Do the right thing – it’s good for business


Bloomberg Media COO Jacki Kelley discusses the future of work at CES 2016, together with (from left) Jason Kirk, Chief Business Officer, ZEFR; Carlos Watson, CEO, Ozy Media; and Cecily Mak, General Counsel and Interim CRO, Flipboard. The panel also included  Shafqat Islam, Co-founder and CEO, NEWSCRED; and Nick Denton, Founder, Gawker Media.

Much has been written about how technology – from the gig economy to the enhanced mobility – is changing global work culture. But less attention has been paid to the power of technology to drive the diversity economy. According to recent estimates, growing workforce diversity has the potential to add an astonishing $28 trillion to the global annual GDP by 2025 – and advances in data collection and analysis tools are helping realizing that promise, as they allow leaders to more clearly connect the dots between increasing diversity and increasing revenue.

Bloomberg Media Chief Operating Officer Jacki Kelley highlighted this shift during CES 2016, where she joined a high-powered panel on the future of work. “Data shows the more diversity in the workforce, the more successful the company is,” she said, adding: “Diversity is not just the right thing to do…the business requires it.”


Megan Smith, U.S. CTO – View the full video

Indeed, the White House came to CES 2016 to emphasize the same point – and add that the tech industry also has the power to create business cultures as innovative as the new business models they spawn. Bloomberg Television caught up with Megan Smith, who formerly led early-stage partnerships for Google and is now the United States Chief Technology Officer. “The tech sector in the 1980’s was 40% women, and we just dropped,” she said, “and we’re working our way out of that.” She cited recent initiatives by tech giants such as Microsoft, Intel and Pinterest to adopt “The Rooney rule,” used in the National Football League to ensure that a diverse set of candidates gets interviewed for all top-level jobs. “The tech companies are making progress,” she said. As data technology gets more powerful, businesses of all kinds stand to better understand what both consumers and employees want – and continue that progress, even as the workplace may change in ways we can’t predict. Jacki Kelley had another key point to make for businesses shaping this new world: “Transparency should be a core value of any organization. Employees deserve it.”