The increased focus on diversity and inclusion with its agenda in successive boardroom meetings has made it a much sought after business imperative. HR Leaders across the world are working closely with their top management to drive Diversity and Inclusion (D&I) agenda owing to its increased scrutiny from the media, social movements and top priority from the boards of directors in majority of organizations. Moreover, in recent times it is much clearer to acknowledge the fact that D&I has become more of an institutional and systemic issue. Hence, it has become every leader’s responsibility to drive it across their organizational culture.
However, the representations of historically underrepresented group of employees are yet to take its own sweet time. In reality it is mostly visible that in spite of huge efforts by the leaders, many organizations are still are far from reaching their goals in this respect. What must leaders do? How can their constant efforts commensurate with the output they want to yield when it comes to D&I? How can they build a culture that does not tolerate discriminatory behavior? And how long shall they keep trying to design various stand alone initiatives to get a balanced workforce for their respective organizations?
The leaders are inadvertently perturbed. Henceforth, it is high time to make efforts in understanding the intersection between human dynamics and technology when it comes to creating a systemic change in the area of D&I. The entry of technology driven movement which is slowly creeping in this untouched terrain of D&I is being welcomed whole heartedly by companies in the recent years. Thanks to various tools like sentiment analysis, machine learning, AI and pattern recognition; the D&I tech space is re-shaping itself faster. And as per a recent research report, the market for D&I technology is worth roughly around $100 million.
So it’s time to look at some common and simple tech tools and platforms that HR may like to use to foster D&I at their workplace.
- Allie - Allie is a chatbot that help companies build inclusive culture. It uses a Slack chatbot to collect and analyze information about diverse employees’ experiences. Organizations can easily be able to measure and improve inclusion by pairing surveys and feedback with targeted content through this platform. This also has a component of micro-training. Allie provides actionable inclusion that nudges to sustain D&I efforts and build more inclusive culture. It integrates employee’s daily tools thereby helping organizations to quantify inclusion in addition to tracking the impact of diversity initiatives taken up by them.
- Jopwell - This is a technology enabled minority recruitment and career advancement platform that helps companies with their diversity recruitment objectives. With its launch in January 2015 by cofounders Porter Braswell and Ryan Williams, recently it has raised a $3.25 million seed round from investors. They aim to solve the "pipeline" problem wherein some companies' perceive that there aren't enough good candidates for diverse recruitment. Recently, they are all set to begin with their two-day career development workshop for rising sophomores and juniors from underrepresented section with their mission to identify career goals and develop action plans for securing job opportunities for their applicants. Porter Braswell and the Jopwell campus recruiting team will provide personalized advice and training to all participants who will be getting ready to share their story with the world.
- Pluto – This is an analytics platform for companies to build diverse and inclusive culture. This is a platform that enables users to anonymously report information on misconduct, harassment and discrimination with full transparency. It provides organizations actionable insights from interactive workplace data and reporting metrics. With an objective to become a go-to resource for diversity, inclusion and equity, Pluto is supporting organizations to create more diverse and inclusive communities. From startups to portfolio companies, Pluto supports fostering the right balance for an environment with key focus on D&I agenda.
As we can see that an explosion of efforts in the D&I space has brought in an increased technological innovative angle to help put that awareness into practice; yet there is still a need for greater system-wide solutions to address D&I challenges in organizations. It is worth keeping in mind that while technology is black and white, the world of humans is not. Solely relying on technology to prevent discrimination and biasness may not be the right choice. Hence, technology along with a combination of strategy, processes, policies and individual ownership needs to be designed for a consistent and scalable change that we have been waiting to see in all these years.