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Work Futures Daily - Why Women Leave

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Natalie Portman on Why Women Leave, Undoing open offices, breaks increase productivity, a few apps an
 

Work Futures

November 1 · Issue #1023 · View online
The ecology of work, and the anthropology of the future.

Natalie Portman on Why Women Leave, Undoing open offices, breaks increase productivity, a few apps and gizmos, Walmart tests Sam’s Club Now, A new tarot for our times

Beacon NY - 2018-10-17 — It’s Halloween, and I don’t have any plans for costumes.
This would work
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Long Takes
Why Women Leave | Natalie Portman gave a speech at Variety’s Power of Women event recently, and raised a question first posed by Jodi Kantor
Weinstein’s abuse was so pervasive, that a whole generation of actresses had been pushed out of our industry and had been deprived of decades of work and the payment that accompanies it. What other women in our industry and in other industries had been silenced and shut out in this way?
[…]
The reason women in nearly every industry are not represented in powerful positions is because women are being discriminated against or retaliated against for hiring and promotion. When they do get jobs, they are often being harassed and assaulted, and they are being paid less than their male counterparts — all of which coerce self-preserving women into finding safer options for themselves and different ways to feel valued. Many women are further oppressed by intersections with other marginalized identities — whether by sexual orientation, race, age, class, religion, physical ability — and are subject to multiple avenues of discrimination and harassment at work at once. If they try to report it, there is often a second harassment — their reputations are smeared, their future hiring is jeopardized and they are further harassed.
So that’s part of why our first action at Time’s Up was to start the Time’s Up Legal Defense Fund with the National Women’s Law Center. Because women need to put food on the table. And in order to do so, they need to be able to do their work in a safe, equitable and dignified environment.
A must read.
Why open office design makes you less productive | Aytekin Tank cites research saying the open offices don’t create more collaboration. On the contrary:
Rather than increasing face-to-face collaborations, open architecture seemed to trigger a natural human response to socially withdraw from officemates and interact over email and instant messenger instead.
“If you’re sitting in a sea of people, for instance, you might not only work hard to avoid distraction (by, for example, putting on big headphones) but — because you have an audience at all times — also feel pressure to look really busy.” — Ethan Bernstein
Beyond interactions, the study found that workers became less productive in open offices. What’s more important from a managerial perspective, the quality of work decreased as well.
This surprises no one. We all know open offices are about real estate prices, not innovation or productivity. It’s smallminded short-termism.
Tank explains that at his company, Jotform, they dedicate a private shared space for each team (cross functional groups of 5-6). That works better.
Short Takes
Taking breaks can increase productivity.
Fellow - Your work copilot | An app designed for managers and their teams. Sounds smart. I’ll get a demo.
Focals | New ‘goggles’ with display. I want.
Walmart’s test store for new technology, Sam’s Club Now, opens next week in Dallas | Mobile checkout, an Amazon Go-like camera system for inventory management, electronic shelf labels, wayfinding technology for in-store navigation, augmented reality, artificial intelligence-infused shopping, and 25% of the usual number of employees.
WorkHub | Bud Caddell of Nobl is building WorkHub, the GitHub for work.
Instant Archetypes: A New Tarot For The New Normal by Superflux | Superflux has created the tarot for our times:
Instant Archetypes is a toolkit to explore the never-ending narratives and multiple perspectives of our new normal: the world of tech-saturated late capitalism.
From the Archives
Why salaries shouldn’t be secret | Felix Salmon wrote this back in 2014:
One of the problems is that virtually everybody in corporate America — from senior management all the way down to entry-level employees — has internalized the primacy of capital over labor. There’s an unspoken assumption that any given person should be paid the minimum amount necessary to prevent that person from leaving. The simplest way to calculate that amount is to simply see what the employee could earn elsewhere, and pay ever so slightly more than that. If a company pays a lot more than the employee could earn elsewhere, then the excess is considered to be wasted, on the grounds that you could get the same employee, performing the same work, for less money.
How is it that most Americans still believe in this way of looking at pay, even as we reach the 100th anniversary of Henry Ford’s efficiency wages? Ford was the first — but by no means the last — businessman to notice that if you pay well above market rates, you get loyal, hard-working employees who rarely leave. Many contemporary companies have followed suit, from Goldman Sachs to Google to Bloomberg: a well-paid workforce is a happy workforce, which can build a truly world-beating company.
[…]
If you work for a company where everybody knows what everybody else is earning, then it’s going to be very easy to see what’s going on. You’ll see who the stars are, you’ll see what kind of skills and talent the company rewards, and you’ll see whether this is the kind of place where you fit in. You’ll also see whether men get paid more than women, whether managers are generally overpaid, and whether behavior like threatening to quit is rewarded with big raises. What’s more, because management knows that everybody else will see such things, they’ll be much less likely to do the kind of secret deals which are all too common in most companies today.
So let’s bring pay rates out into the open, where they belong. Doing so will create better companies, staffed with better-paid and more productive employees. Which is surely exactly what America needs, in a world where it can never compete by racing to the bottom.
Quote of the Day
Whenever the legislature attempts to regulate the differences between masters and their workmen, its counsellors are always the masters. When the regulation, therefore, is in favour of the workmen, it is always just and equitable; but it is sometimes otherwise when in favour of the masters.
| Adam Smith, The Wealth Of Nations
Crossposted from workfutures.org.
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