What can technology do for DEI?

A robust, effective DEI strategy is now seen as a crucial ingredient of a successful business and its multitude of benefits has shown itself time and time again. Businesses that work hard to boost diversity and inclusion in the workplace enjoy highly motivated, happy and loyal employees, increased creativity and healthier profits. In order to help organisations reap the benefits of an efficient DEI strategy, there are a number of digital solutions available that are designed to assess existing DEI efforts and suggest areas of improvement.

The relatively new market of DEI technology is already worth an estimated $100 million. AI and machine learning are the leading platforms upon which these tools work and most are dedicated to producing diversity analytics or removing unconscious bias from the talent cycle. Like many digital tools, these solutions have their virtues and their pitfalls. On the one hand, they can standardise processes such as removing names from CVs that appear in the recruitment pool (‘blind recruitment’), thereby mitigating biases that hiring managers may have. Tools that evaluate a business’ diversity analytics can also make DEI more visible.

However, these digital tools can also contain their own biases either within the datasets they are trained on or by virtue of their creators. It’s important to remember that technology cannot constitute a business’ entire DEI strategy – rather it should be seen as a tool to enhance your approach. So, what areas of your business can DEI digital solutions make the most impact on?

Within the Talent Cycle

Applied is a highly sophisticated Applicant Tracking System (ATS) that removes unconscious bias in the recruitment process. Applied can schedule interviews, manage diverse hiring teams and score interview answers all without leaving the platform. Non-profit Waterwise said that they received more than five times as much interest as usual for their roles advertised through Applied. With such a wide pool of candidates to choose from, it took the hiring team 50% less time to select their interview candidates.

Entelo puts people first and celebrates differences. It encourages companies to discover underrepresented candidates and diversify their talent pool. Entelo Diversity allows recruitment managers to filter search results to find diverse candidates and these account for 25% of all searches on Entelo. This percentage has doubled in the last three years and they expect it to continue to grow in the future. Entelo also has Unbiased Sourcing Mode which anonymises candidate information that is commonly linked to bias. It can also highlight non-inclusive language in e-mail correspondence with candidates and a recent development has seen the ability for candidates to add ‘badges’ to their profiles identifying their racial background, sexuality or the fact that they’ve supported diversity initiatives in previous roles.

Within Analytics

Medicine discovery platform Benevolent AI have developed innovative software to diversify precision medicine. Their Diversity Analysis Tool allows medical organisations to input their patient data into the tool and generate a variety of graphs that depict racial, gender, age and socio-economic diversity. Precision medicine is an area where diversity data is of utmost importance because the effectiveness of medicines can vary between different races, genders and ages of patients. The data analysis also benefits the supply and demand of pharmaceuticals because organisations can justify spending their limited finances on specific medicines that will work best for specific demographics, allowing the highest quality of care to their patients.

Blendoor straddles both the data analysis and the recruitment sectors. On the data analysis side, it has the ability to use market and government data to score companies based on their diversity efforts. This allows them and others to see how they compare to other companies of similar sizes within the same industry. Blendoor data analysis shines a light on which companies are delivering on their DEI pledges. This analysis provides mutual benefits for both candidates and companies, as jobseekers can find companies that will welcome them and companies can see where they need to focus on improving their DEI efforts.

Within Culture and Engagement

Diversio is a tool for monitoring biases, assessing how a business’ DEI efforts are viewed and recommendations for improvement. With multiple AI-powered tools that integrate with a company’s communication platform to track cultural insensitivity, review mentions of a business on social media, make recommendations for how to boost inclusion, analyse diversity by role and much more. Diversio also offers clients an Inclusion Score, so that companies can see how their DEI efforts compare to others in their industry, which along with the Recommendation Engine allows businesses to see what they’re getting right and where they could do better.

Pluto 5000 is a unique platform that gives employees the freedom to speak freely and openly about their experiences within their company. By providing an anonymous, sophisticated survey and communication feature that prompts workers to dig below the surface with regard to DEI issues, Pluto gives companies meaningful data about their company culture. Clients have said that Pluto’s work allowed them to communicate with their employees in new, productive ways and increased their understanding of how to promote diversity and inclusion within the workplace.

Within Learning and Development

Mentorloop allows companies to build and run a successful mentorship program for their diverse employees. Various types of mentoring are covered and companies can boost an existing DEI strategy by providing further, deeper education through one-to-one mentoring. Companies can also learn how to grow their mentorship program and make adjustments along the way in order to make sure the program always aligns with their needs and continues to be relevant for future diverse workers and DEI endeavours.

Kiin uses the magic of VR to deliver lived experience modules that tackle topics such as gender and race, domestic violence, neurodiversity, bias in interviewing, having difficult conversations and more. These modules use embodiment, an aspect of VR that creates the illusion of the physical self being substituted for the virtual self, and thereby allowing users to gain new first-person perspectives that they would never obtain in the real world. These first-hand experiences are critical to boosting empathy in employees and developing their awareness of the importance of effective diversity in the workplace. Kiin also offers a unique self-counselling service where users can hear their own problems from a third person perspective, providing an opportunity for self-reflection and increasing self-awareness.

Finding the right digital solution for you

While DEI digital solutions can produce amazing results as well as save time on making your company more diverse and inclusive, it’s important to remember that a DEI strategy that works for everyone doesn’t have a ‘quick fix’ solution. A successful DEI plan needs to be based on real data, which often takes time to acquire and there needs to be genuine empathy and a desire to learn within the workforce.

So, how is your business using technology to boost DEI efforts? At GDP, we know that education is key to fostering true understanding which is why we’ve developed an innovative eLearning platform to enable our clients to keep their DEI education up to date. Contact GDP today to see how we can help your business use technology to elevate your DEI work for the future workplace.

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