On International Women’s Day in 2013, U.S. President Barack Obama remarked that, “Empowering women isn’t just the right thing to do, it’s the smart thing to do.” Just last month Germany became the latest nation to institute a mandatory requirement for the number of women in supervisory board positions, joining such countries as Norway, Iceland, Spain, France, Italy and Belgium with boardroom quotas ranging from 30-40 percent. By comparison, currently about 19 percent of board seats at U.S. stock index companies are held by women. The numbers are moving in the right direction, and the quotas mandated throughout Europe have opened the door, but the business potential is the greatest case for gender diversity on corporate boards.
Emerging markets have never mattered more to Western multinationals. They have also never been more difficult to navigate. With the global fragmentation of political and economic power, corporations face greater uncertainty and rapidly diversifying sources of risk. Emerging markets are producing formidable new competitors and are also starting to rewrite the global rules of business. At the same time, MNCs’ home governments and established relationships are less useful than they once were when entering new markets. Faced with this complex new reality, multinationals must increasingly look to themselves to solve problems and generate opportunities.
Washington is abuzz once again with talk of free trade, presidential authority, and Congressional responsibility. Last week’s announcement that movement is being made towards fast-track authority for President Obama in vital trade deals is an encouraging sign that the U.S. Congress is serious about advancing free trade in the coming years.
The vast liberalization of international trade and the relatively free movement of capital on a global scale no longer move parallel with the freedom of migration. OECD members are afraid to flood their countries with poor immigrants from Africa, Asia, Latin America, and Eastern Europe. However, developed countries are now willing to accept talented young graduates who gained their education in less developed countries and now want to offer their skills to foreign labor markets for a “better life.”
Constantly growing in response to increased population and demand, the manufacturing sector must rely on a skilled, talented work force to continue to bring innovation to the industry. Addressing this growing demand, Deloitte LLP, in conjunction with the Manufacturing Institute, has produced a report outlining the present and future needs of manufacturers. High on the list of concerns is an ever growing skills gap between the workforce talent needed and the talent available to hire.
Within the next decade, more than 50 percent of new jobs will require employees are trained in STEM skills. However, too many students are leaving school without any of the skills they need to thrive in a changing job market. How can we address this skills gap in our global workforce?
It has been five years since the official end of the Great Recession in the United States, and yet young people are still reeling from its effect. About 5.8 million young people are out of work and out of school. Throughout the country, unemployment for young people reaches as high as twice the national unemployment rate. Clearly, an entire generation has been devastated by the economic crisis. But while young people face serious challenges, they also stand to take advantage of some incredible opportunities.
In 2011, the World Economic Forum (WEF) made the brave decision to create the Global Shapers community, a community that follows the 2005 Young Global Leaders Initiative and aims to bridge the gap between those below 30 and those above 40 years old. The mandate of the WEF, and its fundamental motto, is to bring in the community of young, passionate, future leaders with exceptional potential and strong commitment to improve the state of the world. The Global Shapers community does just that.
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