Diversity and inclusion is about a lot more than writing a mission statement. Companies that are serious about D&I must make an ongoing commitment to ensure that everyone feels valued and respected in the workplace.
There tends to be a lot of focus on diversity and inclusion during the hiring process. But having a diverse and representative team isn’t where the story ends. Unconscious (or implicit) bias is a daily reality for many, if not all of us. Whether positively or negatively, bias affects how we think about others and hinders objective decision making. Eliminating bias must be an intentional goal for companies looking to improve fairness in the workplace.
We look at how AI tools and technologies can help to eliminate bias at the hiring stage and beyond. Here are the steps your company needs to take to help eliminate bias for improved diversity and inclusion.
1. Accept Unconscious Bias As A Reality
We are often unaware of the preconceptions which shape our view of others. We make unconscious assumptions about people all the time based on indicators such as age, gender, race, sexual orientation, and even something as seemingly inconsequential as height.
One study looking at data from the German government found that a 1cm height increase correlated to a 0.39% hourly earnings increase for paid employed and a 0.52% increase for self-employed workers.
These biases often defy our better logic and understanding of the world, and when we’re not conscious of them, they exist beyond our control.
Admitting that unconscious bias exists isn’t an admission of guilt, but rather an admission of an unfair reality that we have to find a way to address.
2. Identify Bias
Identifying unconscious bias is a huge challenge for the fact that it isn’t explicit and often almost imperceptible. But even though they’re subtle, that’s not to say they’re inconsequential: they affect decision-making and can repeatedly expose people to microaggressions, causing them to feel less valued and respected.
The type of language we use is a reliable indicator of unconscious bias. For example, using more emotive language to talk to or refer to female employees, words such as “emotional”, “calculated” or “passionate”.
Biases may also be present in job descriptions. Research has found that in male-dominated fields, job advertisements use more masculine words such as “competitive” or “dominant” and maybe less appealing to women.
3. Use Artificial Intelligence to Help Eliminate Bias for D&I
Artificial intelligence is not subject to the same inherent biases as humans. The ability for machines to accurately and reliably detect biases is dependent on the humans who have programmed their algorithms. If AI is responsibly developed and deployed, it can be used to mitigate bias and improve diversity and inclusion.
Symanto’s suite of natural language processing (NLP) technology and tools has been developed to process human language objectively. NLP is a subfield of AI that’s interested in making sense of human language. Symanto’s advanced NLP technology can detect and process subtleties in language that are imperceptible to humans, revealing the true meaning and intention behind the language used.
Our emotion detection and communication style APIs can help management and HR teams decipher whether you’re using an appropriate and intended tone with employees and whether you’re using your tone uniformly to create a fair environment with equal access to all.
Here’s how NLP AI can help you eliminate bias across the employee lifecycle:
Equal opportunity job description
Attract the best and most qualified candidates by using inclusive language. NLP technology can highlight biased language that may alienate potential candidates.
When sorting through CVs, use AI to parse out only skills and attributes that are vital to the job description. Mask all non-essential information that can skew decision-making. For example, even if gender and date of birth are not shown on the CV, names and graduation dates are all irrelevant details which can lead to biased decision-making.
Performance appraisals and internal communication
Use NLP to measure the tone of the language used in employee reports and internal communications. Use this information to spot patterns in communication, and make sure feedback is constructive.
Promotions and opportunities
Use AI to identify and alert qualified existing employees to job opportunities within the company that match their skill set and experience. Onboarding new talent is costly, so creating opportunities for employees to grow their careers and experiences through internal mobility is a great way to improve job satisfaction, and make employees feel valued.