Here are the top news stories in talent & organization from this week.

Davos 2018 made women a C-suite topic

As journalists and thought leaders across the globe continue to analyze the trends and highlights of the 48th Annual Meeting of the World Economic Forum, gender equality continues to make the headlines. “It was the first WEF annual meeting to be chaired entirely by women. It was also the first to take place during a time when, by the WEF’s own metrics, women’s progress toward parity with men had begun to move backwards,” CBS MoneyWatch reported last week. Barri Rafferty, CEO of Ketchum, told CBS, “This year, female topics – whether it was pay equity, equality – really moved from the side room and being an HR topic to being a C-suite topic.” Rafferty recalled being “frequently mistaken” at previous gatherings as the spouse of an invited guest. “For a long time, the yearly gathering was another demonstration of women’s under-representation, so much so that the meeting’s organizers put in place their own quotas back in 2011 to try to remedy the problem,” according to CBS. “While the WEF meeting – like the rest of the world – has a long way to go to reach full parity between the sexes, it has taken center stage in the discussion.”

Millennials value passion over money

According to new research by Bank of America, 72 percent of millennials (23- to 37-year-olds) living in Seattle believe passion is more important than salary in their career. The Better Money Habits Millennial Report also found that 67 percent of Seattle millennials wish they had chosen a job with a better work/life balance, and 47 percent wish they had chosen a job they enjoyed more, 4-traders reports. Other findings of the study show that millennials in Seattle pay attention to finances: More than half (67 percent) are saving and 70 percent of those who have a savings goal usually meet it. Sixty-nine percent of Seattle millennials budget, compared to 54 percent nationally, and 72 percent of them stick to their budget every month or most months, on par with 73 percent nationally. 

Banks turn to design thinking

Design thinking is simply “applying the principles of design to the way people interact with the world.” This post from The Financial Brand points out that design thinking is not a new concept, yet it is somewhat new for financial services firms. The article gives two examples of banks looking at design thinking solutions: BBVA and Capital One. BBVA launched “Design Thinking for Leaders” to help the bank innovate and design for its customers. “All employees, regardless of their role, should begin to see themselves as a designer that contributes to improving the customer experience,” BBVA’s Head of Marketing, Rob Brown, told The Financial Brand. Capital One hired a former head of Google’s Advanced Technology and Projects group and acquired consulting design firm Adaptive Path in 2014 to help fuel initiatives based on design thinking. “The banking sector is going through a period of disruption, but this is not the end of the industry,” says Dieter Staib, a partner with Oliver Wyman. “Instead, this disruption marks the genesis of the banking sector’s new DNA: a combination of changes in business models, agile execution, and design thinking.”

Five top workforce trends for 2018

“The HR department will need to innovate in 2018. With unemployment at a 17-year low, employers are struggling to find – and retain – top-tier talent with the right skills,” writes Eric Friedman in this Talent Management & HR blog post. He identifies five main trends that HR professionals need to focus on in 2018: 1. Performance management (implement a continuous, regular feedback system for employees); 2. Learning and development (provide a mix of classroom learning and online training); 3. Chatbots and AI (use these to handle simple employee requests from HR); 4. HR data (use it for planning and strategy); 5. Innovative benefits (become a trendsetter, not a follower when it comes to unique benefits).

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