Equality, Diversity, Inclusion and Technology: The Hyper-Intersection for Future Work Organizations
Equality, Diversity, Inclusion and Technology: The Hyper-Intersection for Future Work Organizations

Gender equality, inclusion, and diversity are no longer only in the books. With organizations worldwide laying down the ground rules towards inclusion, the mantra at this point is “right team, right people, right place, and the right technology.”

During early February 2021, Coca-Cola introduced a host of guidelines for their law firms calling upon them to adopt a real systemic change to bring about diversity within the profession. As its general counsel points out, this measure was necessary to impact the stagnant progress on diversity within the profession and move towards a more inclusive work culture.

In what is hailed as meaningful at practice and ethical in policy, companies are looking at ways to drive diversity in organizations, create better engagement, fruitful work culture, and an empowered organization

The question may be raised, so where does technology fit in?

Experts believe that technology can be an enabler of growth and has a remarkable potential to improve outcomes. This might be due to its ability to transcend the diverse workforce without having bias for gender, caste, colour, and age; while also delivering unhindered legal services.

Early analysis and filling the gaps with technology:

As organizations make efforts on the diversity and inclusion front, only a handful of them actually aim to bridge the functions gap. The case to the point is Maersk and its initial response to create a diverse organization is noteworthy. Talent sourcing proved to be a challenge for the company in a traditionally male-dominated industry. To tackle this issue at scale, the company developed positive approaches to employee recruitment processes; including partnering with a gaming studio to enable hiring managers to avoid cognitive bias throughout the hiring processes. Evidently, having appropriate strategy by also putting into use the right technology tools with a human-centric approach enabled better workforce management.

Today, diversity is at the core of the company’s values, and constant efforts are made to leverage the competitive advantages that diverse teams and inclusive cultures can bring to the organization.

Moving up-close, the need for diversity is an emerging topic in the legal field. Women make up for a small fraction in the legal sector; implicit racial bias and discrimination persists until date. Diversity as a cultural commitment largely lacks in the legal industry. In such a scenario, data-driven insights and the use of AI/ML can enable organizations to:

  • evolve and support positive change
  • influence processes and change behaviours

‘Enter technology’ - Efforts to shape up a diverse and inclusive legal profession.

With technology tools at their finger-tips, lawyers have found newer ways to streamline workflows and collaborate better from ‘anywhere, anytime. This has brought women who have taken career breaks into the forefront, allowed companies to disseminate knowledge through training and mentorship, and have metrics to increase understanding of diversity in the organization.

“As social engineers, lawyers play a key role in promoting the rule of law and equitable work culture to ensure affordable legal services.”

Technological interventions can make workplaces more diverse, fair, and inclusive. Of course, there are others who argue that technology has created a generational / cultural / communication-based divide between those who grew up with it and those who adapt to it; for the former group, technology is a way of life and does not pose a psychological barrier, while for the latter, it is about the use and adaptability.

Here, organizations can have effective engagement strategies to bridge the gap and fix latent defects caused by human error, and ergo. This brings us to where we started-the Coca-Cola engagement strategy, creating a benchmark on its own.

But just as technology continues to evolve and support positive change in the diversity and inclusion agenda, it is vital that the latter continues to evolve - and that we continue to drive changes in the underlying technology to improve those systems and ensure bias-free outcomes continually