Here is your December guide to the latest trends impacting the world of work. Every month, we provide perspective on the biggest news affecting the industry and explain what to expect as new trends continue to emerge.
PWC’S WOMEN IN WORK INDEX HIGHLIGHTS SIGNIFICANT CHALLENGES AHEAD FOR GENDER BALANCE IN THE WORKPLACE
PwC’s Women in Work Index 2021 report highlights how women’s jobs and their participation in the labor market have been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The report makes for alarming reading, stressing any gradual progress that was being made to advance gender equality in work before COVID-19 has been rapidly reversed. A disproportionate number of women lost their jobs at a higher rate than men and have left the labor market entirely, some indefinitely. This is a direct result of pre-existing gender inequalities in society combined with sectors that have higher levels of females in the workforce being hit harder by the pandemic.
If employers don’t act quickly, and more than double their efforts to achieve gender equality, it will be beyond 2030 before we get back to pre-pandemic equality growth, if ever. To stand any chance of success, the report states that critically urgent policies are needed to enable faster progress toward gender equality, specifically:
- Addressing pre-existing gender inequalities in care
- Creating and enabling an environment for women to remain in work
- Supporting women to retrain and re-skill for jobs in post-pandemic, high growth sectors
- Closing gender pay gaps faster, as well as valuing women’s work equally to men
This ultimately comes down to employers offering greater flexibility, for women and men, to help share the responsibilities of increasing familial responsibilities due to generational workforce changes and the impact of the pandemic.
Read more and download the full report at https://www.pwc.co.uk/services/economics/insights/women-in-work-index.html
ATTRACTING GEN Z MAY REQUIRE COMPLETELY RETHINKING CURRENT EMPLOYMENT MODELS
According to EY’s [US] 2021 Gen Z Segmentation Study, “Businesses need to develop a strong ‘Plan Z’ to ensure future successful engagement with [existing and potential] employees and customers.”
The same study reported that Gen Z shows strong entrepreneurialism, with 45% being very likely to start their own business one day. Gen Z already makes up 50% of the freelance participation in the US, and it is predicted that by 2027, freelancers will make up the majority of the US workforce.
Know What Drives Gen Z
LinkedIn recently published their “everything marketers should know about Gen Z” research. The key takeaways for employers were understanding what’s important to Gen Z, and therefore what (and how) to communicate to them:
- Mindset: Learning, Ambition, Wealth.
- Life Goals: Learning New Skills, Career Success, Financial Security.
- Attitude & Brand Values: Never want to stop growing, value transparency and authenticity, want to be part of something bigger. Sustainability and giving back [ESG impact] are important.
Embrace the “Creator Economy”
The creator economy refers to an emerging trend in how people make money. It consists primarily of social media influencers and content creators who earn money from their content, examples of which include subscriptions and donations made to gaming streamers on platforms like Twitch, influencer marketing such as fashion vloggers promoting products, and selling digital assets such audio, eBooks and educational courses. Venture capitalist firm, Signalfire estimates there to be 50 million content creators, of which 46.7M are amateurs and 2M+ are [full-time] professionals.
To put some context around this, here are some fascinating numbers:
- The total revenue earned by the top 10,000 gaming-streamers on Twitch is just over $995M, according to data leaked on Reddit in October 2021.
- Customuse, a platform that allows you to create clothing items to sell in virtual reality platforms, lets designers sell skins and goods into popular metaverse games such as Roblox – a platform that itself had 250 people make over $100K as Roblox creators last year alone.
- Teachers across the US are bringing in thousands of dollars a month teaching live, virtual classes on Outschool and Juni Learning.
- The FIFAe World Cup winner (eSports series) took home $250K for winning the tournament in 2018.
Why is this important for employers to know?
The “side-hustle” might actually be a core part of how Gen Z earns money. Or, less of a side hustle and more of a part-time, or even full-time, career for some. Employers will need to consider how they adapt their employment offer and some of their “jobs” (or tasks and projects as they may need to become) to attract Gen Z and capitalize on the broad range of skills from those involved in the creator economy.
Unilever’s U Work Program
One such employer who has some early success with a pilot program of this nature is Unilever with their U Work program. Morag Lynagh, Global Future of Work Director for Unilever calls it a “socially responsible alternative to the gig economy.” While not specifically targeted at Gen Z (it was initially set up to cater to those nearing retirement), the benefits of such an initiative are clear to see for anyone who wants a new way of working flexibly but with some job security and the benefits usually associated with permanent employment.
For employers, this yet again comes down to offering a wide range of flexibility, fostering an entrepreneurial culture and giving employees the opportunity to work on a variety of projects, both within and outside of the organization.
SIGNS OF GREEN SHOOTS FOR UK LOGISITCS SECTOR
A new report published by Logistics UK, the organization that represents and supports the UK freight and logistics sector, shows promising signs that logistics employers are starting to see the green shoots of recovery following the dual impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and Brexit impacting the availability of drivers. The key findings were:
- The number of HGV drivers fell 72,000 in the second quarter compared with the same time in 2019 – leaving the workforce 23.4% smaller than it was at the outset of the pandemic. However, the situation is beginning to ease, with a fall of 44,000 or 14% in the third quarter compared with Q3 2019.
- Companies have increased pay in order to retain existing staff and attract new drivers. Average HGV driver pay surged 10% in the nine months to October.
- There are early signs of improvement. Applications for provisional licences are reported to be three times higher than pre-pandemic levels and HGV driver testing increased by 25.6% in Q3 this year compared to Q3 2019.
The report highlights the solutions needed to solve the HGV shortage and broader staffing challenges, focusing primarily on better immigration policies and training. Additionally, it highlights the need for better working conditions, including better infrastructure for HGV parking/rest stops. While there are promising signs of recovery beginning, 2022 will remain a challenge with ever-increasing online shopping and HGV drivers moving to van delivery driver jobs.
Continue reading by downloading the full report at https://logistics.org.uk/campaigns/logistics-uk-skills-and-employment-advice-hub/logistics-uk-s-skills-and-employment-report