Here are the top news stories in talent & organization from this week.

Women in the workforce help grow the economy, study finds

According to a new report by the Paris-based Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), getting more women into the workforce helps generate economic growth. The OECD points to the success of Nordic countries as compared with the rest of the organization’s 35 member countries, Bloomberg reported last week. Female employment rates in the Nordic region range from 68 to 83 percent compared with the OECD average of 59 percent, according to the study. The organization estimates that this shift in the workforce has added as much as 20 percent to economic growth per capita. Angel Gurria, the secretary general of the OECD, told Bloomberg the key to the region’s success was a “continuum of support to families with children,” including “generous paid-leave for new parents; subsidized and high-quality early childhood education and care; and out-of-school-hours care.” “I see no reason why other countries shouldn’t be able to copy the Nordic model,” said Henriette Laursen, head of the Danish Centre for Research and Information on Gender, Equality and Diversity. 

Go beyond hiring for gender equality

Speaking of women in the workforce, in this guest blog for Forbes BrandVoice, Kip Soteres talks about how organizations can welcome more women and become true advocates for them. Here are three things men in leadership positions can do to improve workplace gender equality beyond hiring more women: 1. Be sure to have the right perks, benefits and work environment to retain them (track turnover carefully to assess whether cultural or other factors are driving them away). 2. Champion less, listen more (support women in leadership and challenge them). 3. Create more resources and networks (establish a centralized forum to provide feedback and insights). “Men can be a part of this momentum by advocating, listening and supporting these efforts,” Soteres writes.

Reimagining banking for millennials, with coffee

“After considerable investment in online and mobile banking to compete in the fintech arena, Capital One is taking a new approach to build relationships with its young clients through approachable money coaches,” Insurance Journal reported last week. The company has placed “friendly ambassadors” in 29 Capital One Cafes across nine states, which feature open work spaces, ATMs and financial support for all online banking needs. According to the article, patrons using their Capital One credit card receive half-price coffee. “They are reimagining the banking experience for a generation that hasn’t connected with the traditional branch experience of their parents,” the Journal notes. “Inventing new ways to connect with prospects and clients to build loyalty while mobile applications vie for their attention, may require reimagining your way of doing business. You might consider sponsoring a trivia night at the local brewery, becoming the MC at an open-mic night or partnering with your favorite coffee shop for a few hours a week.”

Survey predicts record hiring in insurance in 2018

According to the 2018 Insurance Industry Employment and Hiring Outlook Survey released earlier this month by GreatInsuranceJobs.com, there is potential for record hiring in the insurance industry through to the end of the year. The survey found 8,454 current job openings among 64 companies, with an additional 13,000 jobs to become available in the last three quarters of 2018. The top five positions insurance companies are looking to fill are in sales, underwriting, customer service/administration, technology and claims. On the other hand, the top hiring challenges include the lack of skilled talent, uncompetitive salaries and small recruiting budgets. “One of the biggest things is the fact that employers stated recruiting strategies have not changed since the recession,” explained Roger Lear, the site’s co-founder. “For most, this leaves them in the dust to companies who can get a targeted recruiting message delivered on multiple platforms. Most of our surveyed employers have not even considered new recruiting technology yet.”

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