Artificial Intelligence: 6 Ways AI May Impact Workplace Diversity and Inclusion

Artificial intelligence

While workspace diversity and inclusion are important for legal reasons, they should also matter to businesses simply because ensuring fairness is the right thing to do. Computers, however, don’t have moral compasses. Instead, they consider “right” and “wrong” in terms of formulas, not behaviors. So, it’s logical to be unsure about AI’s impact on inclusion in the workplace. 

To help diffuse the confusion around this rising technology, we’ve made the below list of ways that AI may impact workplace diversity and inclusion so your business can assess things with your eyes wide open. 

Reduce Unconscious Bias 

When used correctly, AI has been shown to boost diversity in the workplace in Australia by helping reduce unconscious bias. Well-configured algorithms aren’t weighed down by human thoughts and feelings, including the subconscious biases that cause the most problems during the hiring process. That means these biases will have a reduced impact on decision-making, particularly at the hiring stage, making the workplace more diverse and inclusive.

May Also Reinforce Unconscious Biases 

Unfortunately, AI can also reinforce unconscious biases. This happens when algorithms are programmed in a subjective rather than an objective manner and generally occurs when a relatively small group sets parameters. You can avoid this problem by ensuring that the team who establishes your AI is diverse. However, it cannot be ruled out entirely.

Help Keep Employees Engaged 

Another way AI can impact diversity and inclusion is by shifting employee engagement levels. When employees feel more engaged with their workplace, they’re more likely to share their opinions, which can help create a more inclusive environment. 

Using AI to boost employee engagement also means higher retention rates, which means you’ll have more time, energy, and funds to invest in other areas that impact diversity. 

Reduce the Gender Pay Gap

AI can also help us reduce the gender pay gap. If you use AI to assess employee skill levels and determine the ideal pay grade for each individual, you’ll be able to create a fairer system. The computer doesn’t care who the person is – it works purely off metrics. That means two individuals who present the same skill set and can add the same value to the business will always receive comparable pay. 

Such a system is highly beneficial in reducing the gender pay gap as it means women will not face penalties for the possibility of taking time off to raise children, having already taken time off to raise children or other sexist factors which can impact equal pay. 

Identify Ways to Support Employees Living with Disabilities 

Using a framework of principles such as R(AI)S when designing your AI algorithms can help your company support those living with a disability. You can achieve this goal by ensuring that there are no underlying biases within your algorithms and by using data to ensure that your workplace is accessible and inclusive for those with different abilities. 

Ensure Promotions Are Fair

Finally, AI can also ensure your promotion practices are fair. An algorithmic system will work off character traits, unique skill sets, and each applicant’s objective ability to perform in the role. This helps eliminate the “boys club” mentality and means employees won’t be promoted or passed over based only on how well-connected they are. 
Now that you’ve got a better idea of how AI can impact diversity and inclusion in your business, you’ll be better equipped to implement it in the right ways. Good luck with your business growth.