The Future of Work Podcast—New Episode!

Each month, we talk with industry leaders in their fields to discuss the changing evolution of the workforce and the skills needed to stay competitive

Even before the COVID-19 pandemic hit, the way we worked and the skills we needed to succeed in our respective fields was shifting. Increased reliance on data to inform business decisions. The automation of job duties that made some workers redundant. The value of incorporating sustainability into everyday processes on the bottom line.

And then COVID-19 shut down the world. Racism and inequalities came to dominate every conversation. And as companies grapple with DE&I initiates and engage with a remote workforce, the way we work today looks drastically different than from just a few years ago. What trends, skills, initiatives and equity will we face in the years to come? 

We've partnered with Jill Finlayson, Director of EDGE in Tech Initiative at UC (Expanding Diversity and Gender Equity) co-sponsored by CITRIS and Berkeley Engineering, to speak with industry leaders in their fields to discuss the changing evolution of the workforce and the skills needed to stay competitive.


Season 2, Episode 9: 2024 Job Trends and Directions

Headshots of Jill Finlayson and Daniel Zhao on blue background

 

Are you making any career or professional development resolutions? To help you envision the future, let’s explore trends and new directions for career growth. To shed light on the jobs that are in demand and growing sectors, we need to dive into data from employees and employers.

Meet Our Guest

Daniel Zhao, lead economist and senior manager data science at Glassdoor, has been doing research on trends in the job market and workplace. During the past six years as part of a team, Daniel has explored topics such as employee satisfaction, salary transparency and pay equity leveraging alternative data sources like reviews, salaries and posts from Glassdoor. Prior to joining the Economic Research team, he worked as a data scientist. In case you're not familiar with it, Glassdoor is a website where current and former employees anonymously review companies and their management for the companies that they have worked for.

 

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Read the transcript from this interview.

 


Season 2, Episode 8: Predictions for 2024

Headshots of Jill Finlayson, Barry O'Reilly and Michelle Hector on blue podcast background

 

As we look toward 2024, we'd like to take this time to remind each of our listeners that it's important to invest in your future of work goals. So let's call this episode the Future of Work Gift Guide. What can you give yourself to upskill? How can you help someone achieve their career goals?

Meet Our Guests

Michelle Hector is an expert in helping people build their leadership skills, create effective teams and expand their emotional intelligence. She started climbing the corporate ladder in finance and later at large tech firms, and has been a small-business leader. Now, Michelle is teaching full time about workforce development, leadership and making power moves. Read more about Michelle.

Barry O'Reilly is a business adviser, entrepreneur and author who has pioneered the intersection of business model innovation, product development and culture transformation. Barry works with business leaders and teams from global organizations that seek to invent the future, not fear it. Barry is the author of Unlearn: Let Go of Past Success to Achieve Extraordinary Results and co-author of the international bestseller Lean Enterprise: How High Performance Organizations Innovate at Scale. As a speaker, writer and contributor to publications like The Economist, Strategy+Business and MIT Sloan Management Review, Barry also contributes to the executive programs at Singularity University, founded ExecCamp—an entrepreneurial experience for executives—and co-founded Nobody Studios with the goal to launch 100 companies during the next five years. His mission is to help purposeful innovation and that starts with the individual.

 

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Read the transcript from this interview.

 


Season 2, Episode 7: Becoming an AI Native

Headshots of Jill Finlayson and Chalenge Masekera on blue podcast background

 

With the advent of generative AI and large language models and chatbots, we need to take a look at the skills you will need, the jobs that are impacted and the opportunity to increase productivity—not only for yourself, but for an organization as a whole. With AI evolving at lightning speed, are we quickly entering the age of adopt or perish? To take a deeper dive, we have invited Chalenge Masekera to join us.

Meet Our Guest

Chalenge is a data scientist currently working at Faros AI, a company dedicated to enabling enterprises to get invaluable insights into their engineering operations. Chalenge's passion lies in harnessing the boundless potential of AI and data-driven insights. He envisions a world where businesses and individuals alike can seize unparalleled opportunities from AI for success in our rapidly evolving world. He received his masters in Information Management and Systems from the UC Berkeley School of Information.

 

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Season 2, Episode 6: Creative Collaboration

Headshots of Jill Finlayson and Rebecca Hinds on blue podcast background

 

This month, we’re taking a look at collaborative intelligence. Collaboration is essential but often times invisible. It can either contribute to the success or lead to the downfall of a project. We collaborate in a number ways, using a number of different tools and in different places, but do we really understand how to collaborate effectively? What is the difference between collaboration and coordination? How does can collaboration inspire innovation? When does collaboration become overkill and lead to employee fatigue? What can individuals and leaders do to cultivate a collaboration community? To answer these many questions, we turn to Rebecca Hinds.

Meet Our Guest

Rebecca is the Head of The Work Innovation Lab by Asana, a first-of-its-kind think tank that conducts actionable research to assist businesses in adapting to the ever-changing challenges of work, both today and in the future. She earned her Ph.D. at Stanford University, focusing her research on the transformation of organizations through emergent technologies such as AI and non-traditional work forms such as hybrid and remote work. Rebecca was the recipient of the Stanford Interdisciplinary Graduate Fellowship, considered one of the highest honors given to doctoral students at Stanford pursuing interdisciplinary research. Her research and insights have appeared in publications including Harvard Business Review, New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, Forbes, Wired, TechCrunch and Inc.

 

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Season 2, Episode 5: The Domino Effect of Striking Down Affirmative Action

Headshots of Jill Finlayson and Monica Cox on blue podcast background

 

This month, we take a look at the recent U.S. Supreme Court ruling that essentially struck down four-and-a-half decades of legal precedent that allowed higher-education institutions to consider race as one of the many factors in their admissions evaluations. While California has been grappling with this challenge since Prop 209 passed in 1996, now across the nation universities are seeking new ways to define college admissions that will help level an uneven playing field. Beyond admissions, we have questions about the domino effect this ruling will have not only on the makeup of incoming university students, but also the pipeline of college graduates entering  the workforce, the ripple effects on DEI in hiring and the makeup of that workforce.

Meet Our Guest

Dr. Monica Cox is a disruptor, trailblazer, change agent and leader who believes in living an authentic life even if it makes people uncomfortable. She grew up an only child in rural southeast Alabama, where she was raised by her educator parents to persist in the face of personal and professional adversity. As a coach, she guides clients in areas of career development; business strategy; and diversity, equity, and inclusion. A Distinguished Professor and entrepreneur, Dr. Cox's inquisitive nature contributes to her passion for educating others and sharing what she has learned via her experiences.

 

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Season 2, Episode 4: AI—Embrace With a Level of Skepticism, Part 2

Headshots of Jill Finlayson and Ittai Shiu on blue podcast background

 

This month, we continue our conversation on Artificial Intelligence and how it might change your job and create wholly new jobs. ChatGPT, a generative AI chat bot from OpenAI, and Bard from Google are changing how we see AI's role in how we do our jobs. From drafting speeches to writing and debugging code, AI can remove some of the grunt work. But as Sam Altman, OpenAI CEO, said to Congress, "AI is a tool. It's not a creature." AI can help with tasks, but not jobs. So if AI could replace many tasks but could also lead to much better jobs, how should we be thinking about AI in our own careers? What do we need to be wary of? And what should we embrace to leverage the power of AI?

Meet Our Guest

Ittai Shiu is an instructor in our Entrepreneurship program, teaching Marketing Research Concepts and Techniques. He has a background in digital marketing and advertising technology, with 20 years of experience working with interactive agencies and global brands. He is the founder of LaunchPoint, a California-based non-profit focused on creating paid professional learning opportunities for students from underrepresented communities.

 

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Season 2, Episode 3: AI—Embrace With a Level of Skepticism

Headshots of Jill Finlayson and Ittai Shiu on blue podcast background

 

This month, we’re taking a look at Artificial Intelligence and how it is changing the way we educate and the way we work. When we first started hearing about AI, there was a lot of conversation about automation, job displacement and up-skilling. Then this year, ChatGPT set the record for the fastest-growing user base with more than 100 million users as of February 2023. AI is changing how we think about teaching, what we are teaching and how we assess learning. Governments are asking how we maximize the good that can come of artificial intelligence, but minimize the bad. From a full embracing of the technology to having a healthy level of skepticism, how will you adapt to the power of AI?

Meet Our Guest

Ittai Shiu is an instructor in our Entrepreneurship program, teaching Marketing Research Concepts and Techniques. He has a background in digital marketing and advertising technology, with 20 years of experience working with interactive agencies and global brands. He is the founder of LaunchPoint, a California-based non-profit focused on creating paid professional learning opportunities for students from underrepresented communities.

 

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Read the transcript from this interview.


Season 2, Episode 2: Four-Day Work Week—Yay or Nay?

Headshots of Jill Finlayson and Stela Lupushor on blue podcast background

 

A few episodes back, we talked about hybrid work and the growing strength that employees have in shaping the how and when of their work. This month, we’re putting a spotlight on a trend that is picking up steam—the idea of a four-day work week. This experimentation is revealing pros and cons when implemented in countries such as Japan, Spain, the UK and South Africa. While a four-day work week may help boost employee productivity and mental health, not every worker can participate. So who chooses the when and how to introduce a four-day work week?

Meet Our Guest

Stela Lupushor is a thought leader, speaker, educator and futurist who is on a mission to humanize the workplace. She advises startups, venture funds and mature enterprises on the use of design thinking, technology, analytics and future thinking to create inclusive workplaces. Stela teaches at NYU, imparting her knowledge on to the next generation of HR leaders. Previously, Stela transformed workplace practices at the intersection of technology, analytics and HR at organizations such as Fidelity Investments, TIAA, IBM, Price Waterhouse and PwC Consulting and their clients. She is the co-author of Humanizing Human Capital: Invest In Your People for Optimal Business Returns and Humans At Work: The Art and Practice of Creating the Hybrid Workplace.

 

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Season 2, Episode 1: The Value of Employee Resource Groups

Headshots of Jill Finlayson and Anisha Nandi on blue podcast background

 

Employee resource groups—better known as ERGs—provide a safe space for employees to meet with others like themselves and develop community around those shared traits and needs. Normally employee-led, ERGs also provide inherent value to organizations small and large—from increasing employee retention, providing opportunity for professional development or boosting recruitment efforts. They are a win-win for both the employee and the employer. We turn to Anisha Nandi—CEO and co-founder of Verbate, a startup focused on helping companies build best-in-class employee communities—to learn more.

Meet Our Guest

Prior to founding Verbate, Anisha was a tech journalist at CBS and NBC, where she was a founding member of their digital newsrooms. During her time there, she was deeply passionate about building great employee experience, which ultimately led her to founding Verbate. She is passionate about creating healthier workplaces via transparency, employee happiness and inclusion.

 

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Season 1, Episode 12: Owning Your Financial Decisions

headshots of Jill Finlayson and Richard Lehman on blue background

 

We ended 2022 with a bit of an upheaval in the job market. Mass layoffs at big-tech companies were splashed across the headlines. And more organizations are speculating that layoffs may be part of their fiscal plan in the coming months, reacting to the possibility of a looming recession. So in this episode of the Future of Work, we’re bringing the workplace a little closer to home—making sure that you have a financial contingency plan if you don’t already have one in place. To get some tried-and-true advice on weathering any potential upheaval in the future, we turn to instructor Richard Lehman.

Meet Our Guest

Richard is the author of Far From Random: Using Investor Behavior and Trend Analysis to Forecast Market Movement. He has a Wall Street and financial industry background spanning 34 years, and is the founder of BehavioralFinance.com. He is also a frequent public speaker on behavioral finance at both individual and professional associations. At Extension, he teaches his favorite course about behavioral finance.

 

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Season 1, Episode 11: Where Did the Trust Go?

headshots of Jill Finlayson and Heather McGowan on blue background

 

Who is steering the ship? Today’s workforce is more empowered than ever with many finding that maintaining a work-life balance is an important part of how we work. The pandemic opened the door to enabling greater flexibility around when and where we work. Job-seekers are prioritizing company mission, values and participation in DEI when they evaluate a potential role. Employees have shown that work can be done and done well remotely. So why the call back to the office? Why are products like an automatic mouse mover hitting the market? Where and why did the trust go? To kick off the new year, let’s talk about going forward, not backward. Let’s help managers and leaders of all types shift from driving productivity through force and move toward inspiring and motivating this empowered workforce.

Meet Our Guest

Future-of-work strategist Heather E. McGowan helps leaders prepare their people and organizations for the post-pandemic world. As a keynote speaker, Heather gives lucidity to complex topics through her research rich, graphic frameworks and powerful metaphors. In 2017, LinkedIn ranked her as its Number One global voice for education, and in 2020 McGowan was listed as one of the Top 50 Female Futurists in Forbes. New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman describes her as “the oasis” when it comes to insights into the future of work. McGowan is the co-author of The Adaptation Advantage (April 2020).

 

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Season 1, Episode 10: 2023 Predictions

Jill Finlayson, Vaneese Johnson and Barry O'Reilly headshots on a blue background

 

This month, we chat with former guests Barry O'Reilly and Vaneese Johnson to future-cast what's in store for 2023! They look back on 2022: Did we learn anything new? Did any of our systems or practices change? They look forward to 2023: Will there be new ripples or upsets in the work place? What should leaders and employees do to prepare and succeed in 2023?

Meet Our Guests

Vaneese Johnson is The Boldness Coach and helps leaders bring authenticity, intrinsic values and new levels of engagement to their work. A lead instructor for our Professional Development Program, Vaneese is also founder of Girl, Get Your Business Straight and Girl, Get Your Career Straight. She is an expert in leadership and DEI in the workplace, entrepreneurship and small business. Her book on Boldisms helps folks disrupt negative self-talk, “treat their career like a business” and update themselves to stay competitive. Read more about Vaneese.

Barry O'Reilly is a business adviser, entrepreneur and author who has pioneered the intersection of business model innovation, product development and culture transformation. Barry works with business leaders and teams from global organizations that seek to invent the future, not fear it. Barry is the author of Unlearn: Let Go of Past Success to Achieve Extraordinary Results and co-author of the international bestseller Lean Enterprise: How High Performance Organizations Innovate at Scale. As a speaker, writer and contributor to publications like The Economist, Strategy+Business and MIT Sloan Management Review, Barry also contributes to the executive programs at Singularity University, founded ExecCamp—an entrepreneurial experience for executives—and co-founded Nobody Studios with the goal to launch 100 companies during the next five years. His mission is to help purposeful innovation and that starts with the individual.

 

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Read the transcript from this interview.

 


Season 1, Episode 9: Are We Moving Toward a Gig Economy?

Podcast promo image with Jill Finlayson and Cherida Smith headshots

 

What was once considered side hustles, the gig economy has become so much more. In fact, it’s quickly becoming a trillion-dollar industry that offers more choices and opportunities. Whether it’s partaking in the rideshare business as a driver or working as a consultant in the project economy, are we seeing the demise of the full-time employee? What does this mean for organizations who need employers—or contractors—with hyper-specialized skills in order to remain relevant? What are the pros and pitfalls of this new gig landscape and who is able to thrive?

Meet Our Guest

Cherida Smith is blazing the trail for entrepreneurship among women and people of color in the gig economy. She is a community builder, gig worker advocate and adviser, and has led community efforts for nearly 1 million gig workers through advocacy work at Lyft and California’s Yes on Prop 22 campaign. She has spoken on behalf of gig workers alongside U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris at the National Urban League Legislative Policy Conference; rang the NASDAQ opening bell onstage beside Lyft founders; and organized gig workers across California.

She is a Future of Work strategist and adviser on the gig economy with her CDS Global Consulting Group and is also the Alumni Relations Portfolio Manager at Goodie Nation. Goodie Nation is a networking community that helps eliminate the relationship gap that stands in the way of success for too many promising entrepreneurs, especially those who are people of color, women or those not located in coastal financial centers.

 

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Season 1, Episode 8: The Humanizing of Flexible Work

Podcast promo image with Jill Finlayson and Cali Williams Yost headshots

 

Across the globe, people have created effective remote working environments for themselves. Statistics vary, but the majority of employees say that working remotely will be important to them in the future. Not all workers have the option, but more than half do, and when offered, almost everyone takes the opportunity to work flexibly. So with more staff solely interacting through digital means, does the loss of face-to-face interactions mean less networking, creative collaborations and impromptu hallway meetings? Does it also mean more realistic work/life balance, flexibility and increased productivity? Remembering that it’s still humans doing the work, even if you can’t physically see them, how do we need to design work and the workplace? What is the impact as more employees return to an office, but in a hybrid schedule? Who is getting left behind or forgotten?

Meet Our Guest

Cali Williams Yost is the founder of Flex Strategy Group, FSG and a workplace futurist who specializes in high-performance flexibility and helping organizations unlock performance and engagement by reimagining how, when and where work is done.
She has been researching flexible workplace trends for decades and uses those insights to help leaders think about how flexibility can attract and retain an engaged, diverse workforce; increase productivity and innovation; enhance employee well-being and respond rapidly to operating disruptions.

 

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Season 1, Episode 7: The Democracy of Data

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There’s no ignoring it: Data is driving business forward. Data informs good decision making. And as a result, companies are empowering their employees to explore, understand and communicate with data. As we look at the future of work, every role at every level of an organization will need data-literacy skills.

Meet Our Guest

Mia Dand is the CEO of Lighthouse3, an emerging technology advisory firm, and founder of Women in AI Ethics, a global non-profit initiative to increase representation, recognition and empowerment of women working on ethical and responsible AI. She created the first "100 Brilliant Women in AI Ethics" list in 2018, which is now published annually, and an online directory to help hiring managers and conference organizers recruit more multidisciplinary talent. In 2022, with support from the Ford Foundation and Omidyar Network, her nonprofit launched the “I am the future of AI” campaign to highlight non-traditional career pathways in AI and encourage more folks from non-technical backgrounds to join this space. Mia is also on the Advisory Board for Carnegie Council’s Artificial Intelligence & Equality Initiative and has hosted hundreds of programs to share groundbreaking work by diverse experts, lower barriers to tech for underrepresented groups and democratize access to AI literacy/education.

Check out Mia's curated list of fiction and nonfiction books on AI and technology ethics! And be sure to follow Mia by subscribing to her newsletter.

 

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Season 1, Episode 6: The Hybrid Role—Fusing Technical and Soft Skills, Part 2

headshots of Jill Finlayson and Vaneese Johnson on blue background

 

Specialized digital skills are becoming increasingly important and yet jobs are not becoming hypertechnical. Instead, they are becoming increasingly hybrid, mixing human and technical skills—and employers and workers alike are still struggling to keep up. For example, job postings are cropping up with qualifications in data analytics, project management and critical thinking. But those same postings are also requiring excellent communication skills, problem solving and time management. How do you balance the hard with the soft? In this second part, we talk about those people skills and how to use them to build your personal brand.

Meet Our Guest

Vaneese Johnson is The Boldness Coach and helps leaders bring authenticity, intrinsic values and new levels of engagement to their work. A lead instructor for our Professional Development Program, Vaneese is also founder of Girl, Get Your Business Straight and Girl, Get Your Career Straight. She is an expert in leadership and DEI in the workplace, entrepreneurship and small business. Her book on Boldisms helps folks disrupt negative self-talk, “treat their career like a business” and update themselves to stay competitive. Read more about Vaneese.

 

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Season 1, Episode 5: The Hybrid Role—Fusing Technical and Soft Skills, Part 1

headshots of Jill Finlayson and Vaneese Johnson on blue background

 

Specialized digital skills are becoming increasingly important and yet jobs are not becoming hypertechnical. Instead, they are becoming increasingly hybrid, mixing human and technical skills—and employers and workers alike are still struggling to keep up. For example, job postings are cropping up with qualifications in data analytics, project management and critical thinking. But those same postings are also requiring excellent communication skills, problem solving and time management. How do you balance the hard with the soft?

Meet Our Guest

Vaneese Johnson is The Boldness Coach and helps leaders bring authenticity, intrinsic values and new levels of engagement to their work. A lead instructor for our Professional Development Program, Vaneese is also founder of Girl, Get Your Business Straight and Girl, Get Your Career Straight. She is an expert in leadership and DEI in the workplace, entrepreneurship and small business. Her book on Boldisms helps folks disrupt negative self-talk, “treat their career like a business” and update themselves to stay competitive. Read more about Vaneese.

 

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Read the transcript from this interview.


Season 1, Episode 4: Closing the Great Skills Gap With Post-Degree Learning

Photo of Jill Finlayson and Frederick Wehrle podcast promotion

 

AI and automation are making some jobs obsolete or creating new jobs. We’re also witnessing the great resignation, brought on by myriad reasons. In a McKinsey Global Institute report, “In the United States, we project there are about 17 million people in jobs that may see less demand. Over the eight countries we study in our report, 100 million people may need skills to perform different occupations in growing fields.” So if you’re thinking about or perhaps in the midst of a career change, you need to get up to speed quickly. Or are you being redeployed into a new role at your organization? Here’s how and why to build your capabilities.

Meet Our Guest

Frederick Wehrle is the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs at UC Berkeley Extension, where he leads the strategic design and development of the institution’s academic programs. He also lectures in marketing strategy, product management and go-to-market strategies. Frederick’s research interests are in the influence of pre-existing biases on consumer behavior. He has dedicated his career to designing new forms of education that fit the work and family reality of professionals and allow them to acquire the skills needed to succeed in their careers in the upcoming 4th Industrial Revolution. 

 

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Season 1, Episode 3: Learning—and Unlearning—With Intent

Jill Finlayson and Barry O'Reilly headshots on a blue background

 

The World Economic Forum recently declared a reskilling emergency as the world faces more than one billion jobs transformed by technology. No longer an ideal but an expectation, executives and employees must continually refresh their skills to keep up. To do so, continuous professional education is the key. But are you learning with intent? Intentional learners are experiencing all the same daily moments anyone else might, but they get more out of those opportunities because everything—every experience, conversation, meeting and deliverable—carries with it an opportunity to develop and grow. Here’s how you can learn with intent.

Meet Our Guest

Barry O'Reilly is a business adviser, entrepreneur and author who has pioneered the intersection of business model innovation, product development and culture transformation. Barry works with business leaders and teams from global organizations that seek to invent the future, not fear it.

Barry is the author of Unlearn: Let Go of Past Success to Achieve Extraordinary Results and co-author of the international bestseller Lean Enterprise: How High Performance Organizations Innovate at Scale. As a speaker, writer and contributor to publications like The Economist, Strategy+Business and MIT Sloan Management Review, Barry also contributes to the executive programs at Singularity University, founded ExecCamp—an entrepreneurial experience for executives—and co-founded Nobody Studios with the goal to launch 100 companies during the next five years. His mission is to help purposeful innovation and that starts with the individual.

 

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Season 1, Episode 2: The Future of Work in Biology—Post-Pandemic

Jill Finlayson and Monica Ranes-Goldberg headshots on a blue background

 

If anything positive can come out of this COVID-19 pandemic, it’s that the importance of health care professionals is seen as paramount—especially those who were furiously working to develop a vaccine. From understanding how the virus worked, how to mitigate its transmission and how to protect our global population against it, the biologists in the labs became the unknown celebrities of 2021. Their behind-the-scenes work quickly became front-page headlines. And with that flux of attention came a surge of open positions in the biological sector. Jobs in specific occupations—such as epidemiologists, medical scientists, biochemists and biophysicists, and biological technicians—are expected to see strong growth. What is the future of work in this area and what does it take to fill the jobs gap?

Meet Our Guest

Monica Ranes-Goldberg taught one of the first online classes for Berkeley in biology, is a Berkeley graduate with a degree in molecular biology and received her Ph.D. at Harvard University in Cellular and Developmental Biology. She did her post-doc in Paris and was involved in AIDs vaccine development in the late '80s. When debating whether to go into the research lab or onto a career in pharma, Monica discovered while on maternity leave that she had a passion for teaching. She started at UC Berkeley Extension and stayed, combining her passion for biology with her talent for teaching. Monica has refined her own pedagogy and designed new courses from introductory biology to current topics like immunology and hematology. Read more about Monica.

 

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Season 1, Episode 1: Women in Leadership—Overcoming Barriers

 

According to recent McKinsey research, women-held positions in tech has largely declined in the U.S. during the past 25 years. And yet, companies are reporting a shortage in tech skills as businesses across the spectrum are ramping up their tech capabilities. So what can companies do to not only fill empty positions, but fill them with women and women of color. What can women already in the field do to advance not only their own careers, but that of other females wanting to enter the field? What leadership skills are needed to break those barriers?

Meet Our Guest

Michelle Hector Branner is an expert in helping people build their leadership skills, create effective teams and expand their emotional intelligence. She started climbing the corporate ladder in finance and later at large tech firms, and has been a small-business leader. Now, Michelle is teaching full time about workforce development, leadership and making power moves. Read more about Michelle.

 

 

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