Why your DEI initiatives are failing and how you can fix them

You might be wondering why your Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) efforts just are not cutting it in your organization. You might also be contemplating how you can help improve diversity in your organization. Did diversity training just come to mind?

If you are a recruiter, you have likely been bombarded with information regarding diversity training topics. Diversity, particularly diversity training, has been an “oft-used buzzword” to keep companies up to speed with societal affairs, but not in a way that has sparked real, true change in the workplace.

According to Harvard Business Review (HBR), almost every Fortune 500 company relies on diversity training to meet their diversity goals, but do not measure its impact. But when looking at the statistics of the workforce, we still see a diversity problem. We wish it were as easy as implementing better diversity training, but I am here to tell you that it might just not cut it.

Diversity Training Isn’t Cutting It

DEI has been around for the last 60 years – at least since the 1960s according to IBM. While society has avidly innovated in almost every other way, why aren’t we changing the way we use diversity programs? Change is hard, but it is possible.

DEI training should foster an equitable and inclusive environment. However, Fortune reports that companies have also spent billions of dollars towards “implicit bias training” initiatives, despite evidence that this training does not work, is “generally ineffective and reinforces harmful stereotypes.”

HBR says that between 1985 to 2014, Black men in management only increased a measly 0.3 per cent from 3 per cent to 3.3 per cent. It’s clear then that diversity training doesn’t work. It has been shown time and again to produce further biases and push-back from employees rather than fostering more inclusivity. This could be because of the mindset that mediocre diversity initiatives are only meant to stave off lawsuits or scrutiny from the public, but these are not genuine reasons for increasing diversity in your organization.

Simply saying “we’re doing our best because we have implemented diversity training” will not necessarily make a difference. Making real, meaningful changes will.

Now is the Time for Action and Initiative (and AI)

You have heard it time and again – actions speak louder than words. In a recent conversation I had with our VP Head of Sales, she mentioned this is the biggest barrier that companies are facing with successfully implementing DEI in their organizations. While we all preach about how DEI needs to be revised to be more effective, we all continue to sit stagnant on archaic DEI practices that have been repeatedly proven they do not work.

Even still, Forbes reports that a recent survey “indicated that more than 95% of CEOs consider diversity, equity and inclusion a ‘personal strategic priority.’” Another survey by Gartner reported that diversity and inclusion is the No. 1 talent management priority for CEOs.”

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There are many solutions you might not have yet considered – or perhaps you have because you find yourself here on knockri.com. Artificial Intelligence has become the innovative solution to solving the DEI problem, and naturally so considering our advancements with technology.

According to Forbes, “technological advancements in AI are emerging as a critical part of addressing these challenges. Exciting new advancements in machine learning, neural networks and natural language processing are helping organizations achieve their diversity objectives.”

This is because AI removes the distinctly biased human action of decision-making. It’s unfortunate, but nevertheless unavoidable that we all possess some form of unconscious biases – it’s a part of human nature. By bringing AI into the recruiting sphere, we can introduce machine learning to unbiased algorithms to teach it to select the best candidates without concerning itself with their race, age, ethnicity, gender, sexuality, or any other factors that our unconscious biases may consider.

If that isn’t reason enough, the efficiency of recruiting with AI should be the ultimate kicker. Especially considering we’re in a candidate market, letting AI do the heavy lifting, and sift through top talent faster than recruiters traditionally can, can bring you closer to your DEI goals faster.

Fortune adds that AI can quickfire us into efficient and effective DEI strategies. According to Fortune, “with artificial intelligence, we can hardwire intersectional gender equity into the future of work. Welcome to the Fourth Industrial Revolution.” We would also like to mention that AI can not only add gender equity, but also equity and inclusion for every other marginalized group.

With all this in mind, what is going to be your next step towards DEI?

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