In honour of Women's Day, the UCT GSB hosted a panel discussion on campus featuring three alumni to discuss how best to future-proof your skills - Lisa Andrews of Old Mutual, Alex Pryor of EOH, and Fortune Gamanya of Luminary Advisory & Consulting. It was moderated by the very talented Joy-Marie Lawrence CD(SA) PCC (ICF).
The changing world of work is a key topic at the moment for many companies and this event was a great opportunity for current students and alumni to listen to leaders in this space.
Key learnings included:
- We are in the midst of a technology revolution that is changing more rapidly than the dot.com bubble of the 1990s ever did. To stay relevant, you need to understand this closely and demystify jargon. These advances in technology will forever change the skills required and new roles are already emerging in organisations. Your skills will be more in demand than ever but the idea of a clearly defined job description and value of long term service is defunct.
- Curiosity is key. Be adaptable. Be prepared to be "standing in the glory of your ignorance" (great quote from Fortune Gamanya). You need to be vigilant to preserve this curiosity and keep pace, because organisations are not designed in a way that creates opportunity - they are designed for Business As Usual. If you don't know what Web 3 is and you think AI is a passing fad, educate yourself fast. The next phase of the Internet is all about reading, writing, interacting and owning your own data, mainly through block chain. The way we interact on the web is undergoing a radical transformation and Gen Alpha will be on their way into the workplace sooner than you may think. Alex Pryor has written a book called Risking Irrelevance: Why businesses can't afford to ignore web3 (and what the heck is web3 anyway?)
- As women in business, do not be afraid to lean-in to healthy tension - healthy tension sparks debate and delivers value. Don't be too nice, it does not help you or the organisation grow (thanks Lisa Andrews).
As the world of work continues to shift and evolve - be sure to keep learning, keep curious and learn from each other. Look out for our next event.