Unconscious Bias: There is an App for That!
There are many apps and software platforms that are available now to circumvent unconscious bias. Here are several:
Textio: This app scans job postings and identifies phrases that could repel women. Textio’s founder says that words can exhibit a subtle masculine bias. She calls language that is “turned all the way up” as an example. Some of the phrases include hard-driving and crush it. The software suggests more gender neutral language.
Gap-Jumpers: This unique program hides resumes and other identifying information, including the gender of the applicant. This app is based on a renowned study from 2000 when U.S. orchestras allowed musicians to audition behind a screen that hid their gender. Malcom Gladwell talks about this research in his New York Time’s bestseller, Blink. There has been a long term sexist bias concerning what genders could play certain instruments. Bottom line, when people are assessed on their ability, women are much more likely to make the cut.
Blendoor: This app has been described as “Tinder for recruiting.” This app allows candidates and recruiters to check each other out; candidates can check out how an organization fairs in diversity, retention and number of women at the top. Recruiters can see a person’s skills, education, work history but not race, age or gender.
Unitive: The underlying philosophy of this app is that small changes can have a big effect. It guides managers through the hiring process and helps them find ways to prevent them from acting on bias. Names and gender are masked during the resume evaluation process.