SumTotal Blog

Ellisa Harvey (3 Posts)

Ellisa Harvey

Ellisa Harvey is Marketing Director of SumTotal & Skillsoft EMEA, responsible for managing the EMEA team and driving the strategy for all marketing programmes. She is based in our Skillsoft UK office but works closely with the American and APAC marketing teams. Ellisa keeps her work life balance by playing netball, travelling, eating, and sleeping!

EMEA #Perspectives18


Just how much can you pack into one day?

A lot.

And we have.

On Monday, May 14th we will host our annual user conference, and as always, we want to give our attendees a truly memorable and beneficial experience. We appreciate that everyone is taking time off work, so it’s important to us that our audience leaves feeling reenergised and inspired.

Starting at 9 am, Chad Gaydos, our Chief Operating Officer, will kick things off with an overview of everything we’ve accomplished over the past 12 months. Then Apratim Purakayastha (AP), our Chief Technology Officer, and Mark Onisk, our Chief Content Officer, will delve a little deeper and get product specific making sure everyone is aware of what we are doing now and our roadmap for the future.

David Wilson, CEO of Fosway Group, then takes to the stage to share his thoughts on Transforming Learning in the Digital Age. This is very much a hot topic and something I know everyone wants to learn more about given the accelerated pace technology is revolutionising not just the workplace, but also the workforce.

I’m also thrilled that Harriet Minter, journalist and women in leadership advocate will talk about the female experience and why we still have not solved gender diversity in business. Given the current climate of #metoo, #timesup and other such movements, this topic is particularly timely, and I’m looking forward to hearing not just what Harriet thinks, but what others in attendance feel about this as well.

Like many of you, I consider my iPhone to be an extension of myself, so naturally, I’m interested in hearing what Andy Lancaster, Head of Learning & Development, CIPD, can tell us about leveraging the smartphone for learning.

Later in the day Laura Overton, Founder and CEO of Towards Maturity, is presenting. As 2018’s most influential person in the world’s corporate eLearning sector, Laura always brings a ton of useful data and insights which everyone can use to make 2018 the year for transforming your organisation.

In line with our belief in the power of the consumer’s voice, we’ve invited a number of our customers to come and share their story. We’ll hear from The National Trust, Royal Bank of Scotland, Capgemini, Linklaters, Standard Life Aberdeen and Centrica.

Steve Wainwright, our EMEA Managing Director, will finish out the day around 5 pm ensuring time for everyone to do some networking – which after all is one of the key reasons for attending Perspectives.

I hope to see you all there.

Participate in our Exciting New Research with Fosway Group!

Got a spare 20?


I’m talking about minutes, because that’s all it takes to complete a Fosway and SumTotal survey, but the results will give us a wealth of data.

Data we will then use to paint the most current and accurate landscape of learning and talent management in organisations across EMEA.

Why is this information important to us?

Because we will use this invaluable material as we continue to design and create world class eLearning and HCM tools. Our thinking is, how can we know what you, the customer, wants unless you tell us? And here is your chance to do so. Your time to let us know what is working and what isn’t, what we need to change and how we can change.

And hey, if you haven’t got 20 – how about 5 or 10?

You don’t have to finish it in one sitting, you can return to the survey and resume where you left off – just don’t forget to save your data as you complete the form.

And I know how hectic your schedules are so why should you invest time answering our survey?

For loads of reasons, but primarily because this is a great opportunity to have your say, your voice heard, in a project run jointly by us and Fosway, Europe’s #1 learning analyst and who, for over 20 years, have provided unique insight into the world of corporate learning technology and innovation.

Be a part of the solution, the future.

When do you get the results?

The results will be officially announced by David Wilson, 16th May at our EMEA Perspectives event, but all those who participated in the survey will receive their own results report first.

To complete the survey

Be Bold for Change

This year’s International Women’s Day falls on the 8th of March and the theme is #BeBoldforChange, with the hope and aim for a more gender inclusive world. Did you know that the current gender pay gap is not estimated to close until 2186?

Women in Business

Recently in America, a GOP official sent a letter to two newspapers titled “Equal Pay for Women Has Consequences.”  In this letter, he said:

“Traditionally men have earned more than women in the workplace because they are considered the primary breadwinners for families. They need to make enough to support their families and allow the Mother to remain in the home to raise and nurture the children.”

Really? In 2017?

I must admit that in the early days of my career, I perhaps hadn’t been the biggest advocate for gender equality only because it had never seemingly affected me so it took some time to see the scale of the issue. In both my personal life and my career, I’ve always felt I have been equal to men; however, through the years I’ve experienced situations where others have not had the same opinion and learnt quite quickly that there is a very good reason why we need to be bold and help accelerate gender parity.

If you are career minded like me, then money is a motivator. It shocks me that where I live and work in the UK (south-east) men are paid 30% more than women! Does that allow me to put in 30% less effort in my job? Crazy talk! Businesses with a strong gender diversity strategy have been shown time and time again to outperform their peers. In the United Kingdom alone, senior executive teams proved that a mere 10% increase in gender diversity results in a 3.5% increase in earnings before interest and taxes.

As employers increase to fight over top talent it might also be worth noting that according to recent PwC research which involved over 40,000 Millennials, representing 18 countries, 82% of female Millennials identified an employers’ policy on diversity, inclusion and gender equality as an important factor when deciding whether or not to work for an organisation.

It’s clear that change is needed, in some instances it almost seems as if we are going backwards. In 2015, 22% of senior roles were held by women, compared to 21% in 2016.

But making this happen isn’t without challenges.

Do we sit around complaining about how unfair the disparity between pay and the lack of females in leadership roles? Or do we be bold?

While there is still a lot to be done, International Women’s Day is a vehicle for change so here are some real #BeBoldForChange, positive, pragmatic examples as food for thought:

  • The Intel Women in Technology scholarship programme has been running for more than 10 years and a total of almost €1,000,000 has been invested in the initiative to date. The scholarships are applicable to a wide variety of courses offered at third level institutions across Ireland. The programme offers a monetary grant valued at €3,000 per annum as well as opportunities for work placements at one of Intel’s Ireland locations in Leixlip, Shannon and Cork. Each scholar is also assigned a mentor who is an Intel employee to assist and provide advice on managing their academic career.
  • Some companies are urging their suppliers to adopt gender-specific policies. British designer, Tamara Mellon, said she would ensure all of her suppliers had senior women within the business.
  • Salesforce implemented their version of the Rooney Rule. The Rooney Rule is a National Football League policy that requires league teams to at least interview minority candidates for head coaching and senior football operation jobs. They also recently assessed the compensation of more than 17,000 employees and spent $3 million to equalise the pay between female and male employees of similar tenure, levels, and performance.
  • Quotas for women on boards is a topic that tends to cause fierce debate. In 2003 Norway passed a law that requires companies to have at least 40% of company board members to be women. As a result, today Norway has the highest proportion of women on boards globally (36%).
  • Make leadership attractive – to women and men. In some European Intel offices, they offer a bigger referral bonus to employees if candidate is female.
  • Dean’s Beans Organic Coffee – a North American Coffee company, initiated CHICA Comunidad de Hermanas Inteligentes con Corazones Abiertos (Community of Intelligent Sisters with Open Hearts), a community based program in Guatemala. The program aims to raise self-esteem, gender awareness, and create educational and economic opportunities for indigenous teenaged girls in rural Guatemalan coffee villages.
  • Pax World Investments is a leading sustainable investment firm based in the U.S., which votes against all-male slates of directors at company annual meetings and against male nominees on slates with only one woman. They also file shareholder proposals asking companies to make diversity part of every director search. Pax World launched the Pax Global Women’s Leadership Index and Pax Ellevate Global Women’s Index Fund based on the Index, investing in companies that invest in women. In 2016 they expanded their gender engagement to include pay equity initiatives.
  • Symantec implemented the Gender Equity Image Project to promote gender equality within the company. The goal is to work toward the ongoing improvement of gender representation and the reduction of the use of stereotyping imagery wherever possible.

Change can be driven by yourself as an individual or by organisations but it starts by being aware of the need and being bold. Challenge conscious or unconscious bias, encourage gender-balanced leadership and ensure women and men’s contributions are valued equally.