Month: October 2016
Although a woman was selected to be a major party’s candidate for the first time in this year’s presidential race, leadership positions are still lacking for American women in the corporate world.
According to a 2016 research report by Mercer titled “When Women Thrive, Businesses Thrive,” females make up only 20 percent of executive-level positions. The report, which canvassed 42 countries and 3.2 million employees, included 1.3 million women.
To help combat the inequality displayed in prominent workplace roles, many organizations have developed diversity and inclusion initiatives to help promote women in the workforce. These efforts do help. Research shows that companies with leaders who are actively engaged in these programs have more women in executive positions and also hire, promote and retain women at higher rates.
However, there is a more recent realization that women workers tend to be “over-mentored and under-sponsored.” In other words, despite being coached to perform at higher levels, women still lack access to positions in which these newly honed skills can be leveraged. More companies are recruiting and training women straight out of college, but as they progress through their career, fewer women rise through the ranks than men.
The U.S. and Canada have made recent strides to promote pay equity, as 40 percent of organizations offer a formal pay equity remediation process. But somewhat surprisingly, Latin American is the only region on track to achieve gender parity at the professional level within 10 years. There, women are expected to represent 44 percent of executives in 2025.
Latin America also leads the rest of the world in the share of women who hold P&L (profit and loss) roles, and is No. 1 in middle management engagement in diversity and inclusion initiatives (51 percent).
According to Mercer, women rate above men in certain skill sets that are conducive to leadership in the workplace. For example, compared to men, women rate higher at inclusive team management (43 versus 20 percent); emotional intelligence (24 versus 5 percent); and flexibility and adaptability (39 versus 20 percent).
Source: AE Marketing Hub
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In the past, employer-sponsored pensions were much more common, and employees were encouraged to save more thanks to contribution matches. Now, 401(k)s are the leading retirement savings vehicle in the workplace, and self-directed savings, with varying degrees of employer matches, leave retirees’ financial futures all over the board.
As a result, more people lack the savings to last a lifetime when they leave the workforce. According to John Huff, the 2016 President of the National Association of Insurance Commissioners, four out of 10 baby boomers have no retirement savings. None at all.
As you can imagine, this poses a challenge for financial professionals working with clients who have little to no assets but still need retirement income solutions. And it’s not just an issue for people who didn’t save. Others may have experienced losses in the securities markets or had to make substantial withdrawals during the recession.
To find a retirement income strategy that may be successful, financial professionals have gotten resourceful. Some financial professionals who once eschewed annuities are now taking a second look.
Just because people don’t have a lot of money saved for retirement doesn’t necessarily mean they have no assets. For example, some boomers may be out of cash but living in an oversized house they no longer need. In this scenario, homeowners who downsize before retirement could use some of the proceeds to purchase an annuity that will provide a guaranteed stream of income during retirement.
Others may have either received, or expect to receive, a modest inheritance and can use an annuity to convert that fixed amount into a lifetime of retirement income.
While it’s becoming more common for financial professionals to recommend annuities, employers are still warming up to the idea. Eight in 10 U.S. employees say they’d like to have a guaranteed income option in their defined contribution plan, but only 50 percent of employers understand this — and less than 1 percent offer it.
The appeal of pensions was that they did more for retirees than just provide retirement income; they provided peace of mind. The same can be said of annuities. In fact, nine out of 10 affluent households with annuities say they’re confident in their retirement.