By Prasad Rajappan
As per the research and study by the World Economic Forum, none of us will see gender parity in our lifetimes, and nor likely will many of our children. That’s the sobering finding of the Global Gender Gap Report 2020, which reveals that gender parity will not be attained for 99.5 years. Despite several measures taken across the globe Gender inequality remains consequential and multidimensional. We can tackle the Gender Imbalance in the workplace by harnessing technologies and practices such as AI/ML, strong HR policies, capturing the female progression through learning management systems and succession planning. Let us examine each of these technology practices one by one.
Adopt AI/ML and Robotic Interviews in Hiring to Reduce Gender Bias
AI is disrupting every day in the life, including how organizations are hiring today. With the new technologies in the new world of AI-based hiring could help us reduce error and bias in our hiring and onboarding processes. A lot of research has highlighted an inconsistency around gender imbalance. One of the biggest advantages of AI is that it is great at ignoring things. Just imagine a scenario a person who is intellectual, ethical, and open-minded who is fair in the hiring practices with no intention of being gender-biased, sees a female candidate sitting in front of him. He may think that though this person is a woman I am not giving my evaluation with any bias in my mind. AI can be trained to ignore things like anyone’s gender and focus on relevant aspects like experience, skills, and the potential of that person. With AI and Machine Learning, the algorithms can be trained in such a way that it will be blind to gender. Machine learning can throw up the compatible candidates who are fit for the job role.
Career Progression of Female Employees through Learning Management Systems
Career Progression is a significant tool for both organisations and their employees. When any employees are confused about what are the career development options available to them or the Business is unclear about what will be the learning path which is required to achieve the Business Outcomes, career progression delivered through learning management system can provide the needed clarity. Career Progression of female employees conducted through LMS systems can provide the basis for an individual’s learning and a guide against which they can measure their progression.
Strong HR Policies on Gender Discrimination
At any workplace, on an average 1 out of 4 women have been either physically or mentally harassed. Three in ten young women (30%) said they had experienced sex discrimination when working or looking for work. 75% of young women and 58% of young men said that women still face discrimination in the workplace. Employers should take measures to avoid such misdemeanors to happen at the workplace. It is preeminent to have a strict policy against workplace offences like gender discrimination, sexual harassment, racism, bullying, and many more. Each and every organization should ensure that they have strong HR policies in place and for such offences they are penalized.
Accelerate Female Progression with Succession Planning
The major reasons why succession planning and leadership development are of extreme importance and can help in accelerating female progression are recruitment and retention of the best talent, greater leadership responsibility despite the gender imbalance. With succession planning in place, the progression and identification of the successor will be formal, Systemic, tailored, experientially based instead of the gender biases.
Changes in societal attitudes have helped significantly, however, it is through harnessing the AI, machine learning, strong HR policies, capturing the female progression through learning management systems and succession planning in place we can remove the gender gap in business once and for all.
(Prasad Rajappan is a visionary and a thought leader, who brings nearly three decades of HR experience into reputed companies, like Reliance Industries, Ernst & Young and Mahindra & Mahindra. Currently he is the CEO and Founder of ZingHR. The views expressed in the article are his own)