Amazon’s recruiting system is biased towards men.
Who says? The company itself
Having incorporated Artificial Intelligence technology in its systems and software, Amazon has been making waves in its industry. It is the only business known for making the best use of technology to provide its customers with the convenience it guarantees.
Highly efficient systems and software remain a major part of all its departments including the Human Resources. One of its computer programs have been specifically designed to swift through and filter out resumes for relevant job vacancies. The program has been built to lessen the burden of the staff who were previously required to go through thousands of resumes in a day. Hence, the tool is a major lifesaver, however; here comes the twist.
The system’s biased!
It is recently that Amazon’s team realized that their machine-learning software doesn’t prefer females for technical jobs. The reason lies in how the machine is made to function. The computer system obviously does not have a mind of its own hence, it definitely cannot leave behind women on purpose.
Then how did this bias creep in?
The software has been designed to make judgments by means of observing patterns in resume submissions made over the past 10 years. Since the technical field, at that time, was mostly dominated by men, hence the same is reflected in the results provided by the system today.
The Artificial Intelligence software is made to sift through the resumes and rate them on a scale of one to five, five being the highest. However; since the system has taught itself that male candidates are preferable for technical jobs, it automatically eliminates the resumes that contain the word ‘women’. As a result, any resume mentioning that the person has been a part of the ‘Women’s Football Team’ or have studied from ‘The Women’s College’ is discarded.
The software has been edited to make it work in a neutral manner, however; no one can guarantee success in this regards. The system, based on Artificial Intelligence, is capable of finding other ways of following the trend it has set in the past.
When asked from the team regarding the concern, the following statement came out, “the program was never used by Amazon recruiters to evaluate candidates.”No further elaboration was given in this regard, however; it was mentioned that the recruiters always look at the recommendations, given by the machine, before moving on to the next phase of the process.
How heavily the company relies on the system, no one can tell. Nevertheless, one thing’s for sure, actions speak louder than words. Unlike all other major corporates including Facebook, Microsoft, and Google; Amazon does not disclose the gender breakdown of its technical workforce.
Making use of Artificial Intelligence is good but depending on it should never be the case.
“I certainly would not trust any Artificial Intelligence system today to make a hiring decision on its own. The technology is just not ready yet,”
says John Jersin, Vice President LinkedIn Talent Solutions.
Now, only trends in Amazon’s recruiting process can prove how well they stand by their statement when saying that the system has been neutralized and the team has a low relianc