HR cannot rely on tech alone to improve D&I

Recent coverage of racial and social injustices have sparked renewed attention to how these disparities can be addressed in the workplace. HR technology can be a powerful tool to aid HR leaders in identifying the issues, some of which are hiding in plain sight.

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RELATED: Read more insights from our Top 100 HR Tech Influencers.

That was the message this week during an HRE Twitter chat discussion led by Laurie Ruettimann, author and a Top 100 HR Tech Influencer.  Through her blog posts and other work, Ruettimann has been exploring how to encourage change in the workplace using HR tech as a strategic assistant.

“HR tech can paint a picture, provide context and even give us the edge in investigating incidents and uncovering patterns of behavior,” Ruettimann wrote during the chat. Technology can be used as a tool to help HR leaders discover and address inequalities in the workplace, but it is not the full solution, she added.

Kate Bischoff, an attorney and HR consultant, echoed that sentiment, noting “[tech] is a tool. Not a replacement.” After data gathered from the technology is assessed, the real work comes from the actions that follow.

LEARN MORE: Ruettimann will speak at the Women in HR Tech Summit

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HR needs to do more to harness the full power of its technology to help solve the problems of racial and gender inequality, Bischoff said.

“Technology shines a spotlight on inequality,” added Women in HR Tech Conference Chair Jeanne Achille. “Solid data-driven evidence doesn’t lie. One example, if you have pay equity issues, tech enables you to identify and resolve compliance compensation.”

Related: HR has made little progress on D&I. Here’s why

But leadership must take the important next steps, participants agreed. For Ruettimann, that’s simple. “You don’t need permission or power to do the right thing in your organization. You need a spine,” she wrote during the chat. “If your company isn’t operating according to human decency, be a leader and leave.”

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At the end of the chat, the contributors agreed that, as social injustices continue to be a main topic of discussion throughout the nation and in the workplace, HR leaders can expect all eyes to be on them to use their technology resources to make the necessary changes to strengthen and improve their D&I programs.

READ MORE: HR technology news from HRE


Join us July 16 at 2 p.m. EST for our next Twitter chat. We’ll be talking with Top 100 HR Tech Influencer Joey Price about the small business market and HR tech.