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Diversio claims it combines AI, advanced data analytics, and knowledgeable subject matter expertise to accurately diagnose an organization’s DEI pain points, benchmark against peers, and create robust action plans to improve diversity, equity, and inclusion.
Diversio founder and CEO Laura McGee told VentureBeat in a chat that the company developed a set of “inclusion metrics” that are academically validated to reflect an inclusive employee experience. McGee said its proprietary Inclusion Score framework includes things like inclusive culture, fair management, and a safe work environment.
McGee added that Diversio then developed proprietary natural language processing (NLP) algorithms that can identify “inclusion pain points” from employee free text, with 85-90% accuracy.
“This allows us to ask employees open-ended questions, have them share their qualitative experience, and translate that experience into hard numbers that can be tracked,” she said.
The Series A funding round was led by a group of investors including First Round Capital, Golden Ventures, and Chandaria Family Holdings.
Leading the charge in DEI analytics
Top reasons to deploy AI, according to HR industry experts, include cost effectiveness, increased accuracy in data-based decision making, and improved employee experience. HR leaders want employees to be satisfied with their work experiences, said Jackie Wiles in an article published on Gartner’s website.
The Gartner 2019 Artificial Intelligence Survey stated that 17% of organizations use AI-based solutions in their HR function and predicted that 30% will do so by 2022. Diversio claims it’s leading the charge in DEI analytics with a recommendation engine, which is a massive database of solutions the company has developed over the past four years.
“We’re able to identify specific pain points and then match clients to solutions with a high likelihood of success. This allows us to micro-target different groups within the organization to move from a ‘one-size-fits-all’ DEI strategy to something that is much more customized and effective,” explained McGee.
Diversio says companies can integrate its proprietary “six-part inclusion framework” into their existing HR data stack. Most of Diversio’s clients choose to run its solution outside of regular HR systems, said McGee. This allows employees to stay completely anonymous and increases their willingness to talk about their identity and experience, she said.
Not a lot of players
McGee said DEI is a new segment without a lot of established players — with the most common alternatives to Diversio’s technology being companies trying to collect data themselves. This often creates frustration and results in low quality feedback (and sometimes criticism) from employees, she said.
Diversio claims its solution is differentiated in the industry because its platform makes the data collection process simple and painless, and allows clients to benchmark their performance while receiving tactical solutions with a roadmap for success.
“We go beyond diversity to measure inclusion with a set of quantifiable metrics. This allows leaders to set targets and accountability for experience as well as representation. Second, we don’t just measure diversity and inclusion — our dashboard provides tactical and evidence-based solutions to improve. Finally, our team of experts works closely with clients to drive change. This unique combination of technology and expertise that’s had really meaningful results,” said McGee.
Diversio’s vision is to create a product that is accessible to companies at all stages of the DEI journey, from enterprise to SMBs. For now, the company says it is focused on three major segments: large enterprises, mid-market companies, and investors.
According to McGee, Diversio is getting increasing demand from investors, who see potential to improve portfolio company performance through diversity and inclusion at scale.
Expansion plans for 2022
On the heels of this additional capital, Diversio says it will invest heavily in R&D, working with academic partners to look at its public and private databases to identify what works — enabling the company to make the insights publicly available to practitioners and policymakers.
The company says it will also do the following:
- Refine its NLP algorithm to enable it to recognize multiple inclusion pain points and quantify their severity.
- Integrate machine learning into its solutions database to provide customized recommendations to clients.
- Launch a database in Q1, 2022, in partnership with The 30% Club. The database includes companies listed on the S&P, NASDAQ, FTSE and TSX and provides each one with a Diversio score: a composite of diversity, inclusion and commitment that help investors to make investment decisions and assist companies to benchmark their performance.
- Expand its dashboard to incorporate more types of diversity, as well as new engagement metrics.
Founded in 2018 by former Mckinsey consultant Laura McGee, Diversio has grown to having 400+ customers across over 35 countries globally — including leading organizations like Unilever, Pwc, Honda, Heineken, and Accenture. The company plans to double its current headcount of 35 by the end of the year.
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