News In Context

Diversity, Equity and Inclusion 4.0

It is not just statutes of people with questionable legacies that are being toppled in the current climate. The image of a white male with a briefcase as a representation of people in business is no longer acceptable. Business leaders seeking to take on more responsibility for addressing social justice and adopt an integrated approach to diversity, equity and inclusion in the workplace can leverage new technologies to to reach their goals, according to the World Economic Forum’s Diversity, Equity and Inclusion 4.0 Toolkit, published June 23.

The toolkit outlines novel technologies with the potential to establish best practices that were previously out of reach. For example, new systems can review job applications at scale in far greater detail than a typical human resources department. Applied correctly these systems can identify and reduce bias, introduce greater transparency and visibility, and provide timely analytics. New methods of analyzing employee interactions, such as organizational network analysis and tools for immersive learning using augmented and virtual reality, can  play a role in improving outcomes, while cloud-based communication and visualization platforms will be fundamental to most tools.

However, the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion 4.0 Toolkit notes that technology alone cannot create fair, equitable and diverse workplaces. It requires an integrated strategy that blends new technological tools with human-centric approaches to workforce management that focus on employee experience, purpose and belonging. To succeed, businesses need to leverage diversity, equity and inclusion as core organizational strengths.  Read on to learn more the toolkit and this week’s most important technology stories impacting business.

In examining the potential of these technologies, the toolkit cautions against adopting unproven solutions which can result in a range of unintended consequences and contain biases that deepen rather than counteract exclusion. Aside from it simply being the right thing to do, research indicates that increasing diversity, equity and inclusion brings a host of benefits to businesses. Research suggests well-managed diverse teams significantly outperform homogenous ones over time, across profitability, innovation, decision-making and employee engagement. Conversely, companies that fall behind their peers in diversity, equity and inclusion are less likely to achieve above-average profitability.

As outlined in the toolkit’s sister publication, HR4.0: Shaping People Strategies in the Fourth Industrial Revolution, achieving diversity, equity and inclusion begins with senior management. Leaders need to focus their organizations’ efforts around three main areas of action, from talent sourcing and selection, to organizational analysis and monitoring, to employee experience, reward and development.

The toolkit was developed in collaboration with experts and practitioners from the World Economic Forum’s Global Future Council on the New Equality and Inclusion Agenda.The Forum has also recently established a unique high-level community of Chief Diversity & Inclusion Officers from top global companies to drive action in this space by exchanging best practices and exploring emerging trends, opportunities and risks. The Diversity, Equity and Inclusion 4.0 Toolkit can be accessed here.

In other news this week:


Waymo and the Volvo Cars Group have agreed to develop a self-driving electric vehicle designed for ride hailing use, as part of a new global partnership,

Daimler and Nvidia unveiled a deal on Tuesday to develop and equip the German company’s Mercedes-Benz cars with a next-generation chip and software platform that could eventually be used to help vehicles drive by themselves. The move is a response to Tesl

The U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) said Tuesday it had opened an investigation into 63,000 Tesla Model S cars after reports of media-control unit failures that led to the loss of the use of touchscreens. A complete unit failur

Segway Inc. said it would stop making the two-wheeled Segway PT, once hailed as a revolutionary device that would change the way people get around.


Standard Chartered has devised an online learning program for 300 interns who will work remotely across the bank’s business and support functions. The six-week program covers virtual classroom sessions and work on a project focusing on a current problem s


Israeli doctors plan to blast bacteria into orbit, readying for space-based medicine

About the author

Jennifer L. Schenker

Jennifer L. Schenker, an award-winning journalist, has been covering the global tech industry from Europe since 1985, working full-time, at various points in her career for the Wall Street Journal Europe, Time Magazine, International Herald Tribune, Red Herring and BusinessWeek. She is currently the editor-in-chief of The Innovator, an English-language global publication about the digital transformation of business. Jennifer was voted one of the 50 most inspiring women in technology in Europe in 2015 and 2016 and was named by Forbes Magazine in 2018 as one of the 30 women leaders disrupting tech in France. She has been a World Economic Forum Tech Pioneers judge for 20 years. She lives in Paris and has dual U.S. and French citizenship.