Did You Know? A CEO's Storytelling, MOOCs, Career Advice, Talent Analysis

A CEO’s Storytelling Can Spark Change
 
Did you know, according to recent research in the McKinsey Quarterly, that one of the top priorities for companies is to have leaders focused on gender diversity? However, while the business case for more women strikes a chord, it’s the storytelling from a company leader that really sparks change. Furthermore, leadership plays a key role in developing a company culture that supports diversity initiatives.
 
Researchers Joanna Barsh, Sandra Nudelman, and Lareina Yee, explain:
 
“Numbers matter, but belief makes the case powerful. Real stories relayed by the CEO and other top leaders — backed by tangible action — can build an organizational commitment to everything from creating an even playing field to focusing on top talent to treating everyone with respect. Each time a story is told, the case for diversity gets stronger and more people commit to it.”
 
Read more at Evolved Employer.
 
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University Students Not Jumping at the MOOC Opportunity
 
Did you know that Colorado State University-Global Campus was the first college in the United States to offer credit to students who complete a MOOC? This seemed like a great opportunity for the students since they would be able to receive credit at a lower cost than the typical three-credit class. However, over a year has passed since the university initially made this offer to its students and no students have taken them up on this offer. This baffled university officials as they expected students to jump at this opportunity. However, what they failed to take into consideration before making this offer was the demographics of the typical MOOC student -- data shows that many MOOC students already have college degrees. Chari Leader Kelley, vice president of LearningCounts, stated, “As I've learned more about the students in the MOOCs, I've become more educated about my expectations.”
 
In the months since Colorado State University-Global Campus decided to make this offer to students, lawmakers across the country have decided to draft bills to require state universities to offer credit to students that complete MOOCs. Is this something your institution would consider offering to students?
 
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Career Advice from Starz Entertainment’s Judy Batenburg
 
Did you know that Judy Batenburg, vice president of IT Infrastructure & Operations at Starz Entertainment, was chosen as July’s Premier 100 IT Leader? She recently answered many burning questions about the field of IT by participating in a Q&A session, shared by Computerworld
 
When it comes to picking a specialty, Judy said, “The best place to start is to figure out what areas of IT excite and interest you. It doesn’t matter if it’s a great area of IT; if you aren’t interested in it, you won’t be happy.” She suggested looking at industry trends and job boards to get a sense of sought-after skills applicable to interests. NCWIT offers Which Computing Pathway is Right for Me? for those at the high school level -- a resource that explains how computing interests and talents line up with different undergraduate courses of study and the careers that follow.
 
While coursework and training is effective for growing skills, Judy recommends a different approach for moving into a leadership role. “The best way to move into a leadership role is to take advantage of opportunities to show your leadership,” said Judy. “Volunteer to be the lead on a project or identify a project function or service that needs to be done ... Then do it.”
 
Read more from the Q&A here.
 
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STEM High Schools Teach More Than STEM
 
Did you know that, contrary to popular belief, STEM high schools are not solely built around science, technology, engineering, and math courses? Actually, in addition to offering STEM courses, many STEM schools operate on a curriculum which focuses on three key components: project-based learning, critical thinking, and collaboration. Many STEM leaders believe that this three-tiered approach is a model that can be replicated in schools nationwide. 
 
Steven Zipkes, founding principal of Manor New Technology High School in Texas stated, “In reality, it's not what we teach, it's how we teach.” According to Zipkes, most schools operate on a lecture based curriculum, causing students to become ‘bored out of their mind.’” Thus, rather than having teachers lecture students, at Manor New Tech, students complete 65 different projects each school year. Manor New Technology High School, along with other STEM schools, have reported having high attendance, graduation, and college acceptance rates. They attribute this success, at least in part, to their unique yet rigorous approach to education. 
 
NCWIT offers several resources to help introduce computing in an engaging way, including AgentCubes-in-a-Box and Computer Science-in-a-Box.
 
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A Skills Analysis Can Help to Develop IT Talent
 
Did you know that by doing a talent analysis within the company, strengths and weaknesses can be identified, allowing leadership to better plan for the skills necessary to achieve goals. According to a CIO Executive Council Report, “Creating Your Future-State IT Leadership Team Today,” even though 96% of two hundred IT personnel responded by saying this was either “important” or “very important” to them, 30% of them rated themselves as “not proficient” in actually working to analyze and develop their workforce. 
 
According to Rachel Russell, director of marketing at TEKsystems, the first step in conducting a skills analysis is to have an understanding of what your organization should look like in the future, and the skill sets that will help your organization get there. The article provides additional tips for getting started.
 
NCWIT’s Supervising-in-a-Box Series helps establish supportive and effective relationships with a diverse range of employees. The Employee Development Box focuses on ensuring that employees contribute their best ideas and talents to the team. This box explores ways to reduce or remove unconscious bias, discriminatory practices, and institutional barriers while performing supervisory job functions – including recruitment, project management, performance evaluations, feedback processes, and everyday communication. Additionally, the Performance Review/Talent Management Box provides supervisors with resources for reducing biases in performance evaluation and talent management systems.
 

 

Did You Know? is a brief round-up of information and news that crossed NCWIT's radar recently and which we think might be of interest to you. Practices or content of the news presented are not vetted or endorsed by NCWIT.