Five Top Female L&D Leaders Discuss Corporate Learning and Development

International Women’s Day reminds us of all the achievements made by women throughout history and across nations. The Rallyware team wants to highlight how much women are contributing to the Talent Development industry.

Why are there so many women engaged in the learning & development and human resources? These two areas are the cornerstones that make any organization stronger and more competitive because they focus on the most important resource – people. To be successful in these roles, you have to be a pro at people skills and you need to possess incredibly high levels of emotional intelligence.

We’re inspired by five outstanding talent development professionals, and we want to share their insights about what the future holds for the learning and development field. Each of these women has prevailed through many challenges to become who they are today. What made them professionals was their passion for what they were doing, the excellence with which they do it, and their constant desire to learn and help others to grow.

How companies will deliver L&D in the near future

  • “Training and development programs will be much more “on-demand” and à la carte,”– Jennifer McClure, keynote speaker, executive coach, President of Unbridled Talent LLC, and CEO of DisruptHR LLC.

Jennifer strongly believes that organizations need to facilitate constant and ongoing learning by their employees and make information easily accessible. The main point is that the employees’ experience with learning and development should be similar to their experience with everyday learning activities away from work. An example that Jennifer gives is the way people go about learning something new. “Google it; watch a YouTube video; ask a friend; read reviews.” It’s fast, efficient, and interactive. Jennifer believes that corporate learning and development needs to take the same approach by using on-demand, accessible training available in multiple formats, such as videos, mobile, text and more. Allowing employees to develop at their own pace is another key component to successful training.

  • “Make key investments in supporting particularly under-represented and high-potential talent, and they will transform realities for many, not just themselves,”Jennifer Brown, best-selling author of #Inclusion: Diversity, The New Workplace & The Will To Change.

According to Jennifer, organizations will continue to shift the responsibility for career development to employees. Additionally, employees will have fewer career path examples and mentors they may derive inspiration and guidance from. There is a greater risk that non-majority talent will struggle to get noticed and to access power and the rooms where key decisions are made. For this reason, effective talent and leadership development strategies will play even a greater role in the future.

  • “Learning and development leaders must start with understanding the context in which learning and development is evolving over the next ten years,”– Jeanne C Meister, workplace futurist, co-author of “The Future Workplace Experience” and the founding partner of Future Workplace, an HR advisory and research firm.
Book a demo of the sales force Performance Enablement Platform Schedule a demo

Jeanne singles out five trends that will impact learning and development leaders:

  1. Personalization of employee experience, which serves as a means to improve engagement, retention and higher overall employee performance.
  2. Career development, which is the number one criteria for prospective employees. Meister says that employees are intensely committed to their personal learning and development and this remains their first choice benefit.
  3. Digital disruption. The development of e-Learning, social learning, microlearning, and intelligent learning allows companies to curate personalized learning experiences for employees.
  4. Internal career mobility. Increasingly, employees work in cross-functional teams, and they are requesting opportunities for internal career mobility that in turn will demand a cross-training plan. Jeanne also mentions that the Future Workplace Forecast research found that companies that embrace career mobility can increase employee engagement by 49% and improve employee productivity by 39%.   
  5. Consumerization of corporate learning. The “yelpification” of the workplace allows employees to rate a company just like they rate a hotel. This allows current and prospective employees to evaluate a company’s ratings and include the quality of a company’s career development opportunities in their decision of where to work. To get ready for this “yelpification,” L&D leaders are using a new metric, known as the Net Promoter Score (NPS), by asking employees “how likely are you to recommend this learning experience to your colleagues?”
  • “I’m looking at learning solutions–particularly in the areas of leadership development and career self-management–that are completely integrated with learners’ work,”Monique Valcour, keynote speaker, executive coach, Harvard Business Review contributor, management professor, and facilitator.

Monique believes that one way to develop the capacity for continuous self-directed learning is to make use of blended learning. This kind of learning should include bite-sized lessons available at the learner’s convenience on mobile platforms combined with an iterative process of designing individual learning experiments to use on the job, and then harvesting learning from experiments with facilitators and peers.

  • “One-to-one personalized learning paths and more science applied to training,”Debbie McGrath, founder and chief instigator of

Debbie has connected a lot of great companies with resources to wisely manage a people side of the business. McGrath believes that in the future the distributed and deskless workforce will be very important since companies will want to work with the best talent across the globe to get the job done. That’s why training of remote employees needs to be addressed carefully by providing personalized learning paths that will take into account employee’s preferred learning styles, their education background, knowledge and skills gaps. Also, she believes that employers have a responsibility to provide their distributed teams with all the necessary tools to ensure a smooth workflow.  

We thank all the amazing women who are contributing to their organizations’ growth and innovation and help employees to learn more effectively than ever before. The stronger and more diverse the L&D community is, the more prosperity businesses will achieve around the globe.

To motivate and engage your workforce, you’ll need the right technology – a platform using context and data to trigger the right activities at the right times for the right behaviors. Click here to see Rallyware in action or read more about our performance enablement suite.