Business VoIP Featured Article

Can Technology Make for More Inclusive Workplaces?

February 05, 2018

By Paula Bernier, Executive Editor, TMC

Communications technology can help create more inclusive workplaces, Powwownow CTO Chris Martin shares.

Martin suggests that artificial intelligence can be employed to provide unbiased documentation of conversation, key decisions and actions, and meetings.

“Sophisticated AI software is able to email all participants, and those who may not have been able to join the meeting, important information such as actino points following the meeting,” writes Martin. “Harnessing AI in this way reduces the chance that actinos or important information is left out due to human bias.”

IM, team collaboration tools, webcasting, webinars, and other tools also can remove barriers to communication, he notes. And in doing so, he says, they can break “down the stigma around asking for help or discussing difficult topics such as feeling exluded from projects or the company culture.”

Martin adds that, in the process: “The invisible barrier of ‘I need to step into your threshold…’ is instantly removed by being able to contact managers or team mates in a neutral way.”

While technology may indeed create more inclusive workplaces, it seems appropriate to note – given the focus of Mr. Martin’s article – that this message is being delivered by a business that’s apparently run entirely by dudes.

It’s also important to remember that, as The Brookings Institution in this December piece notes, “large gaps remain between men and women in employment rates, the jobs they hold, the wages they earn, and their overall economic security.”

Women’s participation in the workplace fell from 60.7 percent in 2000 to 57.2 percent in 2016, according to Brookings. Women make a fraction of what men do, it adds. And the article goes on to say that: “Almost 60 percent of women would earn more if they were paid the same as men with equivalent levels of education and work hours.”

Meanwhile, a survey by the financial firm Ellevest suggests that 83 percent of women believe that men are often paid more than their female colleagues for the same work, and that 61 percent of men agree. 

Edited by Mandi Nowitz


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