Published on July 27th, 2018 | by Guest


How Can Technology Eliminate Gender Bias at the Workplace?

With the surge of movements like #MeToo and #Timesup, the issues of gender disparity are put under scanner today. Rightly so, since gender bias is a prevalent global issue and yet it somehow never receives the attention it deserves. Several researchers from Stanford University conducted a survey on gender disparity. The following are the observation on the survey.

  • 60% of women reportedly received unwanted sexual advances.
  • 40% felt that they should speak less about their family to be treated seriously at work.
  • 75% were enquired about their marital status and children during the job interviews.
  • 87% received derogatory remarks from male co-workers.

Gender bias can be defined as the gap between an ‘ideal woman’ and the requirements of professions that are essentially held by men like a scientist, professor and investment banker. Gender bias may present itself in multiple ways, for instance, thinking a woman won’t be as devoted to a job because she has a child to take care of; a pattern of rejecting or denying women for promotions(even when she has been more productive than her male counterparts); even asking relevant and improper questions in a job interview.

Now while it’s normal for everyone to have a bias, what makes a difference, in this case, is being aware of it and acknowledge it. Gender bias is a rather complicated issue. There are several tools and technologies that organizations can adopt to create an instant, positive impact on the work culture.

Even though there has been a lot of discussions and actions against gender disparity every year, but it still remains a cause for concern.

The silver-lining lies with technology

Now even though the workplace gender bias may be ages old. However, today we have the appropriate weapon in our arsenal that no other generation has ever had, i.e. technology. Technology is the way to go for promoting gender equality in the workplace and bringing the winds of change.

The technological phenomenon like Big Data, Artificial Intelligence (AI), and automation is presenting a dash of objectivity in the process of decision-making for businesses. For instance, cloud-based solutions are offering HR managers with the right kind of perspective they need to deal with and eradicate the practice of gender bias. AI-controlled language detectors can act as a filter to wipe off gender-biased terms and phrases in contract papers and job descriptions and performance feedback.

This can further allow the managers to reevaluate their decisions regarding the use of language while the process of hiring or promotion is underway. Adopting anonymous recruitment processes enables recruiters to emphasize more on skills, instead of a candidate’s first name. And there are also resources that work by comparing the employee’s KPIs against the specific tenure, and also notifies the managers when someone is constantly assigned fewer or comparatively trivial tasks or projects because of a certain bias.

With the help of technology, HR managers can look into the areas that need fine-tuning in order to promote diversity, but it’s not entirely foolproof. AI is perfectly capable of identifying society’s biases; language processing, for instances, has been indicated to propagate gender biases (like identifying the word “nurse” with “woman” and “doctor” with “man”). Even though AI is promising, but sometimes it is incapable of understanding the context.

Another crucial thing to remember is that technology tends to move faster, so naturally controlling its impacts can be difficult. Now government services and businesses should reveal immediately if a decision is dependent on a machine, and if so, that can be challenged. For organizations, this means being careful with how some technology is implemented.  AI has to be brought in for the appropriate reasons and should be integrated in the most effective way. Maintaining the transparency with all automated processes will be the need of the hour. This will also prevent creating unnecessary hype and instigating ethical fear among the workforce.

A blind hiring process is an efficient approach to deal with gender bias issues. It prompts more frequent hiring of women. It is instrumental in putting together a diverse and efficient workforce. This approach helps provide equal opportunities in the corporate world for every single candidate, irrespective of their gender. Some may argue that blind hiring could be a little extreme an approach, but nonetheless, it’s still effective in eradicating gender bias.

One advantage of blind hiring is that it prevents an organization from relying entirely on a human’s imperfect judgment. Hiring is a process should be treated like selecting a romantic partner more than an employee.

However, there’s still a lot of tinkering to do before the technology can resolve all the issues connected to the gender bias in the workplace. And even with the most advanced technology in the world, human judgment will still be crucial to the process. Because not only it is the responsibility of the organizations to detect people who are guilty of bias, but the focus should also be on educating them not to be biased. Maintaining communication with people and guiding them to grow – without bias is the ideal way to deal with the issue.

Tools to deal with gender bias at the workplace

Technology plays a great helping hand in the efforts initiated by the management in the workplace. So, the following are some tools that are known to eliminate gender disparity issues.

Calibration: Calibration is a performance-management resource developed to assist the supervisors in evaluating the employees. In the next few updates, Calibration will be able to send alerts or notifications to those in management positions to tackle gender bias problems. For instance, this tool will let a manager know if all of the employees within the workforce designated ‘high potential’ are males, or if a woman, who has taken maternity leave is demoted.

Accenture’s new technology: Accenture has come up with a prototype that highlights pay gaps in the freelance market. This tech tool was developed to help employers carry out the following responsibilities.

  • Equally, vet all the applicants
  • Post gender-neutral job advertisements
  • Check where diverse candidates are opting out of the application process
  • Find relevant comparable data on salary

Unitive: Unitive is a kind of software created to counteract any sort of bias an employer may be guilty of. Programs such as Unitive, assist in hiring managers in creating job post, checking the resumes, and performing structured interviews. Unitive was launched in 2015 and has been adopted by hundreds of organization.

As a parting thought, it must be stated; Diversity attracts diversity. This needs to be represented in a company’s cultural foundation. Utilizing diversity can result in more efficient outcomes for everyone involved, and if the vision moves in the right direction, technology can definitely make it a reality.

Author Bio:

John Mark is an academic professional with special expertise in academic writing. He has been working as an affordable papers help expert at Myassignmenthelp.com. Apart from this, he loves blogging.

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