How Has Technology Helped Workplace Diversity?

Improved Analytics

With the improvement of data analytics and the development of big data, you can start to aggregate vast amounts of information related to workplace diversity. This doesn’t mean that technology will solve the race and gender gaps. On the contrary, there are still people that will make the final decision on hiring, pay, and retention. There also is no improvement on diversity if a sector of the economy doesn’t embrace the anti-bias technology that is improved HR practices across all industries.

There is still a person who sits behind a desk and creates the software that compiles and reports on qualified candidates. There is someone that still determines if women should be paid on par with their male counterparts. Further, when downsizing, there is someone who will be making the call on if certain people are retained or if they are kicked to the curb. Technology will drastically change how people are employed. However, this is just the first step.

Data is a business’s best friend when it comes to determining how diverse a workforce is. They can make informed decision on actually numbers and make improvements in areas that are lacking. If a company isn’t diverse it should own these numbers and commit to changes. If a company is fully diverse then the data can be shown to prove an accomplishment. It is too easy to use fluffy words to talk about inclusion and acceptance without actually offering anything concrete. Data is the doorway to hard facts and constant improvement.

Over the past decade, thanks to big data and improved analytics, workplace diversity and inclusion trends show a 20% increase in women in leadership roles. The same can’t be shown in regard to people of color. This makes it easy to know where to focus. Diving into the date you could tell location and sector information for a more granular analysis of the trends.

AI Anti-Bias Hiring

Artificial Intelligence is constantly improving. With large hiring companies like LinkedIn or Indeed, thousands of applicants need to be sorted through to find appropriate candidates for a position. It is difficult to know how well an AI is actually performing. A company needs to integrate the platform into the system and watch what happens over time. There are no easy fixes or quick solutions to identity statistics.

These programs are able to ignore aspects of a person such as age, sex, or ethnicity that a HR rep may unknowingly be biased against. These factors just aren’t coded into the software to separate out of the relevant fields. In this way you are getting a stack of applicants based on their credentials rather than their backgrounds. This can be problematic. It requires that the AI understand what good credentials VS what unacceptable credentials are. Credentials are a human creation. They aren’t something that is tangible. They are a historical record of relevant information. Who is to say what is relevant or not? Can a computer determine this?

Level Playing Field

Tech also allows for a more level playing field. This doesn’t have to involve HR technology. Let’s take a different approach to it. What has happened in 2020? There was a massive pandemic that lasted months and forced countless people to shelter in place, usually their homes. People became intimately familiar with virtual or remote working. If your entire workforce is spread across the country or the globe due to the usefulness of teleworking, does it really matter that they are all old white males? Instead, with the advances of virtual meetings and remote work, diversity in the workforce is significantly improved because you can focus on hiring talent, wherever it is.

Top Companies For Diversity

What does a top company for diversity look like? Is it a rich company? Is it an international company? Are they all in a single marketed? The answer is both yes and no to all of these questions. First, let’s take a look at the list. Here are the top 10 diverse companies according to Forbes: Hilton, Comcast, Wegmans, Ultimate Software, Publix, Marriot, Cisco, Texas Health Resources, Kimpton, and Progressive Insurance.

There are a few things that we can gleam from this list. First, these are massive companies. Second, they tend to be associated with the service industry. They provide a service to the general public or directly interface with the public at large on a regular basis. These companies sell cable, food, health care, insurance, or hotel rooms. Beyond that there doesn’t seem to be anything that connects them. This most likely means that any company can top the best in diversity lists. Why? Because it isn’t about the sector your company is in. Rather, it is about the acceptance of inclusion that your board initiates to maintain change and social progress.