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Coffee Talk

#31 - Focus on DEI - Starring Rena Nigam

In this week’s Coffee Talk, Margrét is joined by Rena Nigam, the CEO and founder of Meytier. an AI-enabled, diversity-focused job platform that aims to make hiring more equitable, with a focus on gender diversity. Here are some highlights from Margrét and Rena’s conversation.

Focus on DEI: Rena Nigam
Episode 31 - Focus on DEI - Starring Rena Nigam

Companies are missing out on great candidates

Rena started Meytier after two decades in technology and technology services companies. She realized that companies were mostly well-intentioned in wanting to hire and retain women, yet there seemed to be no technological solutions to this problem.

She saw that companies miss out on great candidates for multiple reasons

  • They aren’t looking in the right places or in the right ways. 
  • The real substance of the job is not well defined. 
  • Overstuffed job descriptions deter women from applying. 
  • Women are culturally conditioned to understate their case – they don’t claim their accomplishments or skills at the same rate as men. 
  • They may face unconscious bias during the interview stage. 
  • There’s not much standardized evaluation of job candidates. 

So Rena built an end-to-end technology platform to bring more women into organizations where they are underrepresented. The platform helps companies find qualified female candidates, write a job description that does not deter those candidates, screen candidates in a way that reduces bias, and implement more standardized approaches to hiring. It can even look for “latent potential” – skills that the candidate may not explicitly state on their resume or cover letter. 

Using advanced AI technology to make equitable hiring decisions

In her work with job applicants, Rena has found that there are two questions they can ask themselves to better claim their real capabilities and accomplishments:

  • How would someone else describe you as an employee?
  • What would your boss say about you?

The answers to these questions are often difficult for AI-based software to quantify because they are what we call “unstructured data.” But Meytier has actually found a way to get this data into their platform so they can create more holistic profiles of job candidates.

Friday Coffee Talk from Planet Fair is a YouTube series of video chats and interviews co-hosted by PayAnalytics founder Margrét Bjarnadóttir and Henrike Von Platen, founder and CEO of the FPI Fair Pay Innovation Lab in Berlin.

#39 - A Good Week for Pay Equity: International Women’s Day and Fair Pay Certification

Margrét and Henrike talk about good news for pay equity: International Women’s Day and a major Universal Fair Pay Check win from BMW. The duo discuss why companies pursue fair pay certification. (It’s not just about employer branding – it can build lasting trust with employees.) Plus, they outline the two first steps companies take in order to get certified.

#36 - Gender Bias in Online Reviews - Starring Julia Barnett

Coffee Talk Episode 35 focuses on some illuminating research on gender bias. Margrét is joined by Julia Barnett, a PhD candidate at Northwestern University. Julia's research interests lie in algorithmic ethics and transparency, reducing the socio-technical harms of algorithmic systems, and deep generative applications in social contexts. Her recent study shows how patients perceive doctors differently based on the doctor’s gender. She examined over 400,000 online reviews of physicians.