5 Ways Technology Positively Impacts Diversity and Inclusion

Company culture is a term with many meanings. In some cases, it may refer to company mentorship and recognition programs, while in others, it refers to the foundation that makes up a company’s workforce. Recently, the importance of having a positive company culture has been under a spotlight as organizations recognize its growing demand from job applicants. However, beyond the demand for a positive company culture is the need for improved diversity and inclusion within the modern workplace. This shift in business practices will not slow down. Instead, it will pick up speed until every company culture reflects the diversity and inclusion (D&I) policies its employees and clients deserve. 

Modern business leaders recognize the indisputable fact that workplace diversity and inclusion efforts are more than just human resources’ responsibility, but rather the responsibility of a company as a whole. As our world becomes increasingly connected, there is no room for mistreatment, and leaders are recognizing how toxic work environments can negatively impact a company’s brand, ability to attract and retain talent, and financial sustainability. In this modern age of hyper-connectivity, technology plays a role in every area of business. Here we’re taking a look at a few ways technology is impacting D&I in the workplace. 

1. Talent Acquisition Technology is Changing D&I Hiring Initiatives

The competition for talent is fierce. Candidates today are placing more value on what happens behind the scenes of a company than just the face value of a position. In response, modern businesses must account for how they present themselves to attract top talent. As technology allows more widespread information sharing, individuals (including potential candidates) are capable of accessing more information about companies than ever before and are using this knowledge as a deciding factor when applying for and accepting positions. This transparency emphasizes the need for improved processes within business talent acquisition departments, thereby presenting the growing need for technological implementation. 

43% of D&I technologies are used for the purpose of talent acquisition, including candidate sourcing and selection. A key technology improving diversity in recruitment is artificial intelligence (AI). AI reduces the threat of unconscious bias in recruiting by reducing the need for human intervention, beginning with the language used in job postings. AI-powered software can conduct sentiment analysis on each open position announcement to help identify exclusionary language and suggest alternatives to best appeal to a diverse candidate pool. Once applications are submitted, AI can also improve applicant screening and identify top talent. AI software can screen current employees’ resumes to learn the qualifications of a specific position before identifying qualified applicants based on these facts.

AI tools ignore demographics like race, age, and gender. By eliminating human bias of these demographic factors, which are known to impact hiring decisions, companies can better vet applicants based on the right reasons resulting in fewer bias-based hiring issues. Talent acquisition software is improving the way organizations are finding, screening, and selecting candidates. Moving forward, this technology will continue to advance and expand across industries.

2. Virtual D&I Training is Becoming the New Normal for Employee Development

One of the most significant determinants of employee retention is employee development. In fact, research shows 93% of employees would stay at a company longer if it invested in their careers. Incorporating diversity and inclusion into your employee development initiatives improves both the quality of your programs and the value provided to your employees. D&I initiatives are becoming the new normal when creating employee development plans, and technology is making this possible for businesses of all industries with the use of D&I tools focused on employee development, mentorship, and career advancement. 

Traditional organizational learning courses, such as company ethics training and unconscious bias training, are an integral part of company diversity and inclusion efforts. Unfortunately, they are often ineffective. Technology-enabled solutions to D&I education are bettering these efforts by providing more hands-on experiences that can make a greater impact. Virtual reality training has especially proven to be a highly effective solution to provide employees with life-like experiences, helping them to better understand why D&I training is so important.

3. D&I Technologies Are Changing Employee Engagement

Employee engagement is non-negotiable in today’s world of business. The modern workforce wants to feel connected and know that management is invested in their happiness and success. Establishing a D&I focused employee engagement process can help ensure your employees are satisfied in their role and proud to be representative of your company. Company mentorship programs, social clubs, and other engagement opportunities should incorporate participation monitoring to maintain appropriate gender and other demographic splits.

D&I technology focused on employee engagement is primarily centered around employee experiences, communication, and individual employee empowerment. Organizations looking to improve their D&I policies with technology may utilize solutions to better understand diverse groups’ work experiences, analyze text communications for sentiment or biases, and more. Virtual inclusion platforms like eLearning Webinars and applications, for example, provide teams with the ability to access inclusion coaching sessions on-demand and leaders the opportunity to apply actionable improvements in real-time. Tracking employee engagement with a specific software is also recommended.

4. Employee Benefits Technology is Closing the Wage Gap

Closing gender and racial wage gaps is critical to eliminating disparities in employee benefits. Embracing technology like intelligent automation can significantly help avoid these issues and ensure any potential oversights are accounted for. A cognitive bot can comb through data from multiple sources and provide accurate insight into compensation and benefit patterns of your organization, revealing any gaps across your workforce, without the risk of human error or bias. 

Incorporating automation technology into your benefits program can also relieve administrators of certain tasks. Routine benefit transactions and employee demographic data can be easily monitored, updated, and exported for efficient and accurate processing. A data-driven process like this provides your organization with the proper tools to maintain accuracy and fairness on an ongoing basis with a reduced need for human intervention. 

5. Employee Recognition Platforms Are Highlighting the Success of BIPOC

Employee recognition can be transformative to company culture and the general investment employees feel towards your business. Additionally, it can be incredibly beneficial to building and sustaining a culture of inclusivity. The individuals at your company who are recognized illustrate the behaviors and ideals your company stands for. They have a direct impact on employee engagement, and these employees are seen as ones that stand out to leadership. Establishing a solid recognition and reward system can help efforts to celebrate a diverse workforce.

To ensure employees are fairly and regularly recognized, utilize a rewards and recognition platform. A rewards and recognition platform enables employees and managers to recognize each other for their hard work and notable accomplishments. Furthering the commitment to an inclusive and engaged workforce. Encouraging employees of all levels, specialties, and backgrounds to acknowledge one another in fully transparent fashion creates an improved sense of camaraderie across your organization.

Next Steps

In combination with the inclusion of technology, it is also essential that the proper steps are taken to implement your D&I initiatives and measure their impact. Managers must consider how each member of their workforce receives and reacts to new information to ensure the most effective impact. Communication about your organization’s D&I initiatives should be held on an ongoing basis to best keep all stakeholders properly equipped to inform, educate, and engage when necessary. Best practices for expanding and communicating your D&I initiatives include a variety of methods such as presentations, social media postings, newsletters, and employee interviews that encourage all levels of your organization to receive the information through their preferred channel. 

Creating a business culture that embraces inclusion and diversity is essential to the success of both your organizational goals and the wellbeing of your staff. 67% of job seekers consider a diverse workforce an important factor when considering job offers. Utilizing modern technology solutions can help you best develop your unique D&I strategy and set you up for success and growth moving forward.