No Surprise: The Official Launch of Amazon Pharmacy

It’s official! Amazon Pharmacy has launched, and it is already available in places like Nebraska! Amazon makes it easy, and filling your prescriptions will be more seamless than ever as they continue to use their insights, resources and business philosophies to serve consumers in ways we don’t even know we want – yet.

I began talking and writing about the evolution of healthcare several years ago. My obsession with how Amazon does business, while shaping the future, has been the subject of many keynotes and publications.

It was an honor to talk about the future of healthcare at the annual meeting of the Western Healthcare Alliance (WHA) in a 2019, which included both a keynote and post-keynote coaching circles. The final part of this conference engagement included executive coaching sessions and interviews with 20 leaders. We talked a lot about the changes happening in healthcare at that time. I learned a lot from those leaders, and they were already challenged by the changes and growing number of competitors.

Disrupting Healthcare

The signs indicating that Amazon was building its capacity to disrupt healthcare have been evident for quite sometime. One of the slides from my WHA keynote demonstrated some of the moves Amazon was making to achieve their goals in this space, and the acquisition of Whole Foods and PillPack were two of those strategic investments. Both of those moves were in addition to the already established mammoth market share of Prime memberships (pre-COVID) as well as the smart speaker market.

Keynote slide presented as part the 2019 Western Healthcare Alliance Annual Summit

Jeff Bezos is the ultimate think like a futurist and act like an entrepreneur leader. I would love the opportunity to tap into his business mind because he was shaping the future from the very beginning. It may be a challenge to get him to sit down for an interview because estimates have him making more than $220,000 per minute.

Companies can learn a lot from the four principles Amazon has lived – and grown by – since day one, and I have used their principles to help other leaders think about ways they can lead like a Futurist while acting like an entrepreneur:

The connected world is not going away any time soon, and the implications with the growing longevity economy are staggering! As you can all imagine, my keynotes and workshops have been delivered as webinars for the past few months, and one of the areas I am really diving into is the longevity economy. According to the AARP, the longevity economy is expected to balloon to over $28.2 trillion by 2050. My Futurist mind can’t wrap its head around how many more prescriptions will be filled in that time – in the U.S. alone!

The Longevity Economy Outlook: https://longevityeconomy.aarp.org/

What about the Costs to Humanity and the Environment?

While Amazon is doing great, the actual Amazon is not. Workers’ rights and climate change continue to be a major concern. CNBC stated that Amazon delivered 425 million packages between April and June of 2020. And, that is just Amazon. How many packages, boxes and envelopes are delivered around the world each day? Each delivery requires the use of natural resources, fossil fuels and people.

The AP conducted a comprehensive study of the palm oil industry, and not surprisingly – rape, abuse, healthcare challenges and lack of financial security are rampant. Agricultural workers, especially women, have been exploited for a long, long time. I first learned about these abuses while studying natural resources and entomology at both the undergraduate and graduate levels – and that was in the 1990’s. The pesticide poisoning and abuse inflicted on agricultural workers in rural areas is very real. This type of abuse is part of the food, pharmaceutical and cosmetics supply chain many of us take for granted every day. The people who grow, harvest and make the products and pharmaceuticals shipped and used around the world are suffering – and so are their families. The women who work in these situations have no choice, no voice and no hope. We must do more for the rights of workers – especially women – who are exploited and attacked while trying to make a living. True prosperity does not exist if wealth and power for a few come at the expense of so many.

A New Economy: Prosperity for All

We can and must to better – I am not sure what it all looks like or exactly how we get there; however, there has to be an economic system that moves towards a more purposeful and prosperous future for all.

What do you think? How can we create a new economic system that benefits more people as well as the planet?

I would love to hear your thoughts…

-Dr. Connie

Female workers in the agricultural industry need more pay, rights and protection.
Read the full article: https://apnews.com/article/palm-oil-abuse-investigation-cosmetics-2a209d60c42bf0e8fcc6f8ea6daa11c7

What is the Future of Work?

I am exploring the future of work with leaders at the Innovating Georgia’s Workforce Pipeline Conference. It is a one-day conference designed to innovate Georgia’s talent development and workforce pipeline. The keynote is designed to be an an interactive session that generates innovation leaders can use. However, the future of work is a complex issue. Will we all be replaced by robots? Do older workers have a place in the workforce of the future? Should Millennials and younger generations be the focus?

I am going to add my Futurist insights and would love to hear from all of you. How do you see the future of work?

Great news! There is still time to register for the conference. Visit the Carl Vinson Institute of Government’s web site to register. It would be wonderful to meet some of you live and in-person! If you are not going to be in Georgia, then add your insights about the future of work below! I look forward to reading your ideas.

Live Your Future,

-Dr. Connie

The New Midlife Crisis on OPRAH.COM

I just read a brilliant article by Ada Calhoun, The New Midlife Crisis:  Why (and How) It’s hitting Gen X Women.   

Gen X, the generation often ignored by researchers, employers or even in basic conversations and presentations about generational differences,  had a very different upbringing when compared to their parents or their children.   We are an ambitious generation that created successful companies but also struggled in careers while figuring out how to “balance” work, family and gender dynamics.  Many remained unmarried and childless by choice.  Others married and had children much later in life than previous generations-yes, that’s me!

Midlife has changed, and there is little understanding of midlife challenges and opportunities in the modern era.  I agree with Calhoun about many of the challenges (underemployment, regret about life decisions, etc).  However, I also think our bold and courageous generation continues to shape the world in many positive ways.  Gen X continues to shape organizations, businesses and communities with their independence, work ethic and drive to have a personal life.

The pressure many Gen Xers put on themselves can be a blessing but also a curse.  One key to a more positive midlife is letting go of regret and so much self-censoring while making life more of an adventure.  Generally speaking, many of us were bold and independent in our youth.  We are the generation of big hair, shaved sides, multiple piercings, video games, loud music and mohawks. If there is any generation who can find ways to enjoy it all more-it is ours.  Gen X has done more for this country than most people realize without receiving or even needing the credit for their accomplishments.  We have been leading under the radar for most of our lives, and it is time to raise our hands and voices to audaciously shape the future, especially for women (more on this in a later post).

What does this more modern midlife look like to you?  How are you dealing with the challenges, pressures and stress?  What great adventures are you having in your midlife?  What new opportunities are you pursing?  Let us know by leaving a comment.  We would enjoy hearing from you!

-Dr. Connie

Enjoy OWN’s hilarious video:

 

At current trends, it will take 70 years to close the gender wage gap

Welcome to “The Future of Women” blog series.  The Future of Women focus on AskDrConnie.com will highlight current and future trends impacting women around the world.  

The first part of this series highlights a recent publication by the International Labour Office (ILO).   Women at Work:  Trends 2016, focused on examining gender equity globally.  As ILO mentions in their report, gender equity and women’s empowerment are critical to positive global transformation.  Below are excerpts from the report, please read, reflect and share your wisdom by clicking on “Leave a comment” in above!

Let’s dive into the report.  One of my favorite quotes and excerpts from the Executive Summary (beginning on p. xvi) will hit home with many of you:

At current trends, it will take 70 years to close the gender wage gap

Globally, the gender wage gap is estimated to be 23 per cent; in other words, women earn 77 per cent of what men earn. Even when considering hourly wage rates (given the fact that women are working shorter hours than men), women continue to face a persistent gender wage gap, amounting to 10 per cent or more in countries for which data are available. These gaps cannot be explained solely by differences in education or age, but are also linked to the undervaluation of the work that women undertake and of the skills required in female-dominated sectors or occupations, the practice of discrimination, and the need for women to take career breaks to attend to additional care responsibilities, for instance after the birth of a child. Recently, some progress has been made in reducing these gender wage gaps, but improvements are small and, if current trends prevail, it will take more than 70 years before gender wage gaps are closed completely. Reductions in the gender wage gap are mostly attributable to explicit policy actions to address gender imbalances in the labour market, rather than to general improvements in living standards. In fact, the gender wage gap is unrelated to a country’s level of economic development, as some of the countries with high per-capita levels are among those with the highest gender wage gaps. Economic development alone will not ensure an equitable distribution of the gains from growth between men and women.

 

The above information does not come as much of a surprise. I published an article, Entrepreneurial Career Development:  Using Human Capital, Social Capital and Distance Education to Achieve Success, in the Advancing Women in Leadership Journal with two of my distinguished colleagues at the University of Nebraska in 2007.   The issue of pay inequity between genders has been a point of discussion for many years.  However, the conclusions of this report focused on not only the role of women but men as well were bold statements that I really appreciated (p. 94-95):

Conclusion

The present report undertakes to demonstrate that, for substantive gender equality to be achieved, it is essential that societies recognize that both women and men have a right to work and care. In particular, failures to address workers’ family responsibilities underlie sectoral and occupational segregation, gaps in wages, working hours and access to social protection. Thus, gender inequalities at work can be eliminated only by neutralizing the disadvantages stemming from women’s reproductive function and promoting the equal sharing of unpaid care work between women and men, and between the family and society at large. This requires integrated and transformative measures guided by ILO international labour standards that put the elimination of discrimination and the achievement of gender equality at home and at work at the very heart of policy interventions.In view of the implications of the economic crisis on the global care economy, as discussed in the preceding pages, international policy action also entails a profound reorganization of the relations between the fi- nance, the production and the reproduction spheres, with the objective of guaranteeing a sustainable, crisis-free and gender-equitable global economy. In this shifted paradigm, finance and production should serve the needs of reproduction, namely the realm of care which is core to human well-being (Elson, 2014). Achieving gender equality also depends on positioning the issues of the global care deficits and chains and their ramifications in the care economy on the migration agenda, as this issue goes to the heart of the demand for and supply of migrant workers in many contexts. Ensuring that migration, labour and social protection policies are harmonized to protect the rights to care and be cared for will be fundamental in this endeavour (Hennebry 2014; ILO 2014l).As discussed in the present report, genuine gender equality benefits our societies and economies in terms of increased job-rich economic growth, reduced poverty, inequality and social exclusion, and overall improved well-being. It is therefore time to take action. The following overview summarizes the key policy measures discussed in the report and informed by ILO Conventions and Recommendations that would be needed to realize, in line with the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda, a sustainable development that leaves no one behind.

Overview of the main policy interventions to achieve gender equality at work in line with ILO international labour standards

Tackling the root causes of sectoral and occupational segregation

  • Encouraging young girls and boys to break gender stereotypes through education and outreach;
  • Offering training to women and men to enter into non-stereotypical fields;
  • Promoting women’s entrepreneurship;
  • Supporting women’s participation and leadership in decision-making, including in governments, employers’ and workers’ organizations.

Addressing the gender wage gap

  • Eliminating unequal treatment of men and women in the labour market;
  • Promoting equal pay for work of equal value through wage transparency, training and gender neutral job evaluations methods;
  • Supporting adequate and inclusive minimum wages and strengthening collective bargaining;
  • Promoting and normalizing good quality part-time work;
  • Limiting long paid hours and overwork;
  • Transforming institutions to prevent and eliminate discrimination;
  • Changing attitudes towards unpaid care work to overcome the motherhood wage gap.

Overview of the main policy interventions to achieve gender equality at work in line with ILO international labour standards

Tackling the root causes of sectoral and occupational segregation

  • Encouraging young girls and boys to break gender stereotypes through education and outreach;
  • Offering training to women and men to enter into non-stereotypical fields;
  • Promoting women’s entrepreneurship;
  • Supporting women’s participation and leadership in decision-making, including in governments, employers’ and workers’ organizations.

Addressing the gender wage gap

  • Eliminating unequal treatment of men and women in the labour market;
  • Promoting equal pay for work of equal value through wage transparency, training and gender neutral job evaluations methods;
  • Supporting adequate and inclusive minimum wages and strengthening collective bargaining;
  • Promoting and normalizing good quality part-time work;
  • Limiting long paid hours and overwork;
  • Transforming institutions to prevent and eliminate discrimination;
  • Changing attitudes towards unpaid care work to overcome the motherhood wage gap.

Implementing a comprehensive framework to achieve the harmonization of work and family responsibilities

  • Providing maternity protection to all women according to international labour standards;
  • Guaranteeing adequate social protection to recognize, reduce and redistribute unpaid care work;
  • Ensuring the provision of basic infrastructure, in particular in rural areas;
  • Implementing gender-transformative leave policies: increasing leave entitlements for fathers and boosting their take-up rates;
  • Making quality early childhood care and education a universal right;
  • Creating and protecting quality jobs in the care economy;
  • Promoting decent work for care professionals, including domestic and migrant workers;
  • Extending long-term care coverage for older persons;
  • Promoting family-friendly flexible working arrangements;
  • Encouraging individual income taxation to increase women’s labour force participation;
  • Offering work reintegration measures.

This report goes into great depth on a number of topics.  I have only highlighted a few on this post.  If you are interested in the details, please download the full report, Women at Work:  Trends 2016, directly from the ILO’s website.   

Why is this information and The Future of Women series important to women over 40?  Women over 40 have had many of the experiences this report highlights.  We have experienced lower pay for equal work, we have put up with inappropriate comments and we have knowledge about what it takes to balance work, family and everything else we have going on in our lives.   We also have the opportunity to make work and life better for younger women, men and families.  Women over 40 are leading massive change and reform globally, and together we can do more to shape the future!
Please share your leadership reflections, insights and experiences by clicking on the “Leave a Comment” button at the beginning of this post!  
Go Wild with the Future of Women!
-Dr. Connie
 
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