According to Google/Ipsos in 2017, millennial fathers watch more parenting-related videos on YouTube than mothers. This suggests that dads today are keen to spend time at home with their newborn. Returning from your two week paternity leave or coming back from a longer period of Shared Parental Leave, might be challenging. Leaving a newborn baby to return to work is one of the hardest things a parent has to do. Physically, you're leaving the house and getting back to the morning commute, but emotionally you're rooted at home with your family and its newest member. According to research by the Fatherhood Institute, nearly 90% of UK fathers take formal leave of some kind near the time of their child’s birth. This can range from taking shared parental leave to paternity leave, though in many cases this includes some annual leave. It's important when you get back to reset your work/life balance and explore all the options to make your new life easier. Research has also found that one in three fathers feeling overwhelmed by the challenge of meeting unchanged work expectations and radically expanding caring expectations. But here are a few things you can do to make things easier when you get back to work. After paternity leave It's only natural to miss your family after spending so much time with them on paternity leave. Arrange for a catch-up meeting to get up to speed and define the "work" side of the work/life balance. Ask for clear direction from your employer and find an effective way of managing your work commitments around your home life. You may not be able to work late when you have a newborn at home, so you should have plenty to do during the day at work. Dan Dorrington, Head of Practice at Montash's Bristol office, recently came back from his second period of paternity leave. "The second time was much harder. We had a challenging birth, which was emotionally difficult to manage." Flexible working Many businesses offer flexible working options for their employees. If your work offers flexible working, it might be worth looking into. You may find that you find a way to work in a way that better suits your home life. Whether that's starting later so you can help out at home in the morning or working from home to take the weight off babysitting, flexible working can help you better balance your commitments. "I was able to spread my leave over 5 weeks, because I needed to be flexible and present at work and at home. I was frank about my situation and Montash were supportive of my decision. They allowed me to be flexible ." Establish a line between work and home For new fathers, re-establishing your work/life balance after paternity leave can be a real challenge. You need to make sure that you are able to do your job and support your new family to a level that works for you and them. Agree ground rules for regular communication and get into a routine so you can keep life from interrupting work. It's important to be performing at your optimum in all aspects of your work and home life. Getting back to work is as much a team effort as raising a child is. You need to be able to work and communicate with your family and your employer effectively in order to make the process manageable. You'll figure it out, but don't be afraid to ask for help. Benefits of taking paternity leave There’s growing evidence that dads taking time off in the early weeks and months of their children’s lives has a significant positive impact on families. People who take paternity leave tend to do more hands-on caring for their babies. One UK by the OECD study found that fathers who took formal leave were 25% more likely to change nappies and 19% more likely to feed their 8-12 month old babies and to get up to them at night. Crucially, evidence suggests that this kind of paternal involvement, if established during the early weeks, can last through to toddlerhood and beyond. Dan agrees in the benefits of paternity leave. "Having a child means managing lots of emotional pressure from your home life. If you don't take care of that balance, it will take its toll sooner or later down the line." Sharing the hands-on care during paternity leave can improve your relationship as a couple. In Norway, following an increase in fathers’ leave-taking due to the introduction of a four-week ‘daddy quota’, researchers at the Fatherhood Institute identified an 11% lower level of conflict over household division of labour. Taking paternity leave also affects the mothers’ health and wellbeing. A recent analysis of data on more than 4,000 women from an English National Maternity survey found that mums whose partners had taken no paternity leave were more likely to report feeling ill or unwell at three months, and mothers with more than one child whose partners took no leave also reported much higher rates of post-natal depression. Finally, new dads themselves can benefit. Swedish fathers who took paternity leave in the late 1970s were found to have had an 18% lower risk of alcohol-related care and/or death than other fathers, and a 16% overall reduced risk of early death, reports the Fatherhood Institute. Sources http://www.fatherhoodinstitute.org/2014/fi-research-summary-paternity-leave/ https://www.oecd.org/els/family/Backgrounder-fathers-use-of-leave.pdf
The future of cloud technology will be defined by AI. As more and more businesses begin to move critical systems to the cloud, they are able to gain more insights from cloud-based AI technologies. Amazon, Microsoft and Google are in a race to unite AI and cloud computing by incorporating machine learning, deep learning and other AI functionality into their products. The goal is to give developers all-new tools and the technology to build cutting edge applications. The International Data Corporation predicts that the combination of AI and cloud computing will become the standard for cloud vendors. They predict that by 2019, 40% of digital transformation initiatives will use AI services; and by 2021, 75% of commercial enterprise apps will use AI. An example of this can already be found in some industries. AI is now a public face of businesses, interacting directly with customers via chat apps, voice, and email in a customer service capacity. Another vertical heavily relying on AI is the financial sector, where AI is used to predict market data, forecast stock trends, and manage finances. The role of AI in cloud computing In order to make the most out of AI it's important to go beyond training it to perform a single given task. Ultimately, long term deployment of AI systems is about raising it to act as a representative of the business in which it works. As AI systems learn and make autonomous decisions, they have the opportunity to grow from a tool to a partner, coordinating and collaborating with employees and stakeholders. In order to power advanced AI, applications need easy access to data, computing power and storage. This is why AI and the cloud are so fundamentally linked. The cloud allows AI to learn faster and work more effectively with big data, in turn providing greater value from cloud-based applications. Teaching software to learn Businesses must view AI as systems that can learn instead of systems that are programmed. The pace of deep neural network innovation allows companies to solve an entirely new set of problems. Learning-based AIs can develop overtime to become collaborators and new members of the workforce. Virtual Personal Assistants (VPAs) are an example of how augmented insights from AI-powered applications improve decision based activities. In a digital economy, where success is defined by customer experience, the factors that matter most to business are trust, intelligence, speed, personalisation, and scale. Given the explosion of data from the Internet of Things (IoT) and applications, and the need for faster, real-time decision making, AI is well on its way to becoming a key differentiator and requirement for major cloud providers. The agile and digitally savvy organisation of tomorrow will be powered by AI, leveraging augmented insights to rapidly create value, and deliver meaningful results.
Companies have been publishing figures in fits and starts ahead of the Gender Pay Gap data deadline of 6th April. This year, a number of major leading businesses have revealed that they have gender pay gaps of more than 15% in favour of men for mean hourly pay. The gap between women and men earning over £100,000 a year in the UK has widened by 23% over the last five years, new research has revealed. A report from Wilsons Solicitors shows that there are now 470,500 fewer women earning more than £100,000 than men across the country. The figure was around 383,400 in the financial year 2010/11. While 625,600 men now earn over £100,000, only 155,100 women do. How's tech holding up? From the time of writing, 25 companies in the 'information and communication' industry have released their gender pay data. On average, women are paid 17% less. Across all industries, tech roles see a 25% gap, compared to the UK average, which is 18%. The industry is still overwhelmingly represented by men, but is more balanced among lower-level roles. In line with other industries, this reflects the lack of progression for women and segregation of women into "pink collar" clerical nontechnical/specialist roles. An analysis of the Gender Pay Gap figures shows that the split at junior support level is 51% male, this rises to 75% at the mid-level professional level and peaks at executive jobs, with women comprising just 13% of the workforce, compared to UK norms twice that. In tech, men and women are rated equally on performance at each of these levels, but men are still twice as likely to reach management level, and men receive 20% more in terms of bonuses. Making technical roles more appealing to women Many firms in tech are taking active steps to make the industry more attractive to women by reforming workplace policies and encouraging graduates. Already women in STEM fields are taking up new roles in tech. In 2016, Fujitsu reported 36% of their graduate intake in 2014 were women. In 2017, that number has risen to 49%. This is a positive start, but the biggest gap in gender pay in tech is in the older generation and the senior level positions. Over time, investing in new blood will help balance this out, but there is more we can do. Making women more appealing to businesses Each year, studies such as one from accountancy firm Grant Thornton in 2015, Women in business: the value of diversity, point out that companies perform better when they have at least one woman on the board. It isn't all about pay One of the criticisms to the gender pay gap, some argue, is that the gender pay gap is not the same thing as having equal pay. For example, the rules around maternity pay, paternity pay and parental leave skew the figures. While both parents can share up to 39 weeks of leave, mothers currently benefit from the first six weeks of leave being paid at 90 per cent of their normal earnings, while fathers’ statutory entitlements to parental pay are capped at £140.98 a week. This means that the first six weeks of statutory maternity leave offer greater financial benefits than either of the paternity or parental leave entitlements that are available to men. Therefore, this should be taken into account when considering equal pay. Big businesses are, rightly, worried about the impact this will have on their business and their talent retention. Four-fifths of 1,000 senior managers believe reporting a gender pay gap will damage the reputation of organisations, according to a report by the Financial Times. More than three-quarters said organisations would be likely to lose staff over the issue, while 73% believed the worst offenders would find it harder to recruit. It's not just about transparency The fact of the matter is that there is a generations-long gender pay gap across all industries that needs addressing. It seems that the tech industry has to work on its reputation as a sector that is diverse and inclusive of anyone with the talent and qualifications to succeed. The gender pay gap isn't closing any time soon, and highlighting the issue through pay gap reporting is only the first step. For women keen to enter the tech industry today, a gender pay gap is a known obstacle. But the tech companies that are open about the action they are taking to close that gap are the ones that will be most attractive to up and coming talent. Sources http://golin.com/2017/11/28/closing-the-gender-pay-gap/ https://www.ft.com/content/8ddac9d8-eca6-11e7-8713-513b1d7ca85a https://www.wilsonsllp.com/knowledge-base/articles/gender-pay-gap-for-high-earners-is-now-a-gulf https://medium.com/@Mehul_Patel/hired-gender-wage-gap-2017-81174176adf1 https://www.uk.mercer.com/our-thinking/the-gender-pay-gap-in-uk-tech-sector.html
Most of the big projects within SAP have been delivered across the markets and according to a recent article, the number of new clients has declined as the market in the large enterprise space has become saturated. SAP projects were perceived to be more about roll-out, upgrades and enhancements. I completely agree with his statements in the article. We're seeing this every day, with customers needing support from freelance or internal resources to cover these same categories. However, S4 could and already is seeing a number of large scale transformations taking place. There are blueprints programmes happening regularly with an increase demand for freelance resources to help define and analyse requirements to try and understand length of SAP projects for budgets, as well as the impact on the day to day of the business. As a global resource provider in the SAP space, we have seen a variety of plans for S4 resource preparation. Some companies have opted to implement straight away, while others are holding off as long as possible. Some are simply waiting for the right people to come along to help them drive this programme forward. New Tech, Old Problems My background in Sourcing IT professionals was in Salesforce.com, which is a Cloud platform. One of the barriers as a bright eyed recruiter was that companies did not have an internal reliance for Salesforce of even Cloud in general. This meant there was a heavy reliance on Consulting Partners. SAP was a slightly different approach due to it being a lot more seasoned in the market. There was a much more in-depth knowledge hub internally for businesses looking to make changes or implement SAP. From what I have seen and heard from discussing S4 with many companies across a variety of industries, is that companies feel the same way about S4 as they did about Salesforce. Their knowledge hub is smaller and they worry about having to go through the process of long tenders, high consulting costs and the issue that most people are still running projects in the background, all of whom require the internal teams already. From my perspective, if there was an influx of implementations to S4, I don’t believe there would be enough resources to work on said projects. The Solution So far, some companies are taking the initiative to cross-train consultants internally. At Montash, we have worked with top SAP resources, who have worked on a variety of platforms and understand the business impact of SAP modules. We are working to cultivate the SAP talent pool to ensure that any potential talent needs are met when the time comes. These experienced SAP resources are the ones who can analyse the requirements, define processes and make the different between success and failure of the project. But what is the best approach a company can take? Is it better to wait until a certain number of projects have been completed or implement now? If you choose to Implement now, do you start with a small test case environment, or start a full roll-out? SAP is due to cut the mainstream maintenance of its older projects in 2025, so you businesses need to have a plan for the future sooner rather than later. Whichever strategy they employ, one thing is for certain: demand for experienced SAP expertise is about to rise.