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

Why women executives deserve credit for mentoring

Senior-level women are often asked to help boost the careers of junior-level women, which Kara Alaimo calls “a second unpaid shift” that should come with credit and compensation. “This kind of labor—such as mentoring or serving on committees designed to improve corporate policies toward women—is essential to helping women advance, which ultimately redounds to the benefit of their employers,” she writes in a Bloomberg op-ed. Women do better when their mentors are other women, but because women hold just 24 percent of senior positions globally, Alaimo claims they have to do more of it. “This puts a significant burden on the women who are being called upon to do all of this unpaid mentoring,” she writes. There are several ways employers can recognize women’s efforts and labor, according to Alaimo. “Such responsibilities could be part of their formal job descriptions,” she writes. “Alternatively, women who are asked to participate in special projects could receive extra compensation, extra vacation time, or help from other staffers on unrelated assignments.”

Can credit unions compete in the talent war?

While credit unions struggle to keep pace with the competition on technology, Glenn Christensen believes that rising staffing costs present another competitive challenge. Last week, Bank of America raised its minimum hourly wage to $17, and will increase it to $20 by 2020. JPMorgan Chase had already raised its minimum pay to $16.50 per hour in 2016. “Credit unions should be monitoring the pay standards in the retail and hospitality sectors as well as financial services, since they are likely competing with those businesses for high-quality member service staff,” Christensen writes in a CU Insight blog post. He notes that some credit unions in North America are beginning to increase their minimum hourly wages well above the federal mandates. “Legal requirements aside, credit unions need to offer competitive wages and benefits to keep their promise to members of delivering high-quality service,” Christensen writes. “Failure to do so not only compromises the ability to deliver what has long been seen as a way to set themselves apart in the market, but also increases HR costs to recruit new employees and deal with high turnover.”

HR sidelined in AI decisions, study finds

According to new research on how artificial intelligence (AI) is being used in UK workplaces, HR is often the least likely business function to be involved in decision-making and implementation around new technology. The Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) and PA Consulting analyzed a survey of 758 UK employers for the report, “People and Machines: from hype to reality,” and found that just more than half (55 percent) of HR teams were involved in investment decisions on AI and automation, and only 45 percent in implementation processes. By contrast, the research reveals that functions like IT, research and development, production or operations, purchasing and procurement, and marketing and sales are much more likely to be involved in both investment and implementation decisions. “This indicates a real need for HR and longer-term workforce planning, but too often HR struggles to be part of the conversation,” Peter Cheese, chief executive for the CIPD, told Relocate Magazine. “Instead people professionals should be taking the lead, orchestrating the debate on who does what work, where, when, and how technology interacts with those processes.”

How the insurance workforce will evolve

The evolving consumer landscape will ultimately shape the future insurance workforce, claims Kimberly Harris-Ferrante. “Insurance is an old, traditional industry that always hired from within, and hired people that think the same way,” she told Insurance Business Magazine. “Insurance companies need to think bigger than just gender and racial diversity.” Harris-Ferrante believes there will be an increase in the number of people from different fields, such as marketing, retail, and automotive, entering the industry. “More and more women are going into the analytics field,” she said. “Many insurance companies are struggling to find people who are up to speed with machine learning, AI and new data skills, so there is a great opportunity for women pursuing those fields.” However, Harris-Ferrante advises women to be patient. “It’s an exciting time for women in the industry,” she said. “Big changes are coming, but it’s not going to happen overnight.”

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