Battling Bias in AI: The CDO-CHRO SHIELD Framework

Authored by

Janet M. Stovall, CDE (Global Head of DEI)
The CDO-CHRO alliance is a force to be reckoned with. The SHIELD model shifts the conversation from a technical concern to a core business and ethical imperative.

Artificial intelligence (AI) is a game-changer, but it’s not without its flaws. AI can perpetuate bias, leading to missed opportunities for diverse talent, unfair promotions, and, ultimately, a less inclusive workplace. Artificial intelligence (AI) is revolutionizing the workplace, but it’s crucial to recognize the risks of embedded bias.

This bias can seep into hiring decisions, performance evaluations, and ultimately, shape an organization’s diversity and inclusivity. Chief Diversity Officers (CDOs) and Chief Human Resources Officers (CHROs) hold the key to combating this challenge. Together, they can wield the SHIELD strategy:

S: Sensitize others to the effects of bias.

CDOs and CHROs can translate theoretical risks of bias into practical explanations of its dangers, such as missed opportunities for top talent, unfair promotions, and a less diverse workforce. Framing this issue in terms of its business impact, illustrates how biased AI undermines innovation, productivity, and overall organizational success.

H: Highlight bias in existing systems.

AI is neutral in design, not neutral by default. CDOs and CHROs can – and should – play a valuable role in collaborating with IT teams to conduct thorough audits of AI solutions. Together, they can scrutinize its use across the entire organizational landscape, not just within recruitment and other HR processes.

I: Influence data collection, training, system selection.

 AI operates on the BIBO principle: Bias in, bias out. The fairness of AI hinges on its dataset–and who better than. CDOs and CHROs to advocate for diverse and inclusive data sources? And what better time than now, at the beginning of the organization’s AI journey?

Empower CDOs and CHROs during vendor selection to demand rigorous bias testing. This drives fairness not only within your organization but also shapes how vendors design future AI systems

E: Evaluate AI tools for fairness before adoption.

However, don’t take vendor claims at face value. Demand transparency, ask for evidence of their bias mitigation efforts, and involve diverse employee groups to assess AI outputs for fairness.

L: Lead ethical AI across the organization.

CDOs and CHROs should jointly set clear guidelines for responsible AI use, and foster a workplace culture where employees feel empowered to flag potential bias issues.

D: Defend against biased AI outcomes.

Establish accessible feedback mechanisms for employees to voice concerns about AI-driven decisions. Be prepared to investigate, address bias, re-evaluate tools, and prioritize solutions that promote fairness.

The CDO-CHRO alliance is a force to be reckoned with. The SHIELD model shifts the conversation from a technical concern to a core business and ethical imperative. This approach is essential for building an equitable future where AI truly benefits everyone.

Share This Post

Subscribe To Our Newsletter

More To Explore

Ready to transform your organization?

Connect with a NeuroLeadership Institute expert today.

two people walking across crosswalk

This site uses cookies to provide you with a personalized browsing experience. By using this site you agree to our use of cookies as explained in our Privacy Policy. Please read our Privacy Policy for more information.