Diversity and Inclusion Technology:
Could this be the Missing Link?
Initial research from RedThread Research and Mercer

The past year has seen a focused surge of energy on diversity and inclusion in the workplace. The intensity of this momentum is not only rapidly transforming how companies think and act—it is also inspiring dozens of tech companies to develop new tools to meet the rising tide of action. The research shared here represents the first phase of RedThread Research and Mercer's exploration of this emerging market—a map of D&I Technology as it stands. We hope you will find it illuminating, and that you will consider sharing your own insights and experience, as we continue on to the analytical phase of our research.

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Why D&I? Why Now?

Diversity and inclusion is not a new idea for today's corporations, but over the last 18 months, the slow D&I burn has turned into a flashpoint, in part due to the #MeToo moment. Leaders across organizations are asking: "How can we systematically challenge the status quo, and build a more diverse and inclusive workforce?" It is upon this foundational question that technology companies have begun to construct dozens of new and innovative ideas to support equity, diversity and inclusion in the workplace—recognizing that new technological capabilities, paired with this increased urgency, represents an opportunity to address D&I challenges in novel ways.

The Technology to Support Change

In the past, many of the solutions for inclusion and equity focused solely on the individual, like unconscious bias and harassment training, mentoring, and sponsorship. The problem is bigger than individuals — it is also a problem with systems. Systemic problems require systemic solutions. This means a combination of strategy, processes, policies, individual behaviors, culture, and technology, purposely designed to uncover individual and structural bias (intentional or not) that are barriers to fair and respectful treatment in the workplace. This report is designed to address five questions:

  1. What is D&I technology?
  2. Why are D&I technologies coming to market right now?
  3. What are the benefits and potential risks?
  4. What types of D&I technologies exist?
  5. Who are some of the players in the different D&I technology categories?

The Scope of the Research

This research is being conducted in two phases. On this site, today, you find the first phase of our research, mapping the D&I technology market as we have been able to see it. Like any first map, we know it will need refinement, and hope it starts new conversations—with vendors and companies alike—around the solutions they are creating and using to drive a more diverse and equitable work environment. As this conversation continues over the next few months, we will analyze and reflect on these trends in more depth. Our final report, which will be delivered in early 2019, will provide a more in—depth assessment of the D&I Technology market, based on survey data, customer interviews, and additional analysis. The objectives of that report are to help organizational leaders better understand the innovative solutions available in the marketplace, and to uncover areas where opportunity exists for new products and solutions.

D&I Technology Examined

The D&I technologies currently covered in this research are categorized in the following areas:

Talent Acquisition
  • Candidate sourcing
  • Candidate selection
Development and Advancement
  • Performance management, promotion, and succession management
  • Leadership development and HIPO sourcing
  • Mentorship/career management
  • Leadership and development
Engagement and Retention
  • Employee experience
  • Employee voice
  • Employee communications
Analytics
  • D&I business case
  • D&I analysis and monitoring

The Research & Preliminary Market Map

By completing the form below, you will gain access to an interactive map of the vendors we have thus far found active in this space. With the rapid growth of this market, we anticipate the expansion of this map, and welcome input from vendors here.

There is also an associated report, in which we explore in depth:

  • The advent of this inflection point for D&I
  • Initial market observations on the D&I technology market
  • The rise and expansion of D&I technology
  • Potential risks and benefits of D&I technology
  • Specific types of technology solutions
  • Vendor landscape and product offerings
  • What's next?

Methodology

To conduct this research, we identified approximately 100 companies, via our networks, web—based research, and vendor briefings, that are currently offering technology targeted at improving diversity and inclusion in organizations. We classified them based on solution type, primary talent activity targeted, and primary problem the solution tries to address. We also collected information on organization size, growth stage, location, and customers. To the best of our ability, we validated this information with the vendors. We collected this data from March through August 2018.We expect to discover more players in this rapidly expanding space over the next few months. Our next study will collect additional data and we invite additional D&I technology vendors and their customers to participate in the research.

Access the Research

Explore our interactive market map and download our phase one research report Diversity and Inclusion Technology: Could this be the Missing Link?

Contribute to the Research

Do you have or use a D&I technology that isn't included in this first phase of research? We'd love to hear more about what you're doing. Be part of the research by taking our survey.