Sumser: 8 ways to reflect on your HR ethics

Jun 16, 2020 11:31:37 AM / by HR Tech

Pandemic, massive racial and political unrest, economic disruption, men in space, generational conflict, cities burning. You could be forgiven if you think we’ve been transported back to the 1960s. For a long time, nothing much happened. Then, whammo. It’s all happening at once.

The progress toward a society rooted in equality stalled some time ago. It took a political administration that says the quiet part out loud to pull the covers off the thing we didn’t want to see: We live in a class-driven society. And the primary determinant of class is skin color. Our organizations are reflections of the structural forces that drive unequal access to resources, education, jobs, and technology.

In the early days of intelligent tools (AI), much was made of the desire to eliminate bias from decision-making. The theory was that bias existed in the data and, if we just used the right data, model or algorithm, we could remove human bias and get objective, data-driven decisions. The idea made the tech optimists very happy.

But you can’t eliminate bias with data. Data is the result of measuring what happens in the world. Our culture is biased. People are biased. Often, they don’t even realize it. The data simply reflects this. And trying to bury the signal is the most likely way to amplify it.

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HR Tech

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