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Tackling this New Decade will Require Inclusive Collaboration

By Inès-Selma Kirane, Hult International Business School BBA – Finance

From 2020 to 2030, #heforshe is what will bring new stability in our societies, revamp our businesses, get our economies out of the post-pandemic recession, and ensure our next generation physical, mental and environmental safety. Yes, all of that starts by changing the shift from an androcentric society to a multipolar society. One where different identities aren’t being crushed and drained away from fulfilling their potential in the world under culturally constructed « Orders » for a claimed societal stability.

 

As a woman of a bit of ambition and hope for our future world, I enrolled at Hult International Business School for my studies. I appreciated the potential the most international and multicultural school could bring me in its diverse exposure. Cross-cultural communication, diversities in values, and pluralism in experiences are things no business school teaches, yet it really makes or breaks a good business(wo)man, a good business deal, a good career. The time when we could just deal in an insular and mono-cultural-centric way has come to an end. Yet primary, secondary, university and even professional education do not stress enough the importance of understanding Others and their treasurable Differences, and how to approach them to provide leaps in value from synergies within diversity. Competitive by nature, I chose a major in finance, reputed to be the difficult specialty to take in this curriculum. Not surprisingly, I am one of the (very very) few women in this section. The women’s cause in certain industries is still an issue in 2020, and it starts with young ladies censoring themselves from enrolling into certain courses, fearing the dominating culture which notorious movies perpetuate: The Big Short, Wolf of Wall Street, and so on.

 

Thankfully everything took an interesting turn when Perry Timms (Prof. Timms) taught us the Emerging Technologies course. I had no clue whatsoever about Blockchain, Artificial Intelligence, Big Data, or even some basic coding principles before entering Hult. I had no interest, as I’ve never had any exposure to the subject, its implication in our daily lives, or its critical rise in our modern societies. Two years later, I have now published 5 international publications for the IHSED-19 (International Conference on Human Systems and Design) and IHIET-AI-20 (International Conference on Human Interaction and Technologies). Some of my work includes team and project optimisation with smart systems and most of it on sustainable corporate strategies including new product development, corporate restructuring, and post-merger integration. It is amazing what a couple of inspiring teachers and an interesting set of lectures can do for you. Another positive memory I have from Prof. Timms is the workshop he gave at Oracle in London which I attended as an observer. Again, being eloquent, dynamizing the crowd, and facilitating idea generation in a novel way are things no one teaches you, you just have to find a role model and absorb as much from their mastery as possible. This 2 hour workshop was as fruitful as 2 weeks of lectures really. I’ve also been amazed, looking through the history of PTHR, how he’s managed to navigate so quickly the changes in the corporate world along disruptions and evolutions. From how he initially founded his company and wrote the bestseller Transformational HR (now a standard book in management), to more recently, while most consultancy boutiques have struggled to adapt to the New Remote Order, Perry has written a second book in seven months on the Energised Workplace. All of these factors, one after another, have made me really admire his relentless striving for improvement both in self-discipline and contribution to his community.

 

In still a male dominated culture, the first step for women to break some glass ceilings in the workplace and forge paths for girls is to get great advocating acolytes who can counterbalance traditional boardrooms. PTHR represents the passion for people(s) in the workplace, stewarded by a white middle-aged man with the right values and bold advocacy through words, but more importantly actions. I’m thankful to have had him as a teacher first, thankful for his networking, and admirative of his writing. Let’s make this decade the rise of the #heforshe era!