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Future of Work Expert Erica Volini and the Changing Workplace

May 04, 2022

On April 8, the College of Engineering hosted a talk with Erica Volini, the senior vice president of global alliances and channel ecosystem in go-to-market operations for ServiceNow. Volini spoke about the workplace of the future and the intersection of diversity, equity and inclusion.

Volini, one of the foremost experts on the future of work, discussed how the pandemic helped bring about radical changes in the way we live and work. She predicts that remote and hybrid workplaces are here to stay, with workers only gathering in-person for moments that matter. She noted that companies must ensure that employees who choose to work remotely are not passed over for raises or promotions.

Volini also shared how organizations are becoming more transparent with their diversity, equity and inclusivity metrics. "This is helping companies understand what their workforces look like," she said. "It's important for employees to see if their company has pay equity or disparity and if their leadership is responding to demographic changes."

Volini discussed how the skills that companies seek are also changing.

"Previously, the workforce was about having expertise, but what is becoming incredibly more important is this concept of human potential. We're in a world where the half-life of skills is declining faster and faster. So, the question is becoming, what do you have the potential to do? "

Volini shared how companies are looking for lifelong learners that have skills that cut across many jobs, the ability to manage diverse teams in many locations and the ability to think in an integrative manner across multiple disciplines, functions and geographies. "These are becoming the critical human skills that organizations are starting to look at more and more."

"Students, you will have amazing opportunities in front of you," Volini said to the engineering students present at her talk. "You'll have a level of flexibility in how you work. You'll be able to bring your authentic self to an opportunity and know that it's not just about what you've learned, but demonstrating what you can learn."

Previously, Volini worked at Deloitte Consulting for 23 years, spending her career building trusted relationships with some of the largest organizations in the world. She is a recognized thought leader and frequent speaker on the trends shaping the world of human capital today.

"Erica's talk became a moment that mattered for the college," said Rudy Buchheit. "She showed the way forward for our students who have just come out of hazy and confusing time."

The talk was made possible thanks to an award from the Herman Lee and Nell Stuart Donovan Memorial Trust.