Moreover, today’s advanced computer simulations and measurement technologies show that many of these changes are irreversible. The report’s conclusions are clear: The only meaningful path forward is to reduce humanity’s greenhouse-gas pollution to zero.
For businesses, the report’s findings translate to boards prioritizing meaningful discussions on climate-related risks and how their companies directly impact climate change. “Companies are clamoring to understand the risks,” said Opiant Pharmaceuticals board member Ann MacDougall during a recent Agenda webcast, “Boards and the Climate Crisis — Strengthening Oversight.”
Companies also are facing growing pressure from investors, governments, and organizations such as the United Nations to make climate disclosures more transparent, Reuters reports. — L. Wamsley
Bridging Audit’s Competency Gap
Top leaders are more confident than managers in their audit team’s abilities.
Senior leaders are more confident than lower-level managers in their internal audit team’s ability to audit digital technologies and emerging risks, says an Internal Audit Foundation and Deloitte study. The 1,181 global respondents to the Assessing Internal Audit Competency study rated their department’s competencies in areas such as business continuity, dynamic risk assessment, cybersecurity, and disruptive technologies.
Forty-four percent of vice presidents say their functions possess the skills to audit more than three such risk areas. That view is compared with 38% of chief audit executives, and 23% of managers. A perceived lack of resources and struggles to keep pace with innovation may explain the pessimism of the less-senior leader, the study suggests.
Overall, audit leaders say their teams are least equipped to audit cloud and virtual computing environments and disruptive technologies. The study complements The IIA’s Internal Audit Competency Framework, which can be used to assess skills and plan for training.
Deloitte partner Mike Schor says internal audit functions should weigh the dual benefits of enhancing skills, which include “improving their own operations and enhancing the impact of their audit activities.” — C. Janesko
The Plight of the Midcareer Worker
Hiring managers favor younger candidates, despite equivalent performance.
Even in a hot employment market, midcareer workers are facing steep odds to land new jobs, says a study from Generation, an employment education organization based in Washington, D.C. Hiring managers surveyed prefer younger candidates to applicants ages 45 and above, notes the Meeting the World’s Midcareer Moment report. That’s even as they acknowledge that older employees’ performance is equal to or better than younger colleagues, according to the report, based on a survey of 3,800 people in seven countries.
The 1,404 hiring managers surveyed say candidates ages 35-44 (57%) and job-seekers ages 18-34 (26%) are more application-ready. That means they have well-prepared documents, good referrals, and strong interview performance. Just 17% consider older candidates application-ready.
Moreover, hiring managers say younger candidates have more relevant education, job experience, and technical skills than older applicants, and they consider them a better fit for the organization by an almost three-to-one ratio. Conversely, they say older workers are reluctant to try new technologies, unable to learn new skills, and have difficulty working with different generations.
In an unprecedented labor market created by the pandemic, employers cannot just hire younger, new candidates, says Generation CEO Mona Mourshed (see “Overcoming Hiring Bias” below). “Employers also must commit to reskilling existing employees and to hiring midcareer workers who want to switch careers,” she says.
Relevant training can be especially helpful for landing a good job, the report points out. Training and professional certification are highly valued by hiring managers, yet most respondents ages 45 and above say they aren’t excited about pursuing training. — T. McCollum
Little Relief for Semiconductor Shortage
Companies are feeling the impact of the worldwide chip shortage.
In a year of supply chain disruptions, virtually all industries have felt the effects of the global semiconductor shortage. The auto industry has been hardest hit, with General Motors announcing in September that it was temporarily shutting down most production at its North American plants because of the shortage.
BMW, Ford, and Volkswagen also have cut their production estimates. Consulting firm Alix Partners forecasts that automakers will lose as much as $110 billion in revenue in 2021, due to the shortage.
Several chip manufacturers are accelerating plans to increase production and diversify their supply chains. Intel and Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. have both announced plans for expansions in the U.S., while Bosch recently built a $1.2 billion semiconductor plant in Dresden, Germany.
The European Union, South Korea, and the U.S. all have massive spending plans to boost chip production. But it is unclear how long it will take such efforts to have an impact, Alan Priestley, vice president at Gartner, told ZDNet. “It will take many years to follow through,” he said. — L. Wamsley