5 Ways AI Is Increasing Diversity in the Workplace4 min readReading Time: 3 minutes
Diversity. An important, and seemingly trendy, word officially defined as “showing a great deal of variety; very different.” It seems fitting that businesses everywhere are enlisting the help of a “very different” kind of assistant, as they strive to create more open, equal, and inviting workplaces. This “very different” tool is helping break down barriers, stereotypes, and biases as diversity becomes not only a concept, but the new standard. This “very different” tool is called Artificial Intelligence, and it’s changing the game of workplace diversity in fascinating ways. This International Women’s Month, let’s take a look at 5 ways Artificial Intelligence is being used to increase diversity in the workplace.
1. Gender Neutral Recruiting
As AI is increasingly being used as a recruiting tool by companies everywhere, the technology behind it is becoming smarter, and more gender-aware. Companies like Seattle-based Textio are blazing new territory by analyzing the ways different cultures and genders respond to a text, allowing the writer to then alter their words to appeal to a broader, more diverse pool. The results have been astounding. According to MIT’s Sloan Review, software company Atlassian used Textio to craft more gender-neutral recruiting texts, and saw a 47% increase in the number of female recruits. Talk about the power of words…
2. Eliminating Unfair Wage Gaps
Using a combination of AI and predictive analytics might pave the way to a more diverse workplace, and more equal paychecks, according to Tanya Jansen, head of compensation management software company beqom. New software is generating salary suggestions and pay raises based on criteria such as education, certifications, and experience with little room for human bias regarding gender and ethnicity. And as companies become more open and fair, so too will their employees.
3. Recruiting More Diverse Candidates
By far the most important thing to remember about AI, is that without humans, it would be nothing. More specifically, without human programmers, it would be nothing. With great success comes great responsibility for the programmers leading the way with AI recruiting tools. It has been proven, time and time again, that AI systems reflect the unconscious bias of the brains who build them, and programmers everywhere are starting to take note. Recruiting systems are now being structured to consciously override these biases by eliminating certain pieces of demographic information, such as name, schools, and zip codes, which could unintentionally harm a candidate. Now that’s good people doing good work to find other good people good work (with a little help from AI).
4. Breaking Down Barriers for the Disabled
It may come as no surprise that one of the companies creating groundbreaking AI software is none other than Microsoft, one of technology’s most prominent names. While you may not have heard the term “inclusive design” before, take note, as it’s storming the tech world, and breaking down barriers for those often left behind. By concentrating on the accessibility of a product in the design phase, Microsoft is pushing to make more products and services available to all people, regardless of their abilities or disabilities. It’s a new way of approaching accessibility as a piece of conception, instead of an afterthought. And this inclusive design program is churning out new, AI-powered cognitive abilities, such as auto alt-text features for the blind, allowing people of all ability levels to work alongside each other, like never before.
5. An AI Cycle of Heightened Awareness
While AI is helping recruiters everywhere hire a more diverse workforce, it seems the technology is also helping humans themselves become more aware of systemic gender and culture bias. Organizations like Girls Who Code and AI4ALL are targeting young women and minorities, typically underrepresented in the tech world, and educating these bright minds to be future programmers, coworkers, and CEOs. As they learn the ropes of AI and its current unconscious biases, the future programmers are combatting the problem before it even exists. By working with the people often overlooked for top jobs, the work of Girls Who Code and AI4ALL is changing the way the tech world thinks, by intervening at the source. More diverse programmers mean more diverse technology, which will assist in recruiting a more diverse workforce.
A change of scenery may be long overdue in the demographics of some offices around the world. But modern technology is stepping up to the plate, with programmers and AI systems striving to create more open, diverse and inclusive technology systems. This International Women’s Month, let’s open our eyes to the world around us, and examine if it matches the offices around us. With the help of Artificial Intelligence, it may not be long before the two views happily coincide.