July 19, 2016
Accenture Demonstrates Technology Prototype to Promote Gender Pay Parity at the White House
Launch follows company’s signing of White House Equal Pay Pledge
WASHINGTON, D.C.; July 19, 2016 – Accenture (NYSE: ACN) today unveiled a technology prototype aimed at addressing gender diversity and pay gaps in the fast-growing freelance labor market, which is forecasted to represent 43 percent of the U.S. workforce by 2020.
The company demonstrated the prototype at today’s White House #hackthepaygap demo day, as part of a nationwide effort from the White House Presidential Innovation Fellows and the Department of Commerce encouraging developers, designers and data scientists to build tools and products to close the gender pay gap. Using open source technologies, the Accenture prototype increases transparency of the hiring process, identifies pay gaps, eliminates bias and enables equal pay negotiations.
Developed by Accenture Labs in Silicon Valley, the prototype underscores Accenture’s commitment to gender equality, including gender pay equality. Last month, for example, Accenture signed the White House Equal Pay Pledge.
Accenture demos prototype at White House aimed at addressing gender pay gap #hackthepaygap
“We believe strongly that gender equality is essential for a high-performing organization,” said Julie Sweet, Accenture group chief executive --- North America. “As the liquid workforce continues to emerge and more workers look for ‘gig’ experiences, organizations must continue to innovate to find new ways to attract and retain the best talent – and technology can help them take important next steps toward gender pay equality.”
Specifically, the prototype addresses four key hiring process challenges that can contribute to the gender pay gap:
- Gender-biased job posting – The prototype uses text analytics to help job posters write more gender-neutral descriptions and avoid subtle biases that unintentionally filter out gender diverse candidates, so they can gain access to more qualified candidates.
- Inconsistent candidate vetting – Using online skill exercises and metric-based tasks to find skilled, motivated workers, the Accenture prototype can help job posters vet all candidates equally.
- Opaque hiring process – By providing relevant gender data visualizations that show the progress of candidates throughout the hiring process, executives and hiring managers can see where diverse candidates may be dropping out.
- Lack of comparable pay data to guide pay negotiation – The prototype provides access to relevant comparable salary and hourly wage data, allowing both candidates and job posters to negotiate more consistently and fairly.
“While traditional workers may go through the process of applying for jobs and negotiating pay once every few years or even decades, gig workers can go through the process multiple times each week,” said Mary Hamilton, managing director, Accenture Labs. “By developing the technology to increase visibility of the challenges that exist in the rapid hiring process, our prototype can help reduce bias and increase fairness in this fast-growing segment of the economy.”
This work is part of a broader effort at Accenture to enable liquid workforce capabilities that create workforce agility by leveraging online labor markets operating both inside and outside the organization. The prototype will be used to enhance Accenture’s own internal online talent sourcing tools. As part of the Accenture Innovation Path, the Accenture Labs use applied R&D to create technology prototypes that have potential commercial applications, delivering value for clients.
Accenture is a leading global professional services company, providing a broad range of services and solutions in strategy, consulting, digital, technology and operations. Combining unmatched experience and specialized skills across more than 40 industries and all business functions – underpinned by the world’s largest delivery network – Accenture works at the intersection of business and technology to help clients improve their performance and create sustainable value for their stakeholders. With more than 375,000 people serving clients in more than 120 countries, Accenture drives innovation to improve the way the world works and lives. Visit us at www.accenture.com.
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