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The emerging role for tech in D&I

HR leaders have some new tools to help them fuel culture changes.
By: | August 28, 2019 • 3 min read

Managing diversity in the workplace is more about the human side of HR than the technology side. But that does not mean today’s HR leaders can’t lean on innovative technology-based solutions to help their organizations achieve critical diversity and inclusion objectives in a meaningful way.

With that in mind, the 2019 HR Technology Conference & Expo is offering attendees a chance to explore that emerging trend in a session titled New Technologies to Manage Workplace Diversity, part of the conference’s Women in HR Technology Summit.

The panel for the session includes Chris Havrilla, vice president of Bersin, Deloitte Consulting;  Ruth Thomas, senior consultant at CuroComp; Cecile Alper-Leroux, vice president of HCM innovation at Ultimate Software; and Neta Meidav, co-founder and CEO of Vault Platform.

In the session, panelists will discuss how change isn’t simply about identifying a new process; it’s also about having the tools and technologies to accelerate and support new ways of doing business. When it comes to driving pay equity and gender diversity in the enterprise, old-school approaches don’t cut it. In this session, attendees will discover a new category of tech-based solutions that ensure legislative compliance, create cultures of transparency and trust, and help employees raise serious concerns with confidence.

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For example, co-founded in 2018 by panelist Meidav and Rotem Hayoun-Meidav, Vault is one such solution that is rapidly defining a new category of HR technology known as “trust tech.” According to panelist Meidav, Vault is designed to support a culture of trust and safety, with an app that creates a secure and confidential space for employees to record and report misconduct they experience or witness.

“Trust between the employee and the employer is largely broken, and we know that trust is something very difficult to win back,” Meidav explains. She adds that building an organization that supports diversity and inclusion isn’t about filling quotas or producing a corporate-responsibility report; it’s about creating a workplace environment of security and openness.

“It’s also the very foundation on which trust between the employee and the employer is based,” she explains.

Meidav says that, to maintain this trust, or help reestablish it should it be found lacking, it’s essential to implement a misconduct reporting and recording system that employees also trust so they know that, should they need to, there is a mechanism to voice their concerns.

“The freedom to raise concerns is a critical component of an open, supportive and ethical business culture. Employees should feel confident they will be encouraged to do the right thing,” she says.

Meidav says that research by the Institute of Business Ethics has shown that “speak-up” arrangements are an essential element of good governance and can act as an early warning system for potential risks to the wider organization. Solutions offering this opportunity might serve as a “heads up” before a harassment or bullying case becomes tomorrow’s headlines, or unethical business behavior damages the company beyond repair.

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Unfortunately, she adds, almost half of all workers fail to report misconduct that they are affected by or witness because they do not believe appropriate action will be taken by their organization, or they fear repercussions that might have an impact on or even jeopardize their job.

“You can buy tools to help you build a healthy culture, but you can’t buy culture itself,” Meidav says. “If you don’t support the creation of that culture organically, there aren’t any tools that will save it.”

To learn more about this important topic, be sure to attend New Technologies to Manage Workplace Diversity at 10 a.m. Oct. 1.

Tom Starner is a freelance writer based in Philadelphia who has been covering the human resource space and all of its component processes for over two decades. He can be reached at [email protected]

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