May 19, 2020

Study Finds Most Work Emails Are Spam or Not Important

Technology
Email
Information Technology
Mimecast
Bizclik Editor
2 min
Study Finds Most Work Emails Are Spam or Not Important

A recent study shows that only one in every four work emails is actually important, and only 14 percent of work emails are “critically important.”

The research only loosely defines what is considered important and what falls into the “nonessential for work” mire, but it is based on survey responses from 500 information technology decision makers, based in the US, United Kingdom and South Africa.

Data also determined that 11 percent of nonessential emails are personal and seven percent are spam. And though there’s no doubt that unimportant emails are a nuisance, they can also pose a threat to an organization’s security. Email-based viruses and security breaches are becoming increasingly scary to companies, particularly with the popularity of remote and mobile email services.

“What is clear is that the average employee faces a significant challenge in simply processing the information that comes into their inbox and identifying which messages are genuinely business critical,” said Nathaniel Borenstein, chief scientist at Mimecast, the email management firm that conducted the research. “We often end up working for email, rather than having email work for us.”

Unfortunately, there isn’t currently a viable alternative to email, so employees will simply have to keep wading through their infiltrated inboxes, armed with filtering tools and know-how.

The study did find that businesses have been ramping up social media use: 55 percent of companies use LinkedIn while 47 percent use Facebook. And even though the survey showed that social media increases the potential for information leaks, one in three respondents said that increased social media use results in decreased use of email.

“Email will remain a fundamental business tool for many years to come,” Borenstein said. “It is the global standard; but not always the gold standard. It is therefore vital that email can continue to develop and adapt as technology and working practices change.”

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Jun 12, 2021

How changing your company's software code can prevent bias

Deltek
diversity
softwarecode
inclusivity
Lisa Roberts, Senior Director ...
3 min
Removing biased terminology from software can help organisations create a more inclusive culture, argues Lisa Roberts, Senior Director of HR at Deltek

Two-third of tech professionals believe organizations aren’t doing enough to address racial inequality. After all, many companies will just hire a DEI consultant, have a few training sessions and call it a day. 

Wanting to take a unique yet impactful approach to DEI, Deltek, the leading global provider of software and solutions for project-based businesses, took a look at  and removed all exclusive terminology in their software code. By removing terms such as ‘master’ and ‘blacklist’ from company coding, Deltek is working to ensure that diversity and inclusion are woven into every aspect of their organization. 

Business Chief North America talks to Lisa Roberts, Senior Director of HR and Leader of Diversity & Inclusion at Deltek to find out more.

Why should businesses today care about removing company bias within their software code?  

We know that words can have a profound impact on people and leave a lasting impression. Many of the words that have been used in a technology environment were created many years ago, and today those words can be harmful to our customers and employees. Businesses should use words that will leave a positive impact and help create a more inclusive culture in their organization

What impact can exclusive terms have on employees? 

Exclusive terms can have a significant impact on employees. It starts with the words we use in our job postings to describe the responsibilities in the position and of course, we also see this in our software code and other areas of the business. Exclusive terminology can be hurtful, and even make employees feel unwelcome. That can impact a person’s desire to join the team, stay at a company, or ultimately decide to leave. All of these critical actions impact the bottom line to the organization.    

Please explain how Deltek has removed bias terminology from its software code

Deltek’s engineering team has removed biased terminology from our products, as well as from our documentation. The terms we focused on first that were easy to identify include blacklist, whitelist, and master/slave relationships in data architecture. We have also made some progress in removing gendered language, such as changing he and she to they in some documentation, as well as heteronormative language. We see this most commonly in pick lists that ask to identify someone as your husband or wife. The work is not done, but we are proud of how far we’ve come with this exercise!

What steps is Deltek taking to ensure biased terminology doesn’t end up in its code in the future?

What we are doing at Deltek, and what other organizations can do, is to put accountability on employees to recognize when this is happening – if you see something, say something! We also listen to feedback our customers give us and have heard their feedback on this topic. Those are both very reactive things of course, but we are also proactive. We have created guidance that identifies words that are more inclusive and also just good practice for communicating in a way that includes and respects others.

What advice would you give to other HR leaders who are looking to enhance DEI efforts within company technology? 

My simple advice is to start with what makes sense to your organization and culture. Doing nothing is worse than doing something. And one of the best places to start is by acknowledging this is not just an HR initiative. Every employee owns the success of D&I efforts, and employees want to help the organization be better. For example, removing bias terminology was an action initiated by our Engineering and Product Strategy teams at Deltek, not HR. You can solicit the voices of employees by asking for feedback in engagement surveys, focus groups, and town halls. We hear great recommendations from employees and take those opportunities to improve. 

 

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