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The bias battle: how software can outsmart recruitment prejudices

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December 23, 2020 at 11:13AM

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As the push to diversify the IT sector picks up speed, so too has awareness of unconscious bias. Can technology-enabled ‘blind’ recruitment do a better job of identifying talent?

It’s no surprise that decades ago, you were more likely to get a job if your name was Smith rather than Singh – as anti-racism campaigners found. In these more enlightened times, companies have strategies to beat a kneejerk reaction to an unfamiliar name, the “wrong” gender, or the suspect “gut feeling”.

Yet the diversity statistics suggest these strategies haven’t yet proved effective in the tech sector. Something certainly hasn’t been going right – tech remains notoriously male, especially higher up the company rungs. Women make up just 20% of IT specialists and just 12% of leadership roles, according to latest analysis by the British Computer Society’s Chartered Institute for IT, and numbers have budged very little over the past five years.

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