Can AI share the stage with inclusion?

January 25, 2024 Updated: January 25, 2024 5 min read

Inclusion efforts have been taking a hit lately. News of declining job opportunities, tightened budgets, and shifting sentiment is on our TVs, our social media feeds, legislation, and in the headlines. Just last month, CBNC reported some companies, including Google and Meta, have cut their DEI spending by up to 90%.

At the same time, AI is front and center. Forbes predicts the AI market will reach $407 billion by 2027, AI adoption will grow about 37% every year for the next several years, and millions of workers could be displaced by AI by 2030. 

Put these side by side, and it seems that AI is trending up as DEI trends down. This is troubling to those of us still committed to building inclusive, supportive, and equitable workplaces. Does this mean it’s time to forgo inclusion to make room for AI?

Let’s talk about why not.

Put AI in your toolbox

You’ve got a hammer so you can hang pictures on your walls. A coffee maker so you don’t have to percolate your coffee on the stove every morning (unless you like that kind of thing). You probably have a cell phone, a car, and a vacuum cleaner. In other words: your life is full of tools. Devices that make work easier, your home cleaner, and your coffee easily accessible.

Think of AI as another instrument in your metaphorical toolbox. As a tool, AI doesn’t need to compete with attempts to build inclusive workplaces. Instead, it can support them. Others agree. According to the Pew Research Center, 53% of those surveyed believe bias could be reduced by the use of AI in hiring. 

Of those who don’t want AI woven into hiring, they’re concerned it will remove the “personal touch” from the interview process and fail to accurately assess personalities. If we’re using our AI tools properly, though, we can mitigate these worries. Consider this: you might drop your hammer and bruise a toe. To avoid injury, you learn to put steel-toe boots on. In the same way, with thoughtful implementation and proper safeguards, AI can be a powerful tool we use in our favor. 

Before moving forward, it’s worth noting that AI cannot be the only tool you rely on. No one builds a house with just a hammer, so don’t expect to run your recruiting and hiring process on AI alone. Continue to develop your skills, utilize critical thinking, and engage the other members of your team. Maintain your good habits. Stay open to learning. And as for today, take a few moments to learn more about AI and inclusion at your work.

A wall of tools

How AI can support inclusion in the workplace

We know you know how to use a hammer and coffee maker, but what about AI? Read on for five ways AI can serve your inclusion efforts today.

1. Identify patterns and analyze data

Want to optimize processes and decision-making at work? Gather data, analyze data, and make decisions based on data. Get AI to help. Use AI to assess the demographics of your managerial team or evaluate promotion patterns. Are there hiring gaps? Pay gaps? How has employee engagement been? Don’t make assumptions, uncover the truth. Reinforce what’s working and fix what’s broken.

2. Support objective decision-making

It’s well-known that bias clouds decision-making. Let AI step in to increase clarity and objectivity. For example, when it comes time for performance reviews, AI can report on productivity metrics to back up your feedback. Or, as you assign projects and education opportunities, an AI-backed analysis will help ensure all employees are given the same chance to further their careers.

3. Improve the hiring process

Utilize AI-powered automation to answer FAQs, streamline candidate outreach, or complete interview scheduling. Attract a wider pool of candidates by using AI to write more effective job descriptions. Allow AI to support hiring by developing interview guides or candidate-specific questions. AI can also help remove identifying data from applications, suggest candidate resume scores, and automate skills testing. And because AI doesn’t perceive race, gender, orientation, or any other personal details, it helps surface more qualified candidates for the hiring team to consider.

4. Increase accessibility in the workplace

Accommodations aren’t a nice-to-have, they’re a must-have, and AI can help. Some AI tools deliver speech-to-text transcriptions for individuals with hearing impairments. Others can analyze images or text for employees with vision impairments. People with dyslexia can benefit from tools that convert text into more legible fonts. Individuals with cognitive processing disorders can use ChatGPT to summarize content to increase understanding.

5. Identify opportunities for growth

With AI-backed data comes AI-supported opportunities for improvement. Flag problematic terms or phrases in job descriptions, website content, and marketing outreach. Use AI to analyze discussions during meetings or interviews and learn whether everyone feels comfortable contributing their ideas. Consider using AI to gather feedback from employees or job seekers so you can continue improving processes.

One last metaphor

AI might be taking over the headlines, but that doesn’t mean all our inclusion work goes out the window. If anything, this is the time for companies to truly demonstrate their commitment to inclusion and equity. And if we go into the future armed with AI, we will all be poised for success. 

Equity is not a trend or a flash in the pan. It’s not a sprint, but a marathon. AI has the equipment needed to cross the finish line—the shoes, the snacks, and the moisture-wicking gear. Are you in it for the long haul? We are. Join us!


Scot is a successful HR technology entrepreneur and advocate for conscious inclusion. Passionate about helping others succeed, he’s committed to improving the hiring process for employers and job-seekers every step of the way.

Ready to hire better?

See for yourself how you can create a culture of hiring excellence.