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Reflections On The Watermark Conference For Women

This week I was fortunate enough to head down to the Watermark Conference for Women alongside our SVP, Stephanie Brooks. As we enter 2020 and women continue to shatter glass ceilings, Harnham firmly believe in a proactive approach towards placing more women in Data & Tech roles.  Diversity and inclusion are integral to our story and core beliefs and we strive to continually re-evaluate how we create measurable change in the marketplace and redefine the metrics of successful and excellent recruitment. For us, attending the conference was a chance to meet and learn from some of those women who are leading the way. Every talk inspired me in some way but there were a couple I really connected with, and I wanted to take the opportunity to reflect on how they impact the work we do at Harnham. WHAT IS WATER? One talk that struck a chord with me was Seth Godin’s breakfast keynote, inspired by a commencement speech by David Foster Wallace in which he famously tells a story of two fish out at sea. The story goes: “There are these two young fish swimming along and they happen to meet an older fish swimming the other way, who nods at them and says ‘Morning, boys. How’s the water?’ And the two young fish swim on for a bit, and then eventually one of them looks over at the other and goes ‘What the hell is water?’”. Godin’s speech was meditated on how attitudes and beliefs are the indicators of future success. In his speech, Godin echoed Wallace’s sentiment that “freedom involves attention and awareness and discipline, and being able truly to care about other people and to sacrifice for them over and over in a myriad of ways every day.” Recruitment is an industry where it is easy to swim along without questioning what water or recruitment really is. To question what is water - what is recruitment - requires thoughtful analysis, careful consideration, and of course, “attention, awareness, and discipline”. As the global leaders of Data & Analytics recruitment, we remind ourselves daily that we are responsible for making meaningful change. Water is, to us, what we make of it.  For Seth, his water is marketing. For Harnham, our water is recruitment and we stand by Wallace’s challenge to stay conscious and alive in our jobs. Day in and day out Harnham will continue to make the case for agency recruitment to be diverse and inclusive, as this is in the best economic interest of our clients.   THE ECONOMY OF DIVERSITY One of the most insightful and compelling moments of the day was a conversation between Pat Mitcheel and Indra Nooyi, the former chair and CEO of PepsiCo. Having directed the company’s global strategy for more than a decade, Nooyi is uniquely poised to discuss the importance and power of having women in every capacity within an organization.  During the conversation, she highlighted the statistics that measure the success companies achieve when women have equal representation at all levels. Currently, gender parity exists in entry-level positions but is absent in the 2nd and 3rd tiers of the workforce. While Nooyi highlighted that having a diverse and inclusive workplace should be an integral part of every company’s corporate social responsibility, she argued that this also leads to unprecedented economic growth. This aligns closely with our view of Diversity at Harnham, something which we examined in more detail in our Diversity Report.  For Nooyi, in making the case for the economics of diversity, she used the work of care economists to show how implementing policies that affected the unique interests of women are proven to not only keep women in the workforce and draw them back to work after children but are also shown to increase the economic output of countries. Institutional change at the corporate level and policies focused on those who have care-giving responsibilities have been shown to positively influence economic growth and increase the happiness and productivity of workers.  BREAKING OUT  As a woman working in a fast-paced and competitive environment, I also took a number of insights from the various break-out sessions held throughout the day. Here are a few highlights:  Women Breaking Barriers: Michelle P. King, Andrea McBride John, Pat Mitchell, Samantha Rapoport Find a mentor, be a mentor. Find a sponsor, be a sponsor. Find a sister, be a sister.Take up space and own it Share your successes with the women and men around you Building a Network of Relationships, Not Just Contacts: Laura Okmin Focus on asking people who they are, not what they do Reach out when you don’t need anything, maintain relationships  The Myth of the Nice Girl Nice people build  trust, trust is the foundation of all business relationships You don’t have to choose between kindness and strength If you want to break glass ceilings, we may have an opportunity for you. Take a look at our latest roles or get in touch with one of our expert consultants to find out more.  For our West Coast Team, call (415) 614 - 4999 or send an email to sanfraninfo@harnham.com. For our Mid-West and East Coast Team, call (212) 796 - 6070 or send an email to newyorkinfo@harnham.com. 

RISK AND REWARD – YOUR RISK ANALYTICS TEAM

Apartment applications. Job applications. Credit card and bank applications. We’re sharing our data today like never before and with the advent of AI and other technological advances, we’re sharing at a more rapid rate. Data breaches and unethical behaviors give us pause before we jot down our most precious information but, ultimately, there’s no stemming the tide. So, who watches out for us, the customer and the company? Enter the Risk Management Team. It All Begins with Perception In May 2018, the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) became law across the European Union. Its goal? To place stringent requirements on how business handles customer data. Make no mistake, however, the need and the desire is not EU-specific. It is a matter of trust and security; something customers today demand, for the most part, before signing their information away to be organized, catalogued, and analyzed. Risk teams ensure your data will be used appropriately and ensure processes for future applications.  How do they do this? Risk teams need a cross-pollination of skillsets to help mitigate risk across industries. Often, risk begins in the financial sector, but it can also incorporate project management, data teams, marketing, sales, and Business Intelligence officials. And, with the advances of technology, they may also utilize Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning to model historical data for future predictions. They must ask the right questions, ensure the right data is used for the right purpose, and validate their findings in a real-world environment. Roles of Risk Though in today’s market, everyone has a part to play, those who are focused on risk and considered part of the Risk Management Team might include the following: Chief Financial Officer (CFO) and Board Members or StakeholdersBusiness Analyst and Data Science OfficerRisk Analyst and Project ManagerStrategy and Predictive ModellerIT Marketing Together, these individuals work to challenge models, data, and decisions on behalf of customers while adhering to the company’s bottom line. Though Big Data and advanced analytics have evolved, the need to understand risks which differ in complexity, type, speed, and size remains. A few questions your Risk team might find itself asking, include: What is the impact of data and how it’s analyzed? Have we invested enough in human capital and technology, and advanced Data Analytics to focus on any potential risk including but not limited to cyber risk?Are our validations timely and appropriate? Who is responsible for decisions made by AI?Do we have the right people in place? The right tools? Are we willing and ready to challenge our data-driven and analytics-related risks?What’s our risk perspective? Do we have a good plan in place? Who will help us put one together and implement it? Ultimately, risk management in any sector, is the integration of people, processes and tools to ensure early identification and solution of risk across the enterprise. Setting the Stage or How to Get Your Risk Management Started Get buy-in from senior leadership and stakeholders as well as their commitment and dedicated participation to manage enterprise-wide risk.Make Risk Management a priority and enforce it throughout its life-cycle.Ensure technical and program management are both represented.Program management and engineering specialties should be communicated to ensure the right information is generated to help mitigate risk.Ensure risk team members, particularly those in program management, identify any concerns such as contracting, funding, costs, risks, and anything which might promote potentially dangerous ramifications if left unchecked. Even before your players are in place, you may want to consider a Risk Management Plan. Your team can help develop the parameters and implement it, but first you need to know what it is you need to watch. The CFO role in the risk team involves knowing who to pull together, what to look for, and to execute any cost-saving measures through a well-thought out plan to mitigate risk.  Four Items to Consider When Creating Your Credit Risk Team As important as technological advances have become to help mitigate risk, a business still needs human capital to analyze AI decisions and offer creative solution. So, the first two items to consider when building your team may seem unusually obvious. But, the second two, may not be so clearly necessary. These included oversight and systems-wide supply chain webs of data which must be carefully tended. TechnologyHuman Capital - Get everyone on board to ensure the program’s support; Assemble the appropriate people to assess the firm’s risks; Educate your team; Set your risk level.Supply Chain - Globalization has made companies’ supply chains more vulnerable than ever. Risk Governance - Conduct a SWOT analysis (Strengths/Weaknesses/Opportunities/Threats) to help engage your company members at every level as subtly work in broader educational efforts. Want to help the 99% have access to funds they need to live the lives they want? We may have a role for you. Take a look at our latest opportunities get in touch with one of our expert consultants to find out more.  For our West Coast Team, call (415) 614 - 4999 or send an email to sanfraninfo@harnham.com.   For our Mid-West and East Coast Teams, call (212) 796 - 6070 or send an email to newyorkinfo@harnham.com. 

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