Simon Fanshawe OBE

Simon Fanshawe OBE

Writer and Broadcaster

Bias is human – the solution is too

Session Overview

There is much snake oil around about how AI, big data and psychometrics will solve our lack of diversity in organisations. And they will certainly have their part to play. But if we don’t take responsibility and be accountable for our own biases, then we will just hardwire discrimination into the processes we use to recruit and promote.

As Bill Gates famously said: “The first rule of any technology used in a business is that automation applied to an efficient operation will magnify the efficiency. The second is that automation applied to an inefficient operation will magnify the inefficiency.”

The multiple and complex challenges that we face right now in businesses and organisations require even more urgently that we see people’s difference, love it and joyfully and creatively managing it. Simon will explore what we need to get right before we harness technology – setting out practical ways to value the diversity of staff and to challenge our current ways of promoting and recruiting so that we can then hard wire that humanity into automation.

Speaker's biography

Simon Fanshawe OBE is a co-founder of Diversity by Design and author of the report “Diversity – the new prescription for the NHS”.

He was a co-founder of Stonewall and of the Kaleidoscope Trust, supporting LGBTI activists abroad. He was Chairman of Sussex University 2007-13, a non-exec director of Housing & Care 21, and a Governor of the Museum of London. He is currently on the boards of Powerful Women and Brighton Dome & Festival.

He is also a broadcaster and writer. He was awarded an OBE in 2013 for services to higher education and made an Honorary Doctor of the University of Sussex for services to diversity and human rights.