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Successful businesswoman

“Women in America” White House Report: How Far Have We Come?

Successful businesswomanOn this 100th (!) International Women’s Day, when women all over the world are celebrating the countless accomplishments of women or being honored themselves, I thought it would be fitting to share results of The White House’s just-released report all about women, called Women in America: Indicators of Social and Economic Well-Being. It was prepared for the White House Council on Women and Girls — a council created in 2009 by President Obama to “enhance, support, and coordinate the efforts of existing programs for women and girls.”

A report nearly 50 years in the making

This is the first Federal report that focuses on the progress of women in the U.S. since John F. Kennedy’s Presidential Commission on the Status of Women issued 1963′s Peterson Report, which primarily focused on workplace discrimination and issues of workplace inequality — and which helped lead to the Equal Pay Act.

Fast forward from 1963 to 2011 — how have things changed?

Why women’s issues are important (and not just for women)

President Obama himself has stated that the social and economic issues facing women are not just women’s issues; many of these issues can end up affecting entire families. The report gives a picture of women in America today by focusing on five areas: demographic and family changes, education, employment, health, and crime. Although I’d like to share findings on education and employment specifically, it’s worth perusing the report (PDF) for yourself to get a better sense of how various gender comparisons all fit together in the big picture. Women have achieved so much — and this report reflects that. Unfortunately, in some areas, there is still much progress to be made. Let’s take a closer look.

Women and Education

When it comes to educational achievement in particular over the last few decades, women have made huge strides. This holds true across racial and ethnic groups, and, in some cases, the educational achievements of women have significantly outpaced those of men over the last 40 years.


  • Perhaps not surprisingly, high school education rates of women have substantially increased. Between 1970 and 2009, the percentage of women with at least a high school education rose from 59 percent (about the same as men) to about 87 percent (slightly more than men).
  • Over the years, we’ve seen a huge surge in the number of women who have paved out careers for themselves and embarked upon that institute of higher learning known as college. The percentage of women ages 25-34 with at least a college degree has more than tripled since 1968, and women earned about 57 percent of all college degrees given in 2007-2008.
  • In 2008, women accounted for 59 percent of graduate school enrollment.
  • When it comes to doctoral degrees, the tables have completely turned in the past decade alone. In 1998, more doctoral degrees were conferred to men than to women. A decade later, it’s the opposite.

The science and tech gap

While women do earn the majority of degrees overall, they earn fewer degrees than men in science and technology. In the college level of engineering and computer sciences, women possess fewer than 20 percent of degrees earned. The good news is that the lack of women in these fields has not gone unnoticed; women in the tech field, for instance, are banding together and starting conferences, investing money and resources, and engaging in professional networking. These efforts aren’t without criticism, though — some believe that instead making efforts to differentiate themselves, women in these types of fields should be integrating themselves more forcefully into male-dominated events and circles. What do you think?


Women and the Workplace

Over the past several decades, women’s role in the workplace has changed dramatically. But where are women currently excelling – and where are we falling short? Let’s take a look.

By in Innovation, Insights & Trends, Survey Results, Talent Acquisition

We Asked, You Answered: “Would a Results-Only Environment Work at Your Company?”

Workplace Flexibility — It’s Not a Trend

More and more businesses are talking about the importance of workplace flexibility in today’s society – and the White House even dedicated a recent forum solely to the topic. As the forum stressed, we need a 21st century workplace to meet the demands of a 21st century work force. A report by the President’s Council of Economic Advisors found that more flexibility in the workplace leads to happier employees, more family time, and higher employee retention and productivity – as well as more competitive and profitable workplaces.

One of the more interesting discussions in The Hiring Site’s contest history recently unfolded around the very idea of workplace flexibility, as we asked all of you the following question for our May contest (and gave away some cool stuff — congrats to our winners!):

“Do you think a results-only work environment would work at your company? Why or why not?”

You were all more than a bit divided on the subject; opinions ranged from “This would NOT be a good environment at ANY company!” to “Yes! Thinking outside the box is what keeps America growing.” I’ve rounded up some of the highlights below (you can read the full list of comments here).

By in Contests, Employee Engagement, Innovation, Insights & Trends, News & Events, Retention, Talent Acquisition

Team Breakfast

Give Us Your Thoughts for Your Chance to Win Breakfast for Your Team, Three Months of Coffee and More!

Team BreakfastBe the hero and surprise your team with three months of breakfast treats from Wolferman’s, or singlehandedly caffeinate your employees for all of Q3 2010 with a 3-month Dunkin’ Donuts coffee subscription. And even if you don’t win either of those, you have a chance to win your own copy of “Why Works Sucks and How to Fix It.”

Entering is Easy:

Simply answer the question, “Do you think a results-only work environment would work at your company? Why or why not?” in the comments below — and you’ll automatically be entered to win!

What’s ROWE all about? Read on to find out — and then enter to win for your chance at free swag!

By in Contests, Employee Engagement, Innovation, Insights & Trends, News & Events, Retention, Talent Acquisition

video game

Virtually Awesome: How Smart Companies Use Video Games to Recruit, Retain Employees

As a former Super Nintendo addict enthusiast, I was both excited and surprised to come across this recent Go magazine article about the growing number of companies using interactive software and video games as employee training and development tools.

Excited, of course, because it seems like a cool, fun way to engage employees (and brought back fond memories of watching Mario hop around in a Frog suit)…But also surprised by just how many companies are embracing this trend: A reported 70 percent of major domestic employers used these ”serious games” to train employees in 2008, according to the Entertainment Software AssociationContinue reading >>

By in Employee Engagement, Innovation, Insights & Trends, Retention, Talent Acquisition, Technology


The Annual Review: 2009′s Top 10 Workplace Trends

The year is almost over, which of course means it’s time for a completely unprecedented, unexpected-in-every-way “top 10 of 2009” list…

Here, I give you my list of the 10 biggest trends we saw this year in the world of workforce management.  (Notice anything I missed? Let me know in the comments section below!)


    Social Media Specialists made their way to corporate America. Continue reading >>

By in Economy, Innovation, Insights & Trends, Social Media

Creative Down Time in the Workplace — Are You Down With It?

I recently read this post about creative sabbaticals on Harvard Business Publishing’s blog. The article, which also features a video of a talk given by Stefan Sagmeister, owner of design firm Sagmeister Inc. in New York City, presents some interesting ideas about our ideas of creative thinking and space in the workplace — and asks how we use free time to refresh and become more productive. Continue reading >>

By in Employee Engagement, Innovation, Insights & Trends, Retention


Hiring Via Text Message: Employer Trend on the Rise?

cellphoneWe’ve heard of job seekers getting creative to make themselves stand out, particularly in light of the recession, but what about employers? In today’s economy, is the utilization of unique or out-of-the-ordinary methods to find candidates a smart move? In the oft-uttered words of Sarah Palin, you betcha. But how?

Teimlo’s story

Mobile phone content provider Teimlo’s method of hiring for a marketing position is a bit, well, different. The Wales-based company is requiring those candidates interested in working as a marketer for Teimlo to apply via a single text message (and in typical mobile-phone-text-limit fashion, to do it in 160 characters or less). If a candidate makes it to the next hiring round, he or she will get a response from Teimlo — also via text message (duh).

The company explains this move by saying that they want candidates who work well with mobile phones. How do you prove your superior mobile abilities? Well, according to a recent article on Reuters, the company is looking for a myriad of traits. “If you are qualified, sassy, good with words, dynamite at events, Adobe compatible, having working knowledge of mobile and social mobile, and are a determined multi-tasker and networker we want to hear from you,” the company said.

That’s a lot to prove in 160 characters or less. But Teimlo also said the 160 character limit would help sift the “more savvy” about providing content from those who “just want any job.” The company says it wants people who are genuinely interested in their job — not just any job — and that this limited use of characters will force applicants to be creative. The job application process is open until September, so candidates have ample time to come up with their biggest string of Internet slang abbreviations most illustrious words to land that job.

What we can learn

Teimlo is not the only company dreaming up new methods to attract not only candidates — but well-matched candidates — in today’s job market, but they are a great example of a business taking stock of the current economical environment, changing technologies, and the evolving online habits of job seekers to take their hiring process in new directions.

Successful candidates may express their excitement in short bursts of text as well, I imagine:

OMG guess what? Just got intvw w/that co.! Call me l8tr! xoxo

Or, you know, not.

So what do you think? Applying via text: Genious or just gimmicky? And if you could only get 160 characters of text from a candidate’s application, what would you want to hear?

By in Innovation, Insights & Trends, Talent Acquisition, Technology

Want to Connect with Candidates? Get Creative.

Facebook may seem like a great place to start connecting with job seekers. And yes, your company profile’s lurking around on the site. But beyond creating an account and waiting for candidates to come find you, you’re not sure quite what to do. You’re almost ready to pull a Heidi Montag and bail on the whole thing. How can you get creative in your social media efforts — and make stronger connections with candidates? Let’s take a look at some ways to start thinking outside of that (status) box.

Dunkin’ Donuts

Dunkin’ Donuts has made huge strides through their social media efforts, and their latest campaign ties their new product offering in with their Facebook fan page with their “Keep it Coolatta” sweepstakes. This new campaign allows users to turn their profile pics into prizes by taking pictures of themselves drinking the Dunkin’ Donuts beverage and showing how they are “keeping it Coolatta.”

While this campaign may target many customers, it is also getting Dunkin’ in touch with candidates who may not have known a lot about them before and who are curious to learn more about the company. Dunkin’ Donuts is smartly gaining a presence — and an interactive one at that — by tapping into potential employees’ social networks on sites like Facebook. Facebook, as is Twitter or YouTube, is a very viral platform in which to communicate an idea — and if it’s a good idea, it will travel fast and reach a lot of users. They’ll send it to their friends, and then they’ll send it to their friends… and — yeah, you get the idea.

Dunkin’ Donuts executive chairman Jon Luther recently got into a discussion with us here at CB about the company’s leadership philosophy (more to come on that soon). One comment that stood out to me was Luther’s assertion that “People are to us the most important part of the equation. I tell people we’re not cloning genes here, we’re building relationships and making sure they’re the most profitable they can be so we can be the best franchiser in the world.”

And sites heavy on user interaction, such as Facebook, allow companies to more easily build those relationships that are hard to come by through the traditional hiring process alone. They also enable employers to more seamlessly integrate their brand into the user experience. Take a look at what Sea World has done, for example.

Think like an employer

Creating a social media campaign is all well and good, but still, you must determine your goals in launching an interactive, viral campaign on a site like Facebook. What are you trying to do — and with whom are you trying to connect? If primarily candidates, take a look at other companies running successful campaigns, and decide how you can focus in on job seekers in particular. Pitching your product or creating a fun game is a good start — but take it up a level. How can you connect with people who may be interested in working for you (and who just may not know it yet)?

A recent BtoB Magazine article lists 5 ways to optimize your Facebook marketing. These ideas, although specific to Facebook, can be applied elsewhere, and they are good starting points in your planning process.

Here are a few (full list here):

By in Employment Branding, Innovation, Insights & Trends, Social Media, Talent Acquisition, Technology

Ad Age 3-Minute Video: On the Recession’s Silver Lining

Andrew Benett, Euro RSCG Global Chief Strategy Officer, is writing a book called “Good for Business: The Rise of the Conscious Corporation.” Sound too good to be true? Well, don’t spit out your coffee just yet. Take a look at Ad Age’s 3-Minute Video here and check out what Andrew has to say about the economy, necessary changes companies will make, the current infusion of talent, and the future of business. Continue reading >>

By in Economy, Innovation, Insights & Trends

Why We’re Looking Up in A Down Economy

You’ve been busy making birthday gifts out of canned goods containers and constructing a stellar (ah, unused) napkin dress for your next work party, but despite your attempts to be scrappy and creative during this recession we’re experiencing, you’re finding it tough to gear yourself or your employees up on a daily basis. And honestly, you’re having a difficult time seeing the good in it all. What to do?

The great aspect of these down-on-our-luck times is that we may, in fact, not be as down on our luck as it appears. Yes, layoffs are everywhere we look. Yes, keeping morale up is a struggle. Yes, money is tight. We know this, but the underlying current running beneath all of the negativity and sad news is a fighting and entrepreneurial spirit that keeps us fighting through – and moving on. CNN had a great feature yesterday about 9 people who are staying optimistic and finding success in the midst of this recession.

This is not to say that any of this is easy, or that we should all be clapping our hands and celebrating or performing a Toni Basil-style routine of joy (though I’m not not condoning that). But if we look a bit closer, good things are sprouting beneath the surface. Many people are starting their own businesses; others are doing the things they haven’t made time for in the past. Many are getting out of their comfort zones and are finally free of jobs they hated but were too scared to leave.

What positives can you take from our current situation – and how can you pass that positivity on to your employees who need it so much? We recently asked all of you what you’re doing to lift your employees’ morale and promote positivity in the workplace. You had some wonderful ideas! I thought I’d share a few, but be sure to read the full list here.

A few highlights from our awesome commenters:

By in Economy, Employee Engagement, Generational Hiring, Innovation, Insights & Trends, Leadership Development, News & Events, Retention

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