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Pay Inequity Is Still A Thing—And It Matters

In recent years, gender pay equity has become a topical discussion amongst the global workforce. Hollywood actresses and Olympic athletes have shared their stories of unequal pay for equal work; and there has been a slew of class-action suits and corporate scandals revealing discriminatory pay practices. As a result, investors, customers, employees and the law are all calling for progress on wage equality.

Is progress being made? It’s hard to say, but it is probably nowhere near enough as is needed. Some attribute this to the “pipeline” issue. That is, men and women freely choosing entirely divergent professional paths. The theory goes that men choose careers such as investment banking and software engineering and women choose professions such as nursing and teaching whose pay rates have been set (lower) by the natural market forces of supply and demand (or perhaps because of the long history of putting less value on women’s work). But if you look at computer programmers, women used to dominate the industry, then men flowed in. The pay automatically increased and the profession was viewed as more desirable. By contrast, as women flow into historically male professions, pay actually drops.

Some companies have made attempts to address the pay equity issue, but they’re often employing outdated approaches or third-party consultants. Reliable, scalable and accessible solutions have been limited. As a result, many companies have shied away from the issue of pay equity altogether, viewing it as simply too burdensome to tackle. Such lethargy produces pay practices which only perpetuate the gender pay gap. Unfortunately, women (and other underrepresented groups) can be faced with an uphill and solitary battle on the journey to equality.

Any effort to eradicate pay disparity in the workplace must be vigorously supported by the CEO, the leadership team and the board. If a board of directors or CEO is not genuinely dedicated to such an effort, then that effort will not happen, or will eventually fail. As a CEO, why should this be top-of-mind for you and your team?

Well, at a very fundamental level, it’s the right thing to do. When companies commit to equal pay for equal work, they send a powerful message to their current employees, future hires and their customers that they stand for something that is important to all, not just women. Additionally, having a fair and transparent pay process increases satisfaction and decreases turnover. A Gartner study revealed that there is a $16 billion cost for turnover in the tech industry alone.

If your organization does not yet have a robust and ongoing strategy for achieving pay equity, here is a step-by-step guide to help you check for pay disparities and commit to resolving them:

Step 1: You can’t stick your finger in the air as a gauge of pay equity. It takes asking the right questions and conducting detailed analyses. Make sure you have enough resources and technology in place to allow you to examine your data quickly and identify unfavorable trends.

Step 2: Shift the mindset from “protect and defend” compensation data to “find and fix” any gaps. This requires you to have the courage to share the results of your analysis in Step 1, but also the discipline to resolve any anomalies.

Step 3: Companies regularly ensure they are at market, so why not make pay equity a part of ongoing compensation benchmarking? Committing to regular and frequent pay analysis is the best way for companies to ensure they stay on top of this issue.

The CEO should be the catalyst for the organization’s journey to pay equity, but other key stakeholders such as the broader leadership team, the HR function, and middle managers are also key to success. There are many ways to fully involve these groups:

• Make it personal: Research has shown that the pay gap in groups of male managers who have daughters is smaller than amongst managers without daughters. This means that when an issue is personal, behavior changes no matter the gender.

• Make it a leadership issue: If you have a gender pay gap, it is a failure of leadership. Leaders have a role and responsibility to address this. As CEO, you must communicate with HR and managers, articulate the philosophy and strategy to achieve equal pay, and make sure to constantly share metrics and progress with managers and HR, so they can share with employees and external audiences. Commit to a quantitative approach to decide how pay is determined, setting salary ranges for each role, and then make these ranges available to your employees and recruits.

• Make it inclusive: It is not solely an issue to be discussed at a women’s leadership meeting. Make it a key agenda item for your next board meeting and your executive team meetings.

A good first step to kick-start this journey is to run a pay equity analysis leveraging a trusted solution with a vetted methodology. By utilizing a data-science powered software solution, you can determine where there are unexplained pay gaps and where you may need to employ remediation tactics to preserve your company’s culture and maintain legal compliance.

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The Rescue Syndrome

Maybe it’s a parental instinct and maybe it’s just because it makes us feel good. Most CEOs seem to have an innate desire to do what we can to prevent people from failing, or to help set them back on a course of success. I call it the “rescue syndrome” and am the first to admit—I’m not very good at it. You have your attempts, here are but two of mine.

1. His name was Vern. He was in charge of shipping and receiving and did a great job—when he was at work. He and I often bantered with each other during his many daily “paperwork” visits to the office. His attendance became more and more of a problem and we eventually confirmed that he had a serious drinking problem, fortunately never on the job, but unfortunately almost every weekend.

We didn’t have a formal HR department at the time so I took it upon myself to determine if there were positive steps we could take instead of simply firing the man for poor attendance. I called Al-Anon; they were very helpful, but also very realistic. They told me to give Vern the number for Alcoholics Anonymous, encourage him to call and not to throw him any lifelines.

As instructed, I sat with him, told him that another attendance miss would cost him his job and that if he had a drinking problem, to which he admitted, AA was a good place to seek help. I gave him their number asked him to keep it with him at all times. He took our conversation seriously. Sadly, in less than a week, he called me at home on a Saturday night. His speech was slurred and he told me that no one answered the number I had given him. He may have misdialed. I took his number, called AA and asked if they would call him.

He was a no-show the following Monday. Tuesday he called me said he had talked to AA and was planning on attending a meeting and then reluctantly asked if he still had a job. I told him he did not, he said he understood and we ended the call. Maybe four years later, on my way to an attorney’s office, I passed a man in a delivery uniform and we smiled at each other. It was Vern. He stopped, we talked for less than two minutes, he told me about his job and before we each went our separate ways he shook my hand, smiled and said: “Thanks.”

2. I had never done it before but when I got the call from a service organization regarding employment opportunities for parolees I decided to listen. The representative explained their goal of helping individuals reenter the community as productive citizens and the support provided to participating employers. Not to be taken lightly, I reviewed the request with our executive team and all were on board although in retrospect, some reluctantly so.

His name was Jimmy and he seemed like a nice enough guy though a bit shy and overwhelmed; easy enough to understand, he was coming into a culture that was highly energized. We got off to a good start. Jimmy always was on time in the morning, worked hard at his responsibilities, connected well with the employees and signed off with me at the end of each day when I would ask him, ‘how did it go today; are we doing everything we can to support you?’ Always the answer was “yes;” he felt “blessed.”

Early in December, some of those he was sitting with on break asked Jimmy if he had started his Christmas shopping (he had six kids). “No,” he said, “money is a little tight.” By noon, our family of employees had chipped in over $300 as a Christmas fund for him and asked if a few of them could take him to a nearby shopping mall that afternoon. The answer was an enthusiastic “yes” and they shared the joy with Jimmy. He was so affected by their generosity that he called his wife while they were all together; she cried, he cried—a moment to remember.

Winter weather set in and Jimmy’s 23 mile commute became more difficult. His car was an older model and not in good repair. His attendance began to slip, at first calling in with car trouble and arriving late, then trying public transportation and even riding with volunteer employees who lived nearby. By late January, he called in almost as often as he showed up for work and then, he stopped calling in at all. We all felt Jimmy had found a second family in us, but that he had yielded to other forces in his life. We never heard from him again.

Final score: an accidental “win” with Vern and one miserable loss with Jimmy.

As CEOs our education, training and experience prepare us to manage enterprises and even to rescue them when they falter. For most of us, nothing in those skill sets qualifies us to rescue individuals. As self-fulfilling as it may be for us to try, there is an endless list of far more qualified resources to do the rescue, starting with our HR professionals and supplemented by counseling services, community help agencies, clergy and medical specialists. Supporting these resources is a much more effective approach than thinking we can do it ourselves.

Lesson learned.

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One Bad Apple: Why Do CEOs Tolerate Destructive Team Members?

An executive team certainly isn’t a bunch of apples, and an executive who causes problems on a team isn’t necessarily “bad.” But the analogy holds: one difficult member of a CEO’s team will spoil the entire team, if not the company it leads. Most CEOs understand this in theory, which provokes the big question: why do so many of them keep destructive team members long after they know there is a problem? The answer is twofold.

First—and I don’t make this claim lightly—many chief executives lack courage. In my two and a half decades of working with CEOs, I’ve seen so many of them make bad excuse after bad excuse for not getting rid of a destructive team member (okay, I’ve done it too). “He’s actually a pretty good guy once you get to know him.” “She’s really talented in her area of expertise; we need that.” “The board might think something is wrong with the team if I let him go.”

There are only two honest excuses for not firing a destructive leader, only one of them valid. The invalid one is, “I don’t want to have such an uncomfortable conversation with him. It will be too painful for me, uh, I mean him.” The valid one: “It wouldn’t be fair.”

Sometimes a CEO is right when he or she says that firing a problematic executive is unfair. That’s because, without having been brutally honest about the need for behavioral or performance-related change, taking decisive action cannot be justified. And few CEOs practice the kindness of brutal honesty. Why? Again, it’s the courage thing.

Without courage, none of this can change. But the second reason that CEOs don’t take decisive action is worse than the first, because it plagues even courageous CEOs: they don’t fully understand the impact that one, just one, problematic executive can have. Even the most intelligent chief executives don’t seem to grasp how drastically a defensive, self-centered or political person can alter a discussion and affect a team’s decision.

To be fair, it’s hard for them to notice all of the micro-moments during a meeting when good team members withhold or slightly modify a comment or suggestion to avoid provoking a reaction from that difficult person. And it’s impossible to accurately measure how much that person’s presence and behavior mutate a team’s decision-making, but that doesn’t make it any less real.

The impact can be devastating. If this weren’t bad enough, the impact that a problematic executive has on a company outside of team meetings may be even worse, because CEOs aren’t even around to witness it. They don’t see or hear about the confusion, discouragement and frustration that the executive’s behavior causes with his peers, direct reports and employees in the rest of the organization. And that’s to say nothing of the devastating impact on morale that comes about when people assume that the CEO actually approves of that person’s behavior.

CEOs who want to eliminate the problem of keeping destructive team members have to start by being more direct about any attitudes or behaviors that break down trust on their teams. They must quickly, consistently and persistently call out team members who are disingenuous, evasive or passive aggressive.

There is no alternative. And, of course, they must invite others to call them out too. When a difficult member doesn’t change his or her behavior after being reminded again and again, CEOs must sit down with that executive, in kindness and respect, and let him or her know that the decision is clear: you can commit to change or you can choose to leave.

If that sounds harsh, consider the harshness of that person’s impact on your organization’s morale, performance and bottom line. And consider that he or she has been adequately advised and forewarned. And perhaps most convincing of all, consider that he or she will be better off in a different bunch of apples, one where he or she actually belongs.

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CEO Roundtable: Sustaining Growth In A Disruptive World

When Dave Osh took over as CEO of QNET 10 years ago, the multinational e-commerce company was in seemingly excellent shape: zero debt, $80 million in reserves and solid sales growth. “I expected a walk in the park,” Osh told CEOs gathered for a roundtable at the 2019 Leadership Conference in Dallas.

But in his first quarter as CEO, sales took a nosedive, from $120 million to $100 million. “At my first board meeting, I had to explain, after 10 years of growth, why I was killing this company in my first quarter,” he recalled. “It was a disaster.”

Initially, Osh blamed the markets, the economy— everything other than himself. Then the board had him work with a coach who challenged him to question his view of the failure. “Ultimately, I learned that I was the problem,” Osh said. My leadership didn’t scale with the accelerated pace of growth cycles and the higher complexity that was waiting for me at the next growth level.”

Varlinx’s Dave Osh credits a leadership effectiveness initiative with delivering 34 percent year-over-year growth for his company.

Disruption and the hyper-acceleration of change has shortened cycles in every industry, putting all CEOs under pressure not only to create cultures that are dynamic and nimble enough to evolve quickly, but to be ever more flexible and adaptable themselves. If a company’s products and services are scalable, but the CEO’s leadership ability is not, said Osh, that’s a big problem. “As CEOs, every time we go to the next level, higher complexity awaits us.”

Osh embarked on a personal transformation that led him to make leadership the top strategic agenda of the company. As a result of that effort, the company was able to get back on a growth path, turning a 20 percent decline into consistent 34 percent year-over-year growth from $100 million to $431 million over the following five years. Osh then sought to make that duplicable for other companies, but it wasn’t until 2016 that the pieces fell into place, after he read a study in the Leadership Circle that found leadership effectiveness to be a strong predictor of business performance. “Finally, I had a system to work with,” he said. “For me, that was life-changing.”

Becoming a Better Leader

In discussing the challenges of sustaining growth in a disruptive world, many roundtable participants identified themselves as one of the key problems. Robert Alvarado, CEO of CourtCall, estimated that only about half of his leadership team is aligned with his vision at any one time “and that’s only because I haven’t shared consistently and effectively with them,” he said. “I know the first thing I have to solve is my poor communication.” A year ago, Alvarado began working with a coach to try to address that and subsequently found that part of the problem was the company’s hierarchical structure. “I was the hub, so everything had to come through me to then go back out to the rest of the field. We changed the structure and flattened it out so that all the managers now communicate directly, and then I get reports from them. We had a structural flaw, and we’re working through it, but I wasn’t communicating, and I think that probably happens a lot around this table.”

Matt Shem, EVP at Hill & Wilkinson General Contractors, agreed, noting that business leaders with many tasks to accomplish forget to take the time to communicate and help people newer to the operation get their sea legs. “That’s something I struggle with, for sure—slowing down,” he said. “It’s so easy with so much across your desk just to go, go, go.”

One benefit to moderating the pace is a greater degree of clarity. “You have people with very different paradigms and expectations and understandings and backgrounds” trying to communicate, said Russell Jordan, director of business development at Micropac Industries, which builds electronics for mission-critical applications for satellites and military applications. “Clarity is very powerful.”

One of the biggest challenges is unlearning counterproductive belief systems and behaviors ingrained over decades of experience, Osh noted. And it can be tough to get a CEO to change behavior if those same behaviors got him or her to the corner office, added Steve Myers, a CEO coach in the aerospace and defense industries. “We’ve all become, basically, the victims of our own success, right? Because if it worked for us before, why would we want to change?” The key, he added, is a willingness to change and adapt. “That’s where the breakthrough has to come—in ourselves.”

That inertia can be harder to overcome in some industries than others, said Lee Bond, CEO of Singing River Health System, a two-hospital system on the Mississippi Gulf Coast. “If I had a nickel for every time somebody said, ‘Well, this is the way it’s been done in healthcare. You come from a different industry,’” said Bond, whose experience was in gaming and hospitality before moving into healthcare. “But we’ve proven them wrong. It was kind of a shocker to healthcare people that someone would actually think about healthcare as a business.” One of the changes Bond sought to implement in the hospitals was to call clients “guests” instead of “patients,” he said. “And boy, there was a lot of resistance to that in the beginning.”

Fixing Leadership Down Below

CEOs must focus not only on themselves and potential communication issues within the C-suite, but also identify leadership problems lower down in the organization. “There’s something I’ve called ‘SPD,’ or ‘the solution prevention department’ where every new idea is squashed,” said Jim Bielak, president of ACT Test Panels in Hillsdale, MI, which supplies test panel substrates to the global coatings industry.

Shem noted that language can make all the difference between shutting down new ideas and allowing them to flourish. For example, “yes, but,” can effectively shut down a new idea; however, “yes, and” can get the same message across, but in a way that validates the idea generator, said Shem, who added that Hill & Wilkinson has been working on getting managers to adopt the new language. “It’s something small, but language matters. It’s creating little differences that have really matured quickly.”

Andrew Warrington, president of environmental solutions company United Conveyor, agreed the little differences can go a long way. “There was a question I always used to ask, which I realized was the wrong question: ‘Why don’t we do…’ When you say that, people start to list the reasons why you shouldn’t,” he said. “Now I try to catch myself and say, ‘How can we make this happen?’”

While getting everyone on the same page is critical to success, encouraging dissenting views is equally important for companies seeking to innovate through times of disruption. Myers recalled his experience as director on the board of a biosciences company, where he learned the value of speaking up. “What I know about biosciences you could put on the head of a pin,” he joked, adding that the boardroom was filled with medical experts. “So I started asking questions, and I was sure I was going to get thrown off this board because I had to be an idiot, right? But after a few years of being willing at every board meeting to challenge the status quo, they greatly appreciated anyone willing to challenge their assumptions.” You can’t let groupthink infect the organization, he added. “It’s hard to challenge your boss, hard to challenge your peers, but that’s the only thing that will cause change to occur.”

Building a Winning Culture

To inspire the sort of trust that breeds healthy debate, the CEO often has to fade into the background, said Michael Kotubey, president of Dallas-based construction company TD Industries, who realized that his presence was potentially stifling input from other team members. “I was the vocal guy, I wanted to share my 40-plus years of experience with the team and prevent them from going through what I went through,” he recalled. “As I was coached to withdraw and sit more in the background, it was incredible to watch how the group grew as the trust in the room [grew].” Today, Kotubey takes a lower profile and seeks to prompt rather than control discussion. “So instead of the answer man, now I’m the question man.”

Taking a seat in the background also allows CEOs to observe group dynamics. If one or two voices tend to dominate the discussion, it’s best to nip it in the bud—even if those appear to be your best and brightest, said Warrington. He had to make a tough decision with a team member who was creating a toxic environment. “He was, for sure, the smartest person on the team,” he said. “But it stifled the rest of the team’s creativity and their ability to operate the business.” Ultimately, they had to let the star employee go.

One way to curb that problem is to make sure that leaders are not promoted solely on intellectual or technical skills, said Shem. “You get so far up the ladder, and then you’re kind of exposed because you don’t have the emotional intelligence.” In construction, especially, companies tend to promote based on technical skill, which can mean those who wind up in leadership positions aren’t necessarily good at it. “There may be a bridge between intelligence and ineffective leaders,” he said.

Ultimately, if you have ineffective leaders in the organization, “everybody knows it,” said Myers. “So if you’re the CEO and you’re not doing something about that, that’s a reflection on you. That’s showing your weakness as a leader.”

On the contrary, weak leadership must be dealt with immediately, before problems fester and spread. Kotubey recalled a previous experience with a turnaround, when he inherited a leadership team that was experiencing a lot of infighting. “Egos were in the way and it was always ‘my people,’ not ‘our people,’” he said. “I tried to coach through it. But five years later, every leader had to be replaced. With the same core group beyond leadership, we did double the volume, five times the profit over a six-year period.”

Perhaps the best way to cultivate leadership within the organization is simply by letting people be themselves and by creating opportunities for them to discover those talents, said Levi Burkholder, president of Loader Parts Source. “Give them a challenge and get out of the way.”

Businesses eager to embrace the potential of exponential technologies such as AI, robotics, biotech and nanotech would do well to devote the same level of enthusiasm to exploring the potential of a scientifically validated leadership development framework able to deliver as much as 38 percent of business growth, sums up Osh. “This new leadership framework evolves leaders to a higher level of consciousness that helps companies create a ripple effect in their markets, communities and society,” he says.”This vision is worth fighting. So make Leadership Effectiveness your strategic priority, and you will inspire the next generation leaders.”

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CEO Spotlight: Yazan Sehwail of Userpilot on What It’s Like to Lead a SaaS Startup

Meet Yazan Sehwail. Yazan is one of the young, educated, and bold entrepreneurs taking on the challenging work of building a startup in the fast-paced SaaS industry. Yazan is the Co-Founder & CEO of Userpilot; a product experience software that helps companies such as Cisco personalize their in-app user experience for millions of users daily.

He graduated from Friends High School in Ramallah. Afterward, he secured a full academic scholarship to Hamilton College, a top tier NY college where he pursued his Bachelor’s with a specialization in Maths, Computer Science and Economics.

How did you get into software development?

I have started my first software business at the age of 21, and I have more than 9 years of experience in web software development, user research and product experience.

My first business, InnerChip, developed enterprise web software for companies such as BMW. I served as the CEO for almost 5 years and I led the company to over $1.8M in gross revenue while being completely bootstrapped.

What exactly does Userpilot do?

Userpilot is a low-code web-based toolkit that helps product and customer success teams quickly fool-proof their user experience.

We make it simple for teams to build & deploy in-product growth experiments to maximize user adoption rate and boost feature engagement.

Whether they are looking to onboard new users, announce new features or subtly show a hint triggered by an in-app event, they can deploy it in hours, not weeks.

Out of the many things you could build, why did you choose Userpilot?

After spending almost 5 years in product development/management, I was still surprised by how difficult it is to create in-product growth experiments.

Simple UI patterns such as a tooltip or a hotspot that could make a massive difference between a user activation, or a user never coming back were taking days to develop.

For example, if I wanted to create a simple welcome modal for new signups to push them for a certain action, then I’d have to indulge in a development process that could take days, even weeks.

Even worse, making changes to such UI patterns would require additional work.

Now, imagine if I wanted to create complex workflows that would trigger different segments at different stages of the user journey. Coding this would be extremely difficult and time-consuming. Additionally, it would put a strain on development teams, when they should be working on the actual product.

This is exactly why we decided to work on Userpilot. We wanted to give teams a quick and efficient way to manipulate their UI based on the audience and the stage of the user journey without requiring any coding or development time.

Product-market fit is a big topic for startups, do you think Userpilot has product-market-fit?

In my opinion, product-market fit is not either a 0 or 1. In fact, many companies can have product-market fit, but lose it over time if they cannot keep up with their users’ needs and how the market evolves.

At Userpilot, we were determined to be user-centric from day 0. Long before we even wrote a single line of code, we were conducting user interviews and experimenting with different ways of how to approach the problem.

Our biggest validation came two months after when we were able to sign our first contract long before we even had an alpha version ready.

During our closed beta, over 200 teams were already using the product and our iterations were extremely quick to ensure we were aligned with product-market fit.

We officially launched at the beginning of 2-19. Since then, our growth month-over-month has been consistently over 35%.

In your experience building and running Userpilot, what has surprised you the most?

I am still surprised by the number of product teams I come across that still cannot figure out their activation metric, or that still cannot differentiate between activation and trial-to-paid metrics.

We define activation as the series of events that a user is required to take in order to realize the initial bit of value from a certain product. It is definitely the most important metric for product teams to understand and track. It is also highly linked with the users’ willingness to pay for a product.

Users tend to get frustrated if the path to activation is not clearly laid out, or if the time to value is long and friction-based.

Yet, many product teams still don’t pay enough attention to understand this metric.

What are your thoughts on assembling a team?

There is no denying that one of the most essential keys to success in the SaaS industry is the ability to recruit the best talent.

For an early-stage startup such as Userpilot, the best talent almost always means individuals that believe in the product and have the motivation to deliver. Not necessarily the best technically, but those who still have the fire to make things happen.

You certainly cannot teach determination, nor you can teach motivation.

Can you describe a time you had to make a decision in spite of incomplete information and/or constantly changing variables?

More often than not! Especially in the SaaS startup world, a founder is forced to be decisive at times when there are no clear answers.

In SaaS, this could be the question of deciding what features to build next or how to optimize your go to market strategies.

One time, we released a major feature that was widely popular in terms of usage; the data was showing that the user adoption rate was high.

That is a good signal, right?

Yet, our qualitative analysis showed that users were struggling to get value out of it because it required a lot of configuration and it needed to be highly customized.

The idea sounded very good on paper, but disastrous in practice.

In the end, we decided to discontinue it. The data can lie sometimes!

What’s your advice for first-time founders?

If there’s one piece of advice I would give it would be this: never get emotionally attached to your ideas; sometimes ideas fail, and that is OK. The idea here is to learn and try again.

Have you read?

# Ditch the Values Posters – 8 Ways to Bring Your Company Values to Life.
# America’s best cities for IT professionals.
# These Are The Most Dangerous Cities For Pedestrians In The United States.
# Most Dangerous (And Safest) Tourist Cities Around The World.
# Best Countries In The World For 2020.

Source: CEOWORLD magazine
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5 Reasons to Pursue Postdoctoral Education Abroad

If a Ph.D. did not satisfy you and you aim to explore deeper into your subject-area, then a post-doctoral study would be an ideal option. A Post-doc is essentially a temporary position enabling you to investigate further into your areas of interest so that your knowledge and skills as a researcher are honed. In case you sign up for a postdoc program, you will be put under the supervision of a mentor and involved in research projects. Joining such a program is a huge commitment but the benefits are multi-fold. However, these benefits will only be enhanced if you pursue a postdoctoral study abroad.

I have listed 5 reasons why a postdoc from an international university can add stars to your resume and validate your skills and knowledge in front of the world at large. So, take note of what I write here and remember them when you consider the question of whether or not to join a postdoc program abroad.

  1. Broader Opportunities
    When I say that international education means better opportunities, I do not mean to downgrade the quality of education in your domestic country. However, truth be told, there are many universities abroad that are unparalleled in terms of research and being a part of them would expose you to quality opportunities. In fact, an international postdoc will add glitters to your experience and give you an edge over others when it comes to the job. With an international postdoc, you break territorial barriers and can effectively engage in an international job market and hence, broader job opportunities in the future.
  2. A wider perspective
    Limiting yourself to the resources of your home country might have a restrictive effect on your research. For example, in humanities, you might want to explore and understand a sociological area, and exposure to different cultures might help in widening your perspective and adding more substance to your findings. As a researcher, you are expected to keep an open mind; studying abroad unlocks your mind to various possibilities. Yes, there is the Internet that lets you know and read about an international perspective but you cannot be sure how authentic the source material is unless you do a check on ground-reality yourself.
  3. More Financial Support
    International students of postdoctoral studies are more likely to secure better funding than domestic students. In order to incentivize international students toward performing the best they can, many fellowships are offered to international postdocs. These fellowships include Fullbright Scholar Program, Newton Bhabha Fellowship, and Humboldt Research Fellowship. Greater financial assistance will allow you to invest deeper in your investigations and manage life in an alien place comfortably. While you are researching for good places to do a postdoc, make sure to check whether the universities shortlisted treat postdocs as employees; because many do and provide related benefits to postdoc candidates.
  4. Stronger and better network
    An International postdoc would mean international connections. Once you are enrolled in a postdoc program, you are in a position to acquaint yourself with researchers from other parts of the world. A Global network will enhance your reputation, opening doors to more opportunities. For example, a fellow researcher based in Geneva might recommend you for a position in his home country, or you might receive invitations to address conferences or present papers in other parts of the world. The more reputed the university is, the better the research projects you will get. Better research projects would mean a more qualified team of researchers. With such a team, you can expand your network which would be of use to you in some way or the other.
  5. A Shiny Resume
    I have thrown light on the fact that an international postdoc will make your resume look nicer. There is no gainsaying that international education of any kind often out-values domestic education, especially if the former is done in a developed country and the latter in a developing or under-developed country. In India, for example, international degrees are quite charming in academics, and those with international education land up with better job offers. So, if you secure a postdoc qualification from a well-acclaimed university abroad, much more offers will come your way than those with domestic postdocs.

Source: CEOWORLD magazine
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These Are The Least (And Most) Corrupt Countries In The World, 2019

Denmark once again considered the world’s least corrupt nation, that’s according to Transparency International’s 2019 Corruption Perception Index (CPI). Together with New Zealand, Denmark received 87 points, followed by Finland at 86 and Singapore, Switzerland, and Sweden at 85 points.

The United Kingdom came 12th and the United States 23rd. The index ranks 180 countries and territories by their perceived (not actual) levels of public sector corruption, using a scale of 0 to 100, where 0 is highly corrupt and 100 is very clean.

The world’s 16 largest economies, the so-called trillion-dollar club, had opposite fortunes, with the United States dropping two-level to No. 23, Japan dropping two places to No. 20, China dropping 7 places, while India dropping two places. India is now tied with China for the 80th.

At the other end, Somalia (again) finished at the bottom of the pile, with just nine points. South Sudan (12), Syria (13) and Yemen (15) did a little better.

Least Corrupt Countries In The World, 2019

Rank 2019 Country Score 2019 Rank 2018 Rank 2017
1 Denmark 87 2 1
1 New Zealand 87 1 2
3 Finland 86 3 3
4 Singapore 85 3 3
4 Sweden 85 3 6
4 Switzerland 85 3 6
7 Norway 84 7 3
8 Netherlands 82 8 8
9 Germany 80 9 8
9 Luxembourg 80 11 12
11 Iceland 78 14 13
12 Australia 77 9 8
12 Austria 77 11 8
12 Canada 77 13 13
12 United Kingdom 77 14 16
16 Hong Kong 76 14 13
17 Belgium 75 17 16
18 Estonia 74 18 19
18 Ireland 74 18 21
20 Japan 73 18 20
21 United Arab Emirates 71 23 21
21 Uruguay 71 23 23
23 France 69 22 16
23 United States 69 21 23
25 Bhutan 68 25 26
26 Chile 67 27 26
27 Seychelles 66 28 36
28 Taiwan 65 31 29
29 Bahamas 64 29 28
30 Barbados 62 25 25
30 Portugal 62 30 29
30 Qatar 62 33 29
30 Spain 62 41 42
34 Botswana 61 34 34
35 Brunei 60 31 32
35 Israel 60 34 32
35 Lithuania 60 36 34
35 Slovenia 60 38 38
39 South Korea 59 41 40
39 Saint Vincent and the Grenadines 59 45 51
41 Cape Verde 58 36 36
41 Cyprus 58 38 42
41 Poland 58 45 48
44 Costa Rica 56 48 38
44 Czech Republic 56 41 40
44 Georgia 56 38 42
44 Latvia 56 41 46
48 Dominica 55 45 42
48 Saint Lucia 55 50 48
50 Malta 54 51 46
51 Grenada 53 48 48
51 Italy 53 53 52
51 Malaysia 53 53 54
51 Rwanda 53 58 57
51 Saudi Arabia 53 61 62
56 Mauritius 52 52 53
56 Namibia 52 56 54
56 Oman 52 53 68
59 Slovakia 50 57 54
60 Cuba 48 58 59
60 Greece 48 67 59
60 Jordan 48 61 62
63 Croatia 47 60 57
64 Sao Tome and Principe 46 64 64
64 Vanuatu 46 64 71
66 Argentina 45 67 64
66 Belarus 45 67 66
66 Montenegro 45 70 68
66 Senegal 45 85 85
70 Hungary 44 61 59
70 Romania 44 64 66
70 South Africa 44 73 71
70 Suriname 44 73 77
74 Bulgaria 43 70 68
74 Jamaica 43 77 71
74 Tunisia 43 73 74
77 Armenia 42 70 85
77 Bahrain 42 99 103
77 Solomon Islands 42 105 107
80 Benin 41 87 77
80 China 41 73 81
80 Ghana 41 78 81
80 India 41 78 81
80 Morocco 41 85 85
85 Burkina Faso 40 78 74
85 Guyana 40 78 74
85 Indonesia 40 78 77
85 Kuwait 40 78 85
85 Lesotho 40 93 91
85 Trinidad and Tobago 40 89 96
91 Serbia 39 87 77
91 Turkey 39 78 81
93 Ecuador 38 89 91
93 Sri Lanka 38 105 91
93 Timor-Leste 38 114 117
96 Colombia 37 99 96
96 Ethiopia 37 99 103
96 Gambia 37 114 107
96 Tanzania 37 117 107
96 Vietnam 37 93 130
101 Bosnia and Herzegovina 36 93 85
101 Kosovo 36 89 91
101 Panama 36 93 96
101 Peru 36 99 96
101 Thailand 36 105 96
106 Albania 35 99 91
106 Algeria 35 105 96
106 Brazil 35 93 103
106 Cote d’Ivoire 35 105 103
106 Egypt 35 93 107
106 North Macedonia 35 105 112
106 Mongolia 35 105 117
113 El Salvador 34 89 85
113 Kazakhstan 34 105 96
113 Nepal 34 99 111
113 Philippines 34 105 112
113 Eswatini 34 124 122
113 Zambia 34 124 122
119 Sierra Leone 33 129 130
120 Moldova 32 114 112
120 Niger 32 117 117
120 Pakistan, Islamic Republic of 32 117 122
123 Bolivia 31 132 112
123 Gabon 31 124 117
123 Malawi 31 120 122
126 Azerbaijan 30 124 122
126 Djibouti 30 152 122
126 Kyrgyzstan 30 120 130
126 Ukraine 30 132 135
130 Guinea 29 124 112
130 Laos 29 129 117
130 Maldives 29 120 122
130 Mali 29 132 130
130 Mexico 29 132 135
130 Myanmar 29 138 135
130 Togo 29 138 148
137 Dominican Republic 28 120 122
137 Kenya 28 129 135
137 Lebanon 28 132 135
137 Liberia 28 138 135
137 Mauritania 28 138 135
137 Papua New Guinea 28 138 143
137 Paraguay 28 144 143
137 Russia 28 144 143
137 Uganda 28 149 151
146 Angola 26 138 130
146 Bangladesh 26 132 135
146 Guatemala 26 144 143
146 Honduras 26 149 143
146 Iran 26 144 148
146 Mozambique 26 158 153
146 Nigeria 26 165 167
153 Cameroon 25 144 148
153 Central African Republic 25 152 153
153 Comoros 25 149 156
153 Tajikistan 25 158 157
153 Uzbekistan 25 152 161
158 Madagascar 24 152 155
158 Zimbabwe 24 160 157
160 Eritrea 23 157 165
161 Nicaragua 22 152 151
162 Cambodia 20 161 161
162 Chad 20 165 165
162 Iraq 20 168 169
165 Burundi 19 170 157
165 Congo 19 165 161
165 Turkmenistan 19 161 167
168 Democratic Republic of the Congo 18 161 157
168 Guinea Bissau 18 161 161
168 Haiti 18 170 171
168 Libya 18 172 171
172 Korea, North 17 176 171
173 Afghanistan 16 168 169
173 Equatorial Guinea 16 172 171
173 Sudan 16 172 175
173 Venezuela 16 172 177
177 Yemen 15 176 175
178 Syria 13 178 178
179 South Sudan 12 178 179
180 Somalia 9 180 180

Within the QUAD countries, Australia was ranked 12th, followed by Japan at 20th, the United States at 23rd, and India at 80th. The four QUAD countries represent over 1,850 million or 1.37 billion people. The QUAD members are known for their significant influence on international affairs; all are members of G20. As of 2018, these five nations have a combined nominal GDP of US$30 trillion and an estimated combined GDP (PPP) of around US$40 trillion.

Source: CEOWORLD magazine
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The World’s 60 Most Innovative Countries For 2020

Germany has replaced South Korea as the most innovative nation worldwide at the Bloomberg Index, breaking South Korea’s six-year winning streak. South Korea has dropped by one place to the second spot. Singapore has reclaimed its number three rank in the world’s most innovative countries index, after leaping three spots.

Switzerland retained 5th place, ahead of Switzerland (No. 4), Sweden (No. 5), Israel (No. 6), Finland (No. 7), Denmark (No. 8), US (No. 9), and France (No. 10). The world’s biggest economies, the so-called trillion-dollar club, had opposite fortunes, with the United States dropping one level to No. 9, Japan dropping three places to No. 12, and China improving by one spot to No. 15, while India retained 5th place in the rankings.

Within the QUAD countries, the United States was ranked 9th, followed by Japan at 12th, Australia at 20th, and India at 54. The four QUAD countries represent over 1,850 million or 1.37 billion people. The QUAD members are known for their significant influence on international affairs; all are members of G20. As of 2018, these five nations have a combined nominal GDP of US$30 trillion and an estimated combined GDP (PPP) of around US$40 trillion.

The Innovation Index ranks the world’s 60 most innovative countries using seven criteria including research and development expenditure as a percentage of GDP, productivity, patent activity, the concentration of researchers, including postgraduate Ph.D. students, engaged in R&D per one million people, and concentration of high-tech companies.

The 60 Most Innovative Countries In The World For 2020

Rank 2020 Country Rank 2019 Change from 2019
1 Germany 2 1
2 South Korea 1 -1
3 Singapore 6 3
4 Switzerland 4 0
5 Sweden 7 2
6 Israel 5 -1
7 Finland 3 -4
8 Denmark 11 3
9 US 8 -1
10 France 10 0
11 Austria 12 1
12 Japan 9 -3
13 Netherlands 15 2
14 Belgium 13 -1
15 China 16 1
16 Ireland 14 -2
17 Norway 17 0
18 UK 18 0
19 Italy 21 2
20 Australia 19 -1
21 Slovenia 31 10
22 Canada 20 -2
23 Iceland 23 0
24 Czech Rep 25 1
25 Poland 22 -3
26 Russia 27 1
27 Malaysia 26 -1
28 Hungary 32 4
29 New Zealand 24 -5
30 Greece 35 5
31 Luxembourg 28 -3
32 Romania 29 -3
33 Spain 30 -3
34 Portugal 34 0
35 Turkey 33 -2
36 Estonia 36 0
37 Latvia 42 5
38 Lithuania 37 -1
39 Hong Kong 38 -1
40 Thailand 40 0
41 Slovakia 39 -2
42 Bulgaria 41 -1
43 Croatia 44 1
44 UAE 46 2
45 Argentina 50 5
46 Brazil 45 -1
47 Matta 43 -4
48 Cyprus 48 0
49 Algeria NR NR
50 S Africa 51 1
51 Chile 58 7
52 Tunisia 52 0
53 Saudi Arabia 56 3
54 India 54 0
55 Qatar 57 2
56 Ukraine 53 -3
57 Vietnam 60 3
58 Egypt NR NR
59 Kazakhstan NR NR
60 Macao NR NR

Four new economies entered the Innovation Index for the first time: Algeria — which made an especially strong debut at No. 49 — as well as Egypt, Kazakhstan, and Macao.

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Source: CEOWORLD magazine
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The Impact Of Political Uncertainty On The Global Economic Market

When seeing the headlines on the news, many of us think about how this will affect you directly, but what about the ways that elements such as this will affect the weekly food shop and even trade agreements for your business? In this article, we will be providing you with insight into just how much political uncertainty can impact the global economic market as a whole.

The USA and China Trade Deal 

As the ongoing trade war between the USA and China shows no sign of any resolution, the US and China are meeting yet again to discuss a resolution. However, at a meeting on the 2nd December 2019, Trump stated that a China deal could wait until after 2020 in order to get the best possible deal for the United States. However, with this came a shock to a number of investors with the stocks sliding with the news of no deadline in sight. With the FTSE 100 stock slumping over 81 points to a low of 7,203 points making this the lowest level in almost two weeks.

Mounting Tensions With North Korea 

Another element of political uncertainty that has affected the global economic market is the mounting tensions between North Korea and the American Government. With a relationship that has been anything but smooth sailing, Trump and Kim Jong Un have a number of meetings to discuss the relationship between the two nations. However, this in itself has been anything but smooth. With tensions reaching their peak in 2017 with an exchange of fire threatened, this is a relationship that has threated to disrupt the global market a number of times. Whether these are imposed tariffs on imported goods or even the price of oil, this can all be raised at any moment should the two nations begin to disagree.

The Brexit Effect 

The third and final major political upset that is causing disruption to the global economic market is the ongoing issue of Brexit. As the UK works towards their next deadline of leaving the EU, a divided nation heads to the polls on December 12th to decide who they would like to run their country. Though there has been a vast amount of political uncertainty in the UK there has in fact been an increase in bounce rate for the economy as there was an increase of 0.7 percent in the first three months of August. Though there are still a number of uncertainties surrounding Brexit such as the leave agreement and trade laws that will e affected following Britain’s exit from the European Union.

The Impact On International Trading 

As these political issues continue to hit the headlines, many of us forget about the economic impact that they can have, particularly on the nation’s businesses. Not only is there a likelihood that trading will be interrupted but there is also the possibility of tariffs affecting the overall costs of importing goods. This is an issue that is already present in the United States as a 15% tariff has already been placed on a number of products in Apple’s catalogue. Though this did not leave much of a dent in Apple’s monthly revenue this is set to change on December 15th as it is set to be a 15% import levy on the products.

Apple is not the only one being affected by this however as this will impact a number of other tech companies as import levies begin to rise. This can have a lasting impact on international trade as a number of countries that are close to the United States in terms of trade have recorded a higher than average amount of trade uncertainty. This is then added to the ongoing political uncertainty in the United Kingdom as this is causing a number of huge businesses to consider moving their headquarters as a result.

The Rise Of Social Trading Platforms 

In the midst of all this political uncertainty, it is common for the price of gold and other commodities to rise as these are investments that do not lose their worth during political unrest. However, due to the decentralized nature of these digital currencies, they continue to thrive during political uncertainty. With a constant circulation of currency and a number of CopyTrader options from industry leaders such as Etoro, the number of users reached over 10 million. This saw the number of features including  CopyPortfolios in 2016 that allow those that wish, to see some of the top investors on the platform and replicate their success. In addition to this, the implementation of such technology also allowed users to take advantage of pre-determined marketing strategies to mimic the success of the top traders. This style of technology subsequently led to an increase in similar technologies as well as the expansion of the Etoro platform to cater to the growing popularity of online currencies.

The Impact On International Business 

In addition to the impact of international trading, there is also the pressing issue of the impact that this will have on international business. With a number of companies affected by major political unrest and the economic hits leading to wavering annual income, this can lead to a wide amount of hesitance when it comes to investing.

Additionally, there is a vast amount of unrest when looking into the headquarter locations for a number of large corporations as political unrest can lead to some business pulling out and moving elsewhere. This is, therefore, damaging to the economy in that country as there will be less spending. This has been seen already following the Brexit vote as a number of factories across the board have begun to close down with thousands of jobs falling through. In addition to this, a number of leading retailers such as John Lewis and Sainsburys have also said that their business may be affected as the prices are set to increase, therefore presenting problems for the running costs of a business.

The Future Of The Global Economic Market

Though the future of the economic market continues to chop and change with every event that unfolds it is looking promising for the UK following their exit from the European Union as the pound is set to slowly increase in price over the years. Though some reports say that this is only a small increase to what the economy would have been, this is a promising future for the global economic market.

However, with an end to the China and US trade war looking as though it may still rumble on until after the 2020 election, this still a pressing issue as a number of major businesses may be hesitant to invest in the first place.

With this in mind, there are a number of ways that political uncertainty can affect the global economic market, whether it is an increase in commodities or the overall price increase on imported goods, this can all affect business in the long term.

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Source: CEOWORLD magazine
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