How AI is Addressing Gender Inequity

Keith Sonderling, Commissioner of the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, explores how AI can address gender inequity across sectors.

Gender inequity has been a persistent challenge in the workplace, but the emerging capabilities of AI are offering new avenues to address this complex issue. During the Women and Worth Summit, Keith Sonderling, Commissioner of the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, explored the transformative potential of AI to foster more equitable and inclusive hiring practices.

Sonderling began by highlighting the growing ubiquity of AI, particularly in Human Resources (HR), where its applications are numerous. From “managing day-to-day workforce and performance review” to evaluating and ranking applicants based on their skills, AI has shown the potential to be an objective and unbiased tool. This has significant implications for reducing gender bias, especially benefiting women in the hiring process.

Emphasizing the value of investing in AI, Sonderling declared that it represents “the future of the workforce.” He brought attention to the deeply ingrained biases in hiring, where male resumes may be favored, and applicants might even resort to “whitening” their resumes by altering their names to avoid discrimination. But as he poignantly asked, “What does a person’s name tell you about the person’s ability to do the job? Nothing.” AI has the potential to transcend such biases, focusing solely on the relevant qualifications and abilities of the candidate.

Another critical application of AI is its ability to encourage more women to apply for senior job positions. Traditionally, women have been less likely to apply for higher-ranking roles. AI can change this by suggesting alterations to job descriptions to make them more inclusive. This not only opens doors for a broader array of candidates but also provides companies with a more diverse and talented applicant pool.

Sonderling’s insights shared at the Women and Worth Summit underscore the revolutionary potential of AI in dismantling gender biases in the workplace. Whether it’s eliminating name biases, mitigating subconscious judgments, or making job descriptions more inclusive, AI offers a promising solution to longstanding inequities. As the business landscape continues to evolve, embracing AI isn’t just about maintaining competitiveness; it’s about building a more fair, diverse, and inclusive future for all.