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Where to Start: Artificial Intelligence and Diversity and Inclusion

Somen Mondal

February 17, 2021

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Fostering a diverse workforce is a very human problem, so how do artificial intelligence diversity and inclusion solutions fit into the technology stack at everyday companies?

There’s a deafening call for an end to racial discrimination, and it’s now a deciding factor for talent when considering job offers and purchases. Organizations are reaffirming their commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion to keep up with the changing – or risk losing talent and customers.

The benefits are clear. Research has repeatedly shown that a diverse workforce leads to innovation and growth, with an inclusive workforce and high performance going hand in hand. More than just a risk of stagnancy in 2021, the health of your organization is at stake without a representative workforce.

HR’s role has expanded with the task of creating new diversity initiatives across the employee lifecycle, from acquisition to retention. by alleviating some of the stress and tasks, as well as offering deeper insights that empower your team.

Unbiased data-driven initiatives

Many companies have unconscious bias training for employees, but racial and economic inequalities root much deeper than just coworker behavior.

One of the critical challenges can be overhauling processes with unconscious biases that are tough to root out, from recruitment to onboarding to retention and development across the entire employee lifecycle.

Organizations can hire, retain, and upskill their workforce without relying on managerial insights alone to identify candidates.

Success metrics are key to selling and implementing a long-term strategy. Using a data-driven approach offers the clearest path forward for your organization’s executives and your employees.

Artificial intelligence solutions can build reports from your HR systems to record retention rates, hiring goals, demographic data, and much more.

AI can take this a step further with enriched data reporting, which takes raw resume data cross-referencing with another data source, for example, Microsoft company data, so AI can better assign a value to specific work experience.

Once areas that need attention have been properly identified, your HR team will have a better understanding of what demographics and people groups require more attention. Organizations can create their own tailored company initiatives based on their own data.

Understanding your intersectional data

Many companies have outsourced to diversity consultants when they feel they lack the educational background necessary for creating equity initiatives.

Organizations are better suited to improve company diversity when considering diversity in a multidimensional way, that examines industry, the nation of origin, and gender instead of just one label.

Intersectionality: the interconnected nature of social categorizations such as race, class, and gender as they apply to a given individual or group and regarding overlapping systems of discrimination or disadvantage.

Oxford Dictionary

HR departments can leverage AI for unbiased insights to build reports with clear and concise data. DEI technology providers allow organizations to be more granular with people groups, drilling down on demographic attributes like age, race, ethnicity, education, and more.

Metrics are an important way to evaluate and stay on track with your organization’s initiatives.

For example, is your initiative to hire more diverse races in management succeeding or failing? AI can reduce unconscious biases when identifying team members for upskilling opportunities to ensure it is not just the most outgoing employee selected.

Is your candidate pool primarily men? AI can help analyze job postings for gender-biased language so teams can create more gender-neutral postings in the future.

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Automate DEI programs for policies that last

Diversity, equity, and inclusion are not one-time initiatives, but a cornerstone of your company’s outlook on growth and innovation. Regular check-ins on your DEI initiatives will be key indicators of your organization’s health and provide opportunities to improve upon areas of churn within specified departments.

Employee surveys can measure the “inclusion sentiment” data point. This is the same as recording NPS scores from customers and can uncover why employees are unhappy.

Based on survey data, your HR team can create new internal campaigns to better onboard new grads, support working parents with flexible hours, and identify invisible cultural barriers.

Automated programs save valuable time and increase productivity for managers and your HR department. Instead of a passing fad, these policies will become part of your organization’s core values of fairness. These include the ability to:

  • Automatic screening technology to identify better candidates from a higher talent pool.
  • Form initiatives that will work for your organization, based on your data.
  • Improve your rate of employee engagement and better understand their needs.
  • Eliminate hiring and reduce upskilling biases.

Nurture a company culture built on equity and transparency

Transparency can be scary and feel opposite to our natural inclination as a business. Every organization wants a winning strategy before showing what they have in the works.

However, when Great Places to Work publishes ranking companies, employee survey results always shine with reviews of transparent managers. Employees who find their brand transparent are more likely to be engaged and loyal.

Your workforce and clients will appreciate your public stand towards diversity, equity, and inclusion.

Demonstrate your latest initiatives for different people groups and share areas that your organization wants to work towards improving. With AI diversity and inclusion technology, there are endless insights available and data-backed reasoning for new campaigns.

AI provides that environment for organizations to quantify fairness and examine the intersection between different people segments. Decreasing bias through educational programs is a productive way to promote inclusivity, but the onus cannot be on the individual employee. Your workplace requires active campaigns that come from the top.

Technology can make a major impact but an algorithm does not provide an objective truth. Humans must teach AI what information is relevant and what outcomes are moral in order to create a system that ethically reduces conscious bias.

What artificial intelligence diversity and inclusion technologies offer organizations is an environment for fair decision making and tangible policies to grow with their company.

Looking for more information about diversity, equity, and inclusion intelligence? Request a demo today to learn how AI can help your organization make fairer data-driven decisions across the entire employee lifecycle.