally, the wider organisational implications of having robots in production may be overlooked.
To truly transform your organisation through the use of robotics, you’ll need to be clear on your overall RPA strategy.
Establish an enterprise-level RPA operating model that covers the breadth of organisational, process and technology components needed to establish RPA as a sustainable capability within an organisation.
Your return on RPA investment will vary according to the processes you choose to automate.
Pick the pilots and initial projects you automate carefully, so the entire organisation can see the potential benefits and start thinking about which processes to automate next.
If you don’t apply enough due diligence upfront to identify the best processes for RPA — and build in the necessary automated error-handing rules — the results may disappoint. This can result in reduced interest in the business for future RPA initiatives, with subsequent lost opportunities for more efficient, resilient and faster processes.
Without a good understanding of how RPA fits within your existing IT architecture, project management, software development and process improvement methodologies, it may not get the necessary executive support to spread through the right levels within the organisation.
While IT departments will be glad to shed responsibility for application updates, they will need to be reassured that RPA won’t “break things.” They’ll also need to know about the security aspects of linking multiple applications along your “robot process line.”
RPA is not the end of the workplace as we know it. The winners in the digital world will develop an effective “digital pairing” strategy – where robots perform the mundane tasks while humans manage exceptions and orchestrate the robots to interact with each other through end-to-end digital, process orchestration.
Start small on your RPA journey. Spend time conducting technology proof-of-concepts on a few different processes, so you’ll understand the nature of processes that are most suitable for RPA.
Once you’re convinced of the technology and its benefits, leave the technology behind and start developing an enterprise-wide strategy to use robotics throughout your operations.
It is then time to look at your business process portfolio and evaluate how the introduction of robotics can change the rationale for insource vs. outsource or the onshoring vs. offshoring of these processes.
You can choose to go on the robotics journey alone or bring in an experienced partner.
Happy middle of the week, Algorology subscriber!
This week has been crazy, from machines getting citizenship to beating human surgeons.
A non-human woman named Sophia has become a citizen of SA, making it the first country to grant a robot the right to citizenship.
Elon Musk immediately replied to this:
“Just feed it The Godfather movies as input. What’s the worst that could happen?”
Obviously, he isn’t fooled by Sophia’s delicate features, fully expecting her to go the Skynet route and murder everyone.
But what does this mean in a legal way? Is a robot now a fully participating member of society?
Can I sue Sophia?
Does she have the same rights as me?
Can Sophia go to jail for killing someone?
Can Sophia sue creators for being abusive?
Can she sue me? Can she sue you? 😨
I don’t think I’m ready for this mentally. This is too damn fast.
What do you think?
Would love to get some lawyers in the thread here too, tag a colleague if relevant.
Imagine that you’re on the operating table, waiting for surgeons to cut a tumor out of your flesh.
You want their cuts to be as precise and accurate as possible.
Leaving behind no tumor fragments that might cause the cancer to recur, yet also not removing too much healthy tissue 😬
Rather than an expert human surgeon, you might want the Smart Tissue Autonomous Robot (STAR) hovering over you.
In a recent set of experiments, STAR’s inventors showed that it makes more precise cuts than expert surgeons, and damages less of the surrounding flesh.
This is huge.
The researchers presented their results at the recent robotics conference IROS 2017.
“I really believe that this is the future of surgery,” says study coauthor Axel Krieger , an assistant professor of mechanical engineering at the University of Maryland.
Krieger says the next step is to train STAR to deal with tumors that have complex 3D shapes, which will require new cameras for visual tracking and more sophisticated surgical planning software.
I’m super excited about the future of healthcare and its advances.
Though a bit scared of robots cutting my flesh 😲
Are you? Check out the discussion here:
They didn’t let me board a plane
I was considered “untrustworthy” and government refused my right to travel. As a low-rating citizen I couldn’t do many things I used to.
I couldn’t reserve a table at my favorite restaurant.
I couldn’t enroll my kids in high-paying private schools.
I couldn’t even upgrade my internet speed.
The algorithms determined my low score based on my online/offline activity & social circle of my low score friends.
Sounds like a futuristic Big Brother out of control?
No, it’s already a reality in China, where the government is using Social Credit System to rate the trustworthiness of billions.
The government is using it as a way to measure and enhance trust and to build a culture of sincerity.
Participating is voluntary for now. But by 2020 it will be mandatory. The behavior of every single citizen will be tracked/scored.
While this is a scary & radical implementation of the algorithmic monitoring, it actually gives us a glimpse into the future of our society.
We will be soon perceived as data points monitored, assisted and guided by algorithms.
How do we make this process as transparent as possible? To prevent an algorithmic chaos with data bias and errors.
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IoT has accelerated co-creation between companies and has helped create new value. But in order to leverage the full potential of IoT, data processing must go beyond cyberspace. New and innovative services in the real world will depend on our ability to combine data with physical operations. That’s why robotics will play such a crucial role moving forward, as they become our bridge between the real and virtual worlds.
At Workocial, we’ve curated a wide range of robotic vendors to teach RPA. WorkSocial is now a breeding ground of various RPA applications. By leveraging our expertise building communities and operational technologies (OT) we have created a buzz. But we’re not just developing technologies without reason – its the future.
We’re implementing technologies that with socially grow Jersey City.
By integrating robotics into an IoT platform using that technology in social infrastructures, we’re actively promoting initiatives to improve people’s lives.
Companies like Hitachi & Panasonic are getting interested in our platform.
We’re focusing on co-creation of a community where learning meets business problems.
Call us at (201) 210-8255. Lets talk about hosting your next training or hackathon.