Jessica Tabinor robots
Recent studies reveal that there is still a considerable way to go to eliminating gender bias from the recruitment process, especially in the engineering sector. According to the latest figures from the Women’s Engineering Society (WES), only 11% of the UK’s engineering workforce is female. Both women and men who study Engineering and Technology express similar levels of intent to work in the industry, however, 66.2% of men and only 47.4% of women went on to work in engineering and technology in 2011.
Launched earlier this month, a robot called Furhat has set out on a mission to try and combat this issue. Advanced technology enables him to communicate with humans by listening, speaking, showing emotions and participating in conversations. The market-ready robot has been designed to create an intuitive, human-like and engage experience making the way that people interact with technology much more natural. (Image sourced via furhatrobotics.com)
In an interview for Recruiter Magazine, Samer Al Moubayed, CEO of furhatrobotics.com said:
"We know that about 70% of interviews for jobs are biased, bias comes from the state of mind of the recruiter when they enter the interview. So potentially the appearance, the age and the background, dialect, accent of the job candidate – things that we know shouldn’t be taken into account in an interview process but with humans are naturally biased. We’re trying to explore this exact question of how a robot can contribute to this area."
It is believed that the technology firm is exploring the use of Furhat to complete competency-based interviews in the initial stages of the recruitment process. He will be able to ask the questions and then collect all the data to be able to pass on to a specialist recruiter to review, therefore removing the unconscious bias at the beginning of the recruitment process.
“The goals of the project are really global, the first language this system is going to cover is Swedish but we’re going to roll out English quite early in the process. The goal is to see if this can be turned into a product for staffing companies in Sweden and globally.”
Watch the video below to find out more about Furhat.
(Video sourced via furhatrobotics.com)