“70% of organisations have Mad Men type office prototypes”

Netflix’s Director of Inclusion and author of The Fix, Michelle Kim’s no-holds-barred keynote at the Licensing Week Virtual sent out a clear message to leaders in corporates of all sizes, the time has come to ensure equality in offices. She talked about how companies can flourish if they encourage an open and transparent culture in the work place.

She cited many examples and case studies from her book “The Fix” to show how the future of work does not have to be tyrannical and a boss-employee type relationship but a more healthier one among equals. Given that the World Economic Forum predicts, post-Covid, 60% of all jobs will change on account of the introduction of Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning & Internet of things, companies that do not adapt could face extinction. Even global brands like Netflix need to stay nimble and function like start-ups with active feedback loops and have their finger on the pulse of what employees are saying and feeling vis a vis their jobs. She said that it was unfair that women were still paying a “performance tax” and had to work much harder just to be considered equal to their male counterparts.

She advised leadership across organizations to live their principles and walk the talk. Ms. King highlighted the New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern’s workstyle as one worth emulating. Her policy of practicing “kindness” has percolated down to all her team members which is an ideal outcome.

She ended on a cautionary note to senior male leadership that the time for equality had come and it was time to end the “Don Draper” style of leadership and embrace equality.