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Study on gender diversity throws a fresh perspective in the mix

(NEWS) A recent study on gender diversity in the workplace confirms that too much of a good thing is a bad thing.

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gender diversity

Can’t live with them, can’t live without them

Gender diversity is no new topic in the management sphere. Today’s CEOs are just as likely to field questions about their gender diversity initiatives as they are about profits. While I do think the topic deserves the spotlight, I don’t think all the attention translates to a diversity of perspectives. This is why Sodexo’s latest management survey is so refreshing.

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After surveying 50,00 managers in 80 countries, Sodexo shed light on a number of overlooked points in regards to gender diversity. Here are 5 key points Sodexo brings up why they matter.

The 40% and 60% Optimal Ratio

We know that more diversity in management can help the bottom line, but few studies give specifics.

Sodexo goes against the grain, by suggesting an optimal ratio.

“Sodexo’s study is based on the premise that gender balance impacts performance only when the optimal balance is reached. The results clearly confirm that this balance corresponds to a male-female ratio between 40% and 60%, reinforcing that no one gender is better than the other; rather, diversity is key to enhanced performance.”

Beyond Girl Power

Not only does the firm identify an optimal diversity ratio, but they also point out that the negative effects of not having enough women are also true when there aren’t enough men.

It’s not just about girl power, it’s about the power of diversity.

Healthy Organizations

Sodexo’s survey also points to correlations between gender diversity and performance in non-financial indicators.

Gender balanced teams experienced greater employee retention.

They also experienced a 5% increase in brand awareness. Focusing on these non-financial indicators expands the gender diversity conversation beyond ethics and money, to the overall health of an organization.

It Starts with the Money

Money isn’t everything, but Sodexo does embrace it as a powerful conversation starter.

The firm hasn’t been shy about making the business case for gender balanced teams the starting point for change.

“We started with the internal process to demonstrate we’re not just doing this for the sake of being politically correct, we’re addressing this because it benefits the business,” Rohini Anand, Sodexo’s senior vice president and global chief diversity officer tells USA Today. This strategy could embolden other companies who want to advocate for gender diversity based on the business case, but are scared of appearing selfish.

Facts Over Intuition

For Anand, making a business case for gender balanced teams is about prioritizing the facts over intuition. So far, the facts have led Sodexo to a lofty goal.

They hope to see women hold 40% of their top 1,400 positions by 2025.Click To Tweet

Exactly how this goal is reached and whether other companies follow suit is still unknown. I also question how applicable Sodexo’s findings are to smaller companies and companies across different industries. However, I do think Sodexo’s overall focus on facts over intuition is a smart move that businesses of all types can apply when tackling their own gender diversity problems.

#GenderBalance

Staff Writer, Arra Dacquel is a San Francisco based writer. She has a bachelor’s degree in political science from UC Davis and is currently studying web development. She’s obsessed with tech news and corgis, but not in that order.

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Business News

Chasing Clubhouse success? How the audio chat room trend affects products

(BUSINESS NEWS) It is inevitable that when a new successful trend comes along, other companies will try to make lightning strike twice. Will the audio chat room catch on?

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Smiling woman seated in dark room illuminated by lamp and phone light, participating in audio chat room.

Businesses are always about the hot new thing. People are the always looking for the easiest dollar with the least amount of effort these days. It tends to lead to products that are shoddy and horribly maintained with the least amount of flexibility in pleasing their customers. However, you also have to look at the customer base for this as well. You follow where the money is because that’s where its being spent. It’s like a merry-go-round, constantly chasing the next thing. And the latest of these is the audio chat room.

During the pandemic the entire world saw an eruption of social audio investments. Silicon Valley has gone crazy with this new endeavor. On the 18th of April this year, Clubhouse said it closed on some new funding, which was valued at $4 billion for a live audio app. This thing is still in beta without a single penny of revenue!

The list of other companies who have pursued new audio suites (either through purchase or creation) include:

  • Facebook
  • Spotify
  • Twitter
  • Discord
  • Apple

This whole new audio fad is still in its infancy. These social media and tech giants are all jumping headlong into it with who knows how much forethought. A number of them have their own issues to deal with, but they’ve put things aside to try and grab these audio chat room coattails that are running by. It’s a mix of feelings about the situation honestly. They are trying to survive and keep their customers.

If a competitor creates this new capability and they stay stagnant then they lose customers. If they do this however without dealing with their current issues then they could also lose people. It’s an interesting catch 22 for people out there. Which group do you fall in? Are you antsy for a new toy or are you waiting for one of these lovely sites to fix a problem? It’s another day in capitalism.

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Business News

This web platform for cannabis is blowing up online distribution

(BUSINESS NEWS) Dutchie, a website platform for cannabis companies, just octupled in value. Here’s what that means for the online growth of cannabis distribution.

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A small jar of cannabis on a desk with notebooks, sold online in a nicely made jar.

The cannabis industry has, for the most part, blossomed in the past few years, managing to hit only a few major snags along the way. One of those snags is the issue of payment processing, an issue compounded by predominantly cash-only transactions. Dutchie, a Bend, Oregon company, has helped mitigate that issue—and it just raised a ton of money.

Technically, Dutchie is a jack-of-all-trades service that creates and hosts websites for dispensaries, tracks product, processes orders, keeps stock of revenue, and so much more. While it was valued at around $200 million as recently as summer of 2020, a round of series C funding currently puts the company at around $1.7 billion—approximately 8 times its worth a mere 8 months ago.

There are a few reasons behind Dutchie’s newfound momentum. For starters, the pandemic made cannabis products a lot more accessible—and desirable—in states in which the sale of cannabis is legal. The ensuing surge of customers and demand certainly didn’t hurt the platform, especially given that Dutchie is largely responsible for keeping things on track during some of the more chaotic months for dispensaries.

Several states in which the sale of cannabis was illegal also voted to legalize recreational use, giving Dutchie even more stomping ground than they had prior to the lockdown.

Dutchie also recently took on 2 separate companies and their associated employees, effectively doubling their current staff. The companies are Greenbits—a resource planning group—and Leaflogix, which is a point-of-sale platform. With these two additions to their compendium, Dutchie can operate as even more of an all-in-one suite, which absolutely contributes to its value as a company.

Ross Lipson, who is Dutchie’s co-founder and current CEO, is fairly dismissive of investment opportunities for the public at the moment, saying he instead prefers to stay “focused with what’s on our plate” for the time being. However, he also appears open to the possibility of going public via an acquisition company.

“We look at how this decision brings value to the dispensary and the customer,” says Lipson. “If it brings value, we’d embark on that decision.”

For now, Dutchie remains the ipso facto king of cannabis distribution and sales—and they don’t show any plans to slow down any time soon.

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Business News

Ford adopts flexible working from home schedule for over 30k employees

(BUSINESS NEWS) Ford Motor Co. is allowing employees to continue working from home even after the pandemic winds down. Is this the beginning of a trend for auto companies?

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Woman in car working on engineering now allowed a flexible schedule for working from home.

The pandemic has greatly transformed our lives. For the most part, learning is being conducted online. At one point, interacting with others was pretty much non-existent. Working in the office shifted significantly to working remotely, and it seems like working from home might not go away anytime soon.

As things slowly get back to a new “normal”, will things change again? Well, one thing is sure. Working from home will be a permanent thing for some people as more companies opt to continue letting people work remotely.

And, the most recent company on the list to do this is Ford Motor Co. Even after the pandemic winds down, Ford will allow more than 30,000 employees already working from home to continue doing so.

Last week, the automaker giant announced its “flexible hybrid model” schedule to its staff. The new schedule is set to start in the summer, and employees can choose to work remotely and come into the office for tasks that require face-to-face collaborations, such as meetings and group projects.

How much time an employee spends in the office will depend on their responsibilities, and flexible remote hours will need to be approved by an employee’s manager.

“The nature of work drives whether or not you can adopt this model. There are certain jobs that are place-dependent — you need to be in the physical space to do the job,” David Dubensky, chairman and chief executive of Ford Land, told the Washington Post. “Having the flexibility to choose how you work is pretty powerful. … It’s up to the employee to have dialogue and discussion with their people leader to determine what works best.”

Ford’s decision to implement a remote-office work model has to do in part with an employee survey conducted in June 2020. Results from the survey showed that 95% of employees wanted a hybrid schedule. Some employees even reported feeling more productive when working from home.

Ford is the first auto company to allow employees to work from home indefinitely, but it might not be the only one. According to the Post, Toyota and General Motors are looking at flexible options of their own.

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