This article got me thinking in the lead up to International Women’s Day - but it’s missing some crucial data. Who typically has the soft skills in today’s workforce? Is it the recent graduates or the end of career employees? Does age or gender typically skew someone’s ability to rate well in soft skills? Or is it completely dependent on personality and individual EQ?
The McKinsey article discusses the growing importance of human soft skills in our increasingly digitised world. While physical and repetitive tasks are replaced by automation and AI, social, emotional and technological skills are in demand. But it seems that different soft skills are needed in our evolving world: problem solving, critical thinking, innovation, dealing with complexity and communication. Nowhere are these skills missing most, than in very technical roles (IT, data analytics, web/mobile design). There are some clear options: soft skills on-the-job training, using your recruitment process to understand someone’s skills beyond their work experience, or perhaps just ensure more women are motivated to join these industries?
The capacity of women to manage multiple complex tasks, communicate them well and care enough to deliver them as briefed whilst being on time/budget will be invaluable to our future workforces. Now we just need to work with them, and allow them to manage their other life commitments around their paid work.
Virtual Marketers is led by two female directors, with a determination to offer a flexible marketing service to our clients. Our team is largely made up of fabulous women. Women who choose to freelance for us for all sorts of reasons - family juggling, an additional revenue stream, the ability to fit paid work around other work/life commitments. I find enormous pleasure in delivering great work to our clients, while providing flexible work options for our talented team who don’t fit into the 9-5 full-time traditional marketer model. We should be embracing the varied talent and experience within our local communities, with a people-first approach, that can only help secure a win-win outcome for our employees and clients alike.