Grads of Life and AdeptID’s $322,000 grant from WorkRise will fund a study to determine how machine learning models can be used to improve workforce DEI.
As part of a new round of investments, Grads of Life and AdeptID have been awarded $322,000 in grant funding from the research network WorkRise. The grant will fund an innovative pilot study to determine how machine learning models can be used to improve workforce DEI.
The project, “Fairness-Aware Machine Learning Models for Improving Workforce DEI” is one of nine research projects to receive funding in a round of grants announced today by WorkRise, a research-to-action network on jobs, workers and mobility based at the Urban Institute in Washington, D.C. Grads of Life and AdeptID’s project was selected from over 100 competitive applicants who applied earlier this year.
“WorkRise is keenly interested in funding research on real-world solutions that can accelerate economic mobility and career advancement for workers who have been historically excluded from opportunity and high-wage careers,” said WorkRise Executive Director Todd Greene. “These nine projects exemplify our commitment to building evidence on promising interventions that can be scaled and adopted by employers, policymakers, and practitioners all eager to implement policies and programs that will effectively transform the lives of low-wage workers and their families.”
In the past two years, both COVID-19 and the Great Resignation have forced employers to reflect on how to best attract and retain skilled talent. Through our ongoing work with America’s leading employers, we have observed that companies have become increasingly committed to a skills-based hiring paradigm that prioritizes workforce equity and does not exclude candidates without a bachelor’s degree. But for most large companies, questions remain about how to scale a skills-based hiring approach and how technology can be used to strengthen hiring processes in order to yield better, more equitable matches of candidates to jobs.
In the pilot study, Grads of Life and AdeptID will partner with a group of companies to test the use of predictive models to highlight overlooked talent within an employer’s current applicant pool and hopefully unlock new opportunities for underrepresented talent. The study aims to provide direct evidence that machine learning models, when ethically deployed, can reduce human bias in hiring and promote greater representation in the workforce.
“We have always believed that technology had tremendous potential to help employers strengthen and scale their skills-based hiring practices,” says Jessica Marcus, Director of Research & Evaluation at Grads of Life. We are thrilled that WorkRise Network’s investment will allow us to test new ways of using technology to identify candidates who would otherwise be overlooked by existing systems — and in the process, improving diverse representation in the workforce.”