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By Jacob Freedman

The 2020 Worldcom Confidence Index (WCI) is now available. Conducted annually by The Worldcom Public Relations Group, of which The Pollack Group is a partner, the WCI is a living study that uses AI learning to analyze the issues that concern leaders globally.

The index draws topics and sentiment from conversations of over 54,000 CEOs and CMOs from corporate leadership in 36 countries worldwide. The data in each index represent issues that business leaders are confident in and concerned about. The resulting information and analysis provides valuable insights into what trends and issues will be top of mind heading into 2021. Here are the most notable takeaways from global business leaders over the past 12 months.

Upskilling, Tech-Based Collaboration On The Rise

The topic leaders are most confident about needing to focus on is upskilling and reskilling. The topic with the second-most confidence? Using technology to collaborate and innovate. Both of these topics’ rise in confidence coincides with the coronavirus pandemic and its impact on working. 

Upskilling and reskilling are becoming vital for many employees, as they and their employers look for them to provide value and expertise in a wider variety of areas. As some companies are forced to lay off or furlough employees, remaining employees must also pick new roles and job requirements to fill gaps. 

More employees work remotely than ever before, elevating technology’s importance as people develop new and improved ways to communicate and get work done without in-person interaction. But working away from the physical office has its other impacts.

Data Privacy Fears

Unsurprisingly, confidence in data privacy and protection is down significantly when compared to 2019. Drop in confidence for cybersecurity  is likely the result of continued internet privacy issues and personal consumer data breaches. Additionally there are concerns about employees now working remotely and being farther removed from the online security measures in offices across the globe. While many companies are bolstering security and privacy features on their employees’ laptops or work-from-home devices, this heightened concern remains. 

Are Female Leaders Better At Crisis Communications and Crisis Management?

From 2019 to 2020, the confidence of global female business leaders increased by 7%. In the same period, male leaders’ confidence decreased by 7%. Given that the last 12 months cover the pandemic’s duration, the result suggests female leaders have more confidence during a time of crisis than their male counterparts.

Americans Remain Confident

Of all 36 countries included in the index, U.S. leaders remained the most confident over the past 12 months, with a 26% rise in confidence since 2019. India and the United Kingdom were the second and third-most confident countries, while Slovakia, Iceland, and Bulgaria had the lowest overall confidence.