Editor’s Note: This story contains one of our Best Business Lessons of 2014. Check out the full list here. advertisement advertisement At Eugene, Oregon-based Palo Alto Software, a company that develops business planning and other business-focused software, every day is Take Our Daughters and Sons to Work Day. CEO Sabrina Parsons, who has led the company since 2007, is a staunch advocate of family-friendly policies and is trying to help her employees and others in the tech sector deal with the fact that people have babies. Taking care of them shouldn’t derail your career. Parsons says that the juggling work and parenting is tough for all parents, but the physical and societal demands placed on women hold particular challenges. From getting pregnant and giving birth to the disparity in many caregiving situations, she says parenting puts women’s careers at risk more than men’s. “You’re in the prime of your career with all of this experience, … [Read more...] about The Tech Company With The Radical Idea That Having A Baby Shouldn’t Derail Your Career
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The age of judging companies only on their longevity is now past. Great companies solve problem that matter. advertisement advertisement Since the 1950s we have been judging companies by their longevity. We fret over how long they stay on the Fortune 500 list, maintain a leadership position, or survive “disruptions.” But does longevity even matter anymore? Isn’t longevity just a bi-product of something more important? I think that great companies are those that dedicate themselves to a problem that matters. When they solve the problem, they exit the stage triumphant. And companies that survive, do so because the problem they exist to solve (their purpose or mission) is so big that there is still work to do. Longevity is not a goal in itself; it is a bi-product of taking on a big problem. Purina, for example, exists to “connect pets with people.” Google exists to “organize the world’s information.” When will such missions be … [Read more...] about Great Companies Solve Problems That Matter
Soft skills are the new career makers—and a host of new technology enablers have cropped up to help identify and optimize these skills for us. Companies see emerging tech such as virtual reality and artificial intelligence as an opportunity for machines to teach us more human skills such as emotional intelligence and agility at work. advertisement advertisement The reality is that technology can only go so far. You can be empathetic to someone’s plight but still treat them poorly. The übercompetitive world of tech or finance lures people with fast cognitive processing. This may lead to quick responses that make millions on the trading floor but can cause trouble at the staff party. Your capacity for empathy and skill at deploying it also waxes and wanes with your own physical and mental state. No VR program can cure the “hangries” when you haven’t eaten. Big data tells us that even judges make softer decisions after lunch. With that in … [Read more...] about More companies are using AI to teach EQ. Here’s how it can go wrong
Which large companies do the best job of paying workers fairly, treating customers well, protecting the environment, and other corporate responsibility factors? In a new list, the nonprofit Just Capital ranked the largest 1,000 American corporations based on a list of 29 issues. advertisement advertisement Microsoft topped the list, in part because of the company’s progress on pay equity—women earn as much as male colleagues with the same job level and title—and the environment. The company, which became carbon neutral in 2012, has an internal carbon fee to help it continue to lower its footprint, and it also develops environmental tech through projects like AI for Earth, a $50 million research project using AI and machine learning to tackle challenges like identifying animals on the verge of extinction. Here are the top 10 companies on the list: Microsoft Nvidia Apple Intel Salesforce Alphabet Anthem PayPal P&G VMware Obviously, even the top companies … [Read more...] about The 2019 ‘Just 100’ ranks the most responsible companies in the U.S.
A working mother I know recently told me that toggling between parenting a toddler and the demands of managing a department and a staff of three is a tightrope walk. Some days, everything worked smoothly, boosting her confidence in her career path and her childrearing choices. Other days, when her child got sick or daycare was closed due to weather, the disruption and reallocation of her time threatened to tip the fine balance between work and family. “It’s stressful,” she confesses. “It makes me feel like I’m not doing well at either job,” asking not to reveal her name, in case her boss reads the article. advertisement advertisement Hers is a familiar story among working parents of either gender. What might help, she posits, is a more accepting environment. “One that doesn’t punish you for having a life where things don’t always run smoothly,” she says. Although “Take Our Daughters and Sons To Work” is … [Read more...] about How These Companies Have Created Kid-Friendly Offices For Working Parents