• ianayling

Diversity & Inclusion - what is truly fair?

Ever experienced love at first sight or dislike someone when you saw them first? No worries, you are not alone. Studies have shown that we take approximately 0.1 second to judge people.

Findings point out that people are able to accurately predict economic success, personality etc. The bad news it that no one has worked out what to do to pass yourself as a winner.

It appears that our brain picks up signals from our body language, words used and tonality to make this judgement. This has been the product of our evolution. The human brain has devised a way to read these signals to fuel the survival instinct to decide a fight or flight response. Although we have evolved as a society, where there is very limited threat to survival, our brain still relies on it to decide whether we should engage or disengage with the person. We cannot just switch off this instinct as it is hardwired.

When we work with people, this instinct kicks in whether we like it or not. Managers as a result tend to like a few of their team members more than others. When viewed through the eyes of the team member, it could be seen as a biased treatment. Having worked with many organisations to understand what hampers team relationships, fair treatment or the lack of it always is there in the top five list. The best thing about this is that, managers were not even aware of it, till we pointed it out. Whilst their intentions were clear, and they believed that they treated everyone equally, the bias at the pre-conscious level got them to behave the way they did.

So what has that go to do with diversity and inclusion?

When it comes to recruitment or being considered for promotion, unconscious bias seems to play a huge role. The proof: No of BAME people in senior positions across the world, No of women in board positions in fortune 500 companies... the list goes on and on. Whilst, this was a good instinct to have when we were hunters, gatherers, that same skill is becoming an impediment. It leads to judgements that are not carefully considered which eventually leads us to the situation we are currently facing.

Bias can influence anything and everything we do. The recent debacle of GCSE scores in the UK is the result of the bias introduced into the system. Lets be clear here.. No system is biased, but the person programming the system is. When we create the so called intelligent systems, we rarely watch out for human bias and that results in learning algorithms that lean left or right even before the first data point is fed.

So how do we address this bias?

The PhD thesis of the CEO, Co-founder was around this area. It was to understand how we value people consciously and subconsciously. The data that emerged confirmed that at a deeper level "Fear" drives us to do or not do things. Without data we rely on this instinct. The trick therefore is to look at data and then use that data to tap into our rational faculty. This is one of the fundamental building blocks on which Compaira has been built. When someone applies for a role internally or externally, the system masks the identity of the person and provides enough data to show the list of candidates who have cleared the criteria set by organisations using the behavioural algorithms which looks at the desired attitude, competencies and values, the tests to identify their numerical analytical and logical capability. An objective assesment is also made using AI algorithms which primarily compare the responsibilities, requirements and experience with the individuals. The system looks at the entire persons capabilities than discount them for their looks, tonality etc.

Compaira was set up to make not just recruitment but talent management better. Fancy a chat to know more? Why not contact us at

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