EdApp by SafetyCulture

Paradigm Shifters: Women Driving Change in L&D, Innovation and People Ops 


September 20, 2018



paradigm shifters report

There are idiomatic truths that New York businesses have to deal with: people do not go out when it’s raining, the Downtown crowd doesn’t go above 50 Street and nobody has a successful event during Fashion Week. And yet, last week, 70 people from a variety of industries braved the rain, shirked their Fashion Week engagements and trekked all the way to Columbus Circle for an SC Training (formerly EdApp) Microlearning event.

The draw was not a glamorous party (though the teams from Fendi and Michael Kors certainly brought the glamour) nor was it a mandatory engagement. It was our panel discussion, Paradigm Shifters: Women Driving Change in Learning and Development – the first of our new panel discussions which highlight leadership and innovation in corporate learning.

The event featured inspiring business leaders; Donna Scarola, Global Head of Performance at Johnson and Johnson, Ariam Mogos, Learning Lead at UNICEF Innovation, Erin Straus Head of Learning at WeWork and Veronica Stimson who leads enterprise learning at Slack.

What we covered

Throughout an hour of lively discussion and Q&A, the panellists candidly addressed the most pressing topics in the industry, including how to manage complex change in heavily-siloed organizations. We also discussed the role learning plays in maintaining an organization’s culture as it scales. Panelists also highlighted which innovations and technologies they were most excited about bringing to their companies in the next year.

While technical innovation was addressed, our panelists also opened up to our audience about being female leaders in their organizations and how their perspectives and career experiences had shaped the initiatives they’d made in their organizations.  

Women play a dominant role in learning and development. They tend to champion issues regarding diversity, inclusion and access more than male counterparts and do so with greater organizational pushback. Our panelists did not shy away from this topic and candidly discussed the work they have done to create meaningful change in these areas. They spoke about the ways they overcame pushback and, importantly, the astonishing changes to their organizations’ bottom line one the initiatives were rolled out as a standard part of learning and training programs.

Key Takeaways:

  1. Social Learning will dominate the workplace for the next decade. Social and mobile learning tactics can be used as means of breaking down barriers and increasing performance in heavily-siloed organizations. 
  2. Face to Face still matters. Despite technological advances, our panellists feel strongly that nothing can replace the learning and development benefits that are reaped when colleagues come together for face to face training and collaboration.
  3. The importance of just-in-time learning. Over the next five years, the most successful learning organizations will be those who leverage technology and “just-in-time capability” to access their learners and keep them engaged in real time.
  4. Mobile First is here to stay.

What our attendees thought

Members in the audience gained insight in how to realise their own potential in leadership roles, were inspired to take calculated risks and learned how to help bring female colleagues to the forefront. Below is what some attendees said after the event:

As a woman of color in the audience, I appreciated you made an effort to bring the unique challenges that women of color experience in leadership roles


It was amazing to have the opportunity to hear from so many women leaders at such great companies
Congratulations to you and your team for putting together such an empowering evening

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Guest Author Daniel Brown

Daniel Brown is a senior technical editor and writer that has worked in the education and technology sectors for two decades. Their background experience includes curriculum development and course book creation.

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