RILA Summit Explores 21st Century Workforce

Recap: 21st Century Retail Workforce Virtual Summit

RILA just wrapped its first ever virtual Workforce Summit. The event brought together several RILA communities to explore the 21st Century Retail Workforce that is diverse, innovative, and skilled. Over three days, six hours, and seven sessions, 80+ attendees and 50 retailers heard presentations on a range of topics from leading major retailers like H&M, IKEA, Wegman’s, Foot Locker, and Williams Sonoma Inc.

Attendees, along with RILA staff and strategic partners, covered topics that ranged from the impact of AI and automation on retail jobs, corporate response to the civil unrest in 2020 as well as the need for retail leaders to think strategically and innovatively about their talent management from front line associates to their high skilled tech positions. 

Key takeaways from day 1:

  • Author Jeff Wald provided comments on how agile corporations will have to be strategic in their total workforce management to remain successful.

  • RILA VP of Workforce Evan Armstrong highlighted the incoming policy risks of a Biden Administration that will be focused on promoting organized labor as a solve for overarching issues like income inequality and job loss.

  • Seyfarth Shaw's Chair of Workplace Privacy Practice Karla Grossenbacher and PwC's Principal of Regulatory Privacy & Cybersecurity Jocelyn Aqua cautioned on the implementation of contact tracing and other health-related applications to combat COVID, but concluded that they can still be an effective tool for employers to utilize.

Key takeways from day 2:

  • H&M North America, Head of Inclusion and Diversity​ Ezinne Kwubiri highlighted how employers must bring together affected groups with their colleagues to ensure strong allyship across your organization.

  • Accenture Inclusion and Diversity, Global Client Market Lead Carolina Cardoso and Senior Strategy Manager Johnathan Medina discussed how employees and consumers are demanding more from corporate brands with regards to meeting goals and results when it comes to social impact, diversity measures and inclusive cultures.

  • Foot Locker Senior Vice President & Chief Human Resources Officer Elizabeth Norberg explored the impact on HR practices with the rising use of ESG to measure and report on organizational success.

  • Prudential Financial Wellness Account Executive David Gross focused on financial wellness and how to improve not only the current and short-term economic wellbeing of employees, but also setting each worker up to be financially successful over their entire working lives.

Key takeaways from day 3:

  • ManpowerGroup Solutions Vice President of Client Delivery Melissa Hassett and Williams Sonoma, Inc.​ Vice President, Global Talent Acquisition Patti Clauss focused on how employers can change their approach to tech talent recruitment by refreshing job descriptions, selling a flexible and dynamic work opportunity, and highlighting on-the-job training and upskilling.

  • WorkJam Chief Revenue Officer​ Will Eadie discussed how employers can improve operational efficiency while engaging employees to drive a better customer experience through real-time and targeted training, gamification, better shift management and onboarding flexibility.

A huge thank you to our attendees, speakers and sponsors for helping us to host such a successful first Summit. If you were not able to join us this week, look out for future virtual workforce events in 2021! 

For more information, please contact Evan Armstrong.

  • Human Resources
  • Public Policy

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