The mentors and mentees of Platform Networking for Jobs were all inspired by the powerful keynote speech delivered by Yvonne Bettkober, Enterprise Solutions Director of Microsoft Switzerland . Yvonne reminded us of the “Technology is everywhere. We need to embrace it.” Workers across all industries must be prepared for the rapidly evolving economy. Existing inequalities will worsen if people are not adjusting their skills and mentality. Inevitably the nature of work is changing as a result of digital disruptions – whether we like them or not.
The challenges facing us are complex. Repetitive jobs which require basic cognitive skills will be made redundant. At the same time, new jobs will be created in areas such as data science, machine learning, information security and e-commerce, which need to be urgently filled.
Nonetheless, Yvonne insisted that unique-human attributes and soft skills in the workplace remain irreplaceable. Leaders must promote co-creation and fluid teams. Work models such as design thinking and agile teamwork become crucial for a modern workplace.
Her message is cogent: “Mindset beats skills.” Technological disruptions require an adjustment of mentality. Companies are looking for enthusiasm towards lifelong learning, adaptability dealing with ambiguity and complex problem solving.
Yvonne is not only a visionary leader, but also a role model for women with a migration background. The native Cameroonian, graduated as one of the three women out of her 300-engineering student cohort at Technische Universität Berlin. Not only does Yvonne thrive in the male-dominated field of technology, she has also a stellar career within Microsoft. Yvonne shared her story when she first applied to the job at Microsoft and set her eye to be on its Executive Board within 10 years. She managed to achieve that only in nine years and a half!
“Women have to believe in themselves that they can do and give it their best shot,” she told us.
Photo credit: isolutions.ch (2017)