WEF suggests tech tools for fair and inclusive workplaces in post-COVID-19 world

New Delhi, Jun 23 () The World Economic Forum on Tuesday called for use of latest technologies to help create workplaces that are fair, equitable and diverse in a post-COVID-19 world.

The WEF said as businesses emerge from the COVID-19 crisis, they have a unique opportunity to ensure that equity, inclusion and justice define the "new normal" and tackle exclusion, bias and discrimination related to race, gender, ability, sexual orientation and all other forms of human diversity.

Geneva-based WEF, which describes itself as an international organisation for public private cooperation, said technology alone cannot create fair, equitable and diverse workplaces as it requires an integrated strategy that blends new technological tools with human-centric approaches. Releasing a ''Diversity, Equity and Inclusion 4.0 Toolkit'', the WEF said it outlines novel technologies with the potential to establish best practices that were previously out of reach.

For example, new systems can review job applications at scale in far greater detail than a typically resourced people and culture department. These systems can identify and reduce bias, introduce greater transparency and visibility, and provide timely analytics, it added. The toolkit also cautions against adopting unproven solutions which can result in a range of unintended consequences and contain biases that deepen rather than counteract exclusion. Advertisement

The toolkit cites research that suggests well-managed diverse teams significantly outperform homogenous ones over time, across profitability, innovation, decision-making and employee engagement. Conversely, companies that fall behind their peers in diversity, equity and inclusion are less likely to achieve above-average profitability.

"Successful organizations are powered by the diverse opinions, skill sets and life experiences of their employees. Ensuring racial justice, gender parity, disability inclusion, LGBTI equality and inclusion of all forms of human diversity needs to be the 'new normal' in the workplace set to emerge from the COVID-19 crisis and it is clear that technology can be leveraged to help rapidly make this a reality," said Saadia Zahidi, Managing Director, World Economic Forum.

The toolkit was developed in collaboration with leading experts and practitioners from the WEF's Global Future Council on the New Equality and Inclusion Agenda.

The WEF has also recently established a unique high-level community of Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officers from top global companies to drive action in this space by exchanging best practices and exploring emerging trends, opportunities and risks. BJ ANU ANU

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