The #CEOForDiversity Alliance highlights the inclusive potential of AI under ethical implementation.

The recent organized event has highlighted the complementarity between Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DE&I) strategies, showing how both elements can mutually reinforce and become powerful allies, as long as their risks are well understood. Participants have agreed on the need to transform this great revolution into an opportunity that generates a positive social impact.

The #CEOPorLaDiversidad Alliance has held the event “Artificial Intelligence and Diversity,” a session that has brought together 22 CEOs adhering to this pioneering initiative in Europe, along with representatives from the Adecco Foundation and the CEOE Foundation, founding partners of this Alliance, which already has nearly a hundred collaborating companies.

This meeting has taken place around July 15, International Day of Appropriate Technologies; those designed according to available resources, integrating the principle of sustainability and ensuring their contribution to improving the quality of life of all people, without exclusions or conditions.

The 22 executives participating in the event represent renowned companies such as American Express Spain, Agilent Technologies, AON, Arcelormittal, Becton Dickinson, Carglass, Esade, Eviden-Atos, FCC Aqualia, ISS Facility Services, Mahou San Miguel, Michelin, Mitsubishi Electric, Redeia, Star Madrid, The Adecco Group, Trigo ADR Iberia, Uría Menéndez Abogados, Verallia, and Wordline Iberia S.A.U, Microsoft. Additionally, Carlos III University of Madrid has been present, with which the Alliance develops the Leadership and Diversity chair.

The session was inaugurated by Fátima Báñez, president of the CEOE Foundation, who stated: “Edelman’s barometer data shows that the institutions in which Spaniards trust the most are companies, showing high credibility towards their employer and CEO. However, citizens show fear in the field of innovation and are unaware of the impact it will have on their careers. In this context, AI is crucial to generate trust from companies. Specialists are needed to explain what AI is, what effects it will have on people, and how the biases it generates will be combated. A path on which governments and companies must go hand in hand, training the entire workforce.” Báñez closed her speech by quoting Henry Ford: “There is only one thing worse than training your employees and they leave: not training them and they stay.”

Pablo García, Director of Communication and Marketing at the Adecco Foundation, delved into the AI and DE&I binomial: “Digitization and AI can be great allies in achieving our DE&I goals. Intelligent systems have the potential to solve complex dilemmas related to equality, equity, and inclusion, eliminate or reduce biases in the selection processes, personalize the training plans of our teams, or make our products or services more accessible and inclusive. There are many opportunities. However, we must also know their risks, such as possible job destruction, algorithmic biases, or the loss of human connection. The big challenge is to turn this challenge into an opportunity to empower people and create more efficient, inclusive, and sustainable jobs and companies.”

Carolina Castillo, Director of Operations and Marketing at Microsoft Spain, highlighted in her intervention about Microsoft’s history and the value of people in this digital revolution: “In this new paradigm, the challenge is to rediscover our purpose, to be aware that AI is an empowering element, an ally that improves and optimizes every job. We must adopt a growth mindset, be open to experimentation and learn from mistakes. AI is already a tool in everyone’s hands (3 out of 4 professionals use it in their work) and, in this sense, companies cannot put up barriers or fall behind: we must design a strategy to govern and embrace this revolution, using it to be more competitive and inclusive, improve the customer experience, reduce costs, and ensure that all people have a voice.”

Francisco Mesonero, CEO of the Adecco Foundation, closed the event by highlighting the main conclusion: “AI and diversity policies feed off each other. Intelligent systems can analyze information and identify patterns of inequality and discrimination, ensuring that the data used for their training is diverse and representative. DE&I policies can improve the development and application of AI technologies, ensuring their fair, ethical, and beneficial nature for all people.”

In this line, Mesonero emphasized that “inclusion is not a natural process, so it is necessary to find mechanisms to develop and integrate it into Artificial Intelligence systems.”

In conclusion, CEOs have highlighted the importance of AI as a powerful tool to promote Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DE&I), as long as it is implemented consciously, ethically, and responsibly.

The #CEOPorLaDiversidad Alliance already has 97 member companies, 13 of which have joined this year: American Tower Spain, Cargill, CEPSA, Enterprise Mobility, Iberia, IVI-RMA, KPMG, L’OREAL, Mapfre, Michelin, Indra-Minsait, Mitsubishi Electric, and Stage Entertainment.

Referrer: MiMub in Spanish

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