Boardroom briefing: the world of work, shipping supply chain data and women on corporate boards


Get ready for the next wave of changes at the workplace, blockchain technology for the shipping industry, all S&P 500 companies now have women on their boards of directors. Readings from around the world on business, leadership and management.

The world of work is changing, are we ready?

The BBC has published a list with 101 people, ideas and things that are changing the way we work now—and into the future.

There are a few obvious choices, such as the advent of 5G technology, anti-distraction apps, crowdfunding, flexible work arrangements and, of course, the fact that people now live longer, but there are some elements on the list that are worth pondering.

For example, the list includes

  • ‘ghost work’, which is described as ‘the work of thousands of invisible humans, sometimes continents away, who help build and maintain … technologies that we use every day’.
  • the hypersurveillance of workers
  • office farming (yes, growing food at work) and
  • passion exploitation, which, according to the BBC is ‘taking advantage of people who are more passionate about their jobs, which might manifest in workers performing hours of unpaid overtime or even working for free’.

Technology advances such as microgrids (easy-to-install grids that can be used when there are power cuts) are also key to understanding what the future will look like. Think we might have these PNG already!

Revolutionising the shipping supply chain data

Data from six of PNG’s ports is apparently being used to improve the global shipping supply chain.

TradeLens is a blockchain-enabled digital shipping platform that aims to streamline the global shipping supply chain. Its goal is to provide a single, open source of shipping data to make trade more efficient.

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Blockchain allows for shared and unmodifiable records of transaction that take place within a network and gives different parties access to that secure data in real time. It also means minimising manual and paper-based systems.

So far, the container transportation and shipping companies CMA CGM, MSC Mediterranean Shipping Company, Hapag-Lloyd and Ocean Network Express (ONE) have join the platform. About 60 ports and terminals around the world are full integrated into the TradeLens system but none in PNG as yet.

Women on corporate boards

Women representation in S&P Companies. Credit: Bloomberg

Forbes’ Ruth Umoh has reported that Copart, the last company in the S&P 500 without a female member on its board, announced last week the appointment of Diane Morefield to its board of directors.

According to Umoh’s article, in 2012 one in eight S&P 500 boards was all-male. Today women participation makes up 27 per cent of all board seats in the S&P boards. And, just in case you were wondering, Tenga, General Motors, Michael Kors and Equilar are the top for companies with the highest share of female board seats.

Research has shown that ‘diverse boards have lower volatility, better performance and invest more in research and development.’

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