According to Linkedin Opportunity Index 2021, as many as 85 percent of women missed out on a raise, promotion, or work offer because of their gender in India. This is quite a large number and establishes evidence to the fact that gender bias is still prevalent in modern workplaces.
But is it fair to deprive someone of great opportunities or the respect they deserve just because they belong to a particular gender? No, it’s not and organizations must understand that all employees should be treated equally, regardless of their gender, age group, experience, or seniority level.
While gender disparity in the workplace is a chronic problem and getting rid of it overnight is a bit of a stretch it shouldn’t stop you from implementing changes to ramp up gender parity in your organization.
Most organizations are spending heavily on unconscious bias training and mentorship programs to create a more inclusive workplace. But most of the time these strategies don’t yield the expected outcomes and organizations fail to combat gender bias in the workplace.
So now the question arises- ‘what can they do to eradicate this gender gap and foster a work environment where every employee is treated fairly and equally?’ Befriend TECHNOLOGY! Yes, you read that right. Adopting technology can be a great way to empower women in the workplace.
Modern technology has made it possible for every person to pursue educational opportunities, participate in the workplace, and seek out new career opportunities. Not only that, emerging technologies help organizations reinvent their diversity practices, boost female participation in the workplace, and eliminate the unconscious bias from the system.
How exactly is technology helping reduce gender bias at the workplace?
Technology in Hiring is Strengthening the Approach to Equality
The use of technology for filling up vacant positions can help organizations hire candidates based on their skills and abilities and not on their gender. The use of skill assessment tools can help recruiters hire the best fit for a particular job role.
Automation in hiring can make your hiring process more transparent and fair as there is no space for unconscious bias. However, regular algorithmic audits need to be done to ensure standards of coding are followed.
The problem of biased hiring can also be addressed by leveraging AI tools that are independent of human behavior and focus on specific skills or competencies.
Performance Management System Ensures Fair Promotion
Tech giants such as Google, Amazon, etc. are using OKRs and performance management systems to measure employee performance.
This ensures that employees are promoted and rewarded based on their performance and not because they have a good relationship with their managers or supervisors or they belong to a particular gender.
When performance data is visible to every individual in the organization there is more transparency and leaves no room for bias. This can also identify managers who are promoting favoritism in the workplace.
Project Assignment Becomes Fair
Sometimes employees, especially women, are not given the right opportunity to develop and showcase their talents. This robs them of the growth opportunities and omits them from the succession planning process.
Eventually, this makes them feel left out in the workplace. A fair evaluation of employees based solely on their performance can help in fair project assignments. The 9-box grid feature in the performance management system helps managers or HR professionals to measure the performance and potential of the employees.
Proper recognition of high performers helps in allocating the right projects to the right people. This not only helps in the fair treatment of employees but also ensures the company’s success.
Provides Everyone With a Level Playing Feed
Apart from promoting the right talent, technology can also help offer a level playing field to everyone in the organization. With the help of technology, employers can measure the past, current, and future performance of the employees and recognize the right people who are eligible for senior positions.
Other emerging technologies such as virtual leadership assessment and simulation-based assessments can eliminate gender bias and enable companies to identify people with great leadership skills.
In addition to that, technology has made work from home a norm today. Digital tools are helping organizations manage a scattered workforce efficiently. This has made things easy for women, especially those in rural areas who have limited access to opportunities.
While implementing workplace childcare facilities, equal maternity and paternity benefits, other targeted policies are a great way to reduce gender disparity, organizations shouldn’t stop there.
Eliminating structural inequalities from all processes- right from hiring to promoting and rewarding requires a deep focus on making organizational procedures fair and equitable.
Making friends with technology can provide far more reliable and valuable information than traditional processes to eradicate this deeply ingrained issue from the organization.
The use of AI and analytics can help you make informed decisions, thus helping you foster a diverse, inclusive, and equitable workforce.