More and more business owners, from large corporate executives to small startup leaders, are taking stock of the negative effects that workplace inequalities have. Indeed they can significantly impact productivity, safety, employee retention and ultimately hurt the overall health of the business.
On the flip-side, making sure equal opportunities and rewards are offered to employees of all genders, ages, physical abilities and origins is beneficial for both team performance and the bottom-line. In fact, retaining diverse talent can not only allow businesses to tackle issues from multiple points of view, but also attract a more diverse clientele who can empathise with its service providers.
Tech startups are a force of change in any sector and as complex as it seems, many newcomers are taking on the challenge of improving workplace equality. These players could be instrumental in the evolution of corporate work environments and many incumbents are starting to realise this.
In the context of the conference La Rencontre des Entrepreneurs de France organised by the MEDEF, the large insurer Malakoff Médéric Humanis and Early Metrics decided to highlight three rated startups that are working towards improving equality at work.
Matvisio, computer vision to prevent injury
Workplace injuries can place a big burden on both employees and employers. Matvisio uses computer vision to help prevent musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) and improve the wellbeing of workers. MSDs are indeed some of the most common work-induced disorders and in the UK, an estimated 31 million days of work a year are lost because of them.
Thanks to a camera and a proprietary algorithm, Matvisio can analyse the movements of workers in real-time and measure how much stress they put on their joints. A perk of their solution is that it doesn’t require the employee to wear any device and therefore doesn’t hinder their movement or efficiency. The data collected also empower managers to put in place better practices and security measures.
Ipedis, making digital publishing accessible to all
With the recent introduction of the EU Web Accessibility Directive, making online content legible for disabled individuals has become a greater priority for businesses. Ipedis is among the promising newcomers that can help companies comply with this directive, starting with PDFs.
PDF is the most popular document format used in the professional environment. Yet, traditional screen readers for visually impaired people often cannot process the text and images that are in these documents. Ipedis has created a solution that turns PDFs into accessible HTML-like content which can then be read by a program for blind users. But their offering doesn’t stop there, Ipedis caters to users with motor and auditory impairments too. Overall, it aims to reduce the digital divide and improve the experience of digital reading for all users, disabled or not.
Bimbamjob, helping unskilled workers regain confidence
Last but not least, Bimbamjob aims to reduce the gap in opportunities for poorer individuals who have been alienated from the workforce. Its solutions help people who have a low level of academic qualification, or have somehow been distanced from the workforce, to build confidence and find employment.
Bimbamjob has developed a platform to help unskilled workers put a CV together and matches job seekers with opportunities in various sectors such as hospitality, transportation and construction. It also offers one-to-one and group coaching sessions to enable unemployed individuals to regain skills and confidence. Lastly, it has developed a software for charities and job-finding firms to allow their own beneficiaries to find work.
At Early Metrics, we are proud to be supporting startups and large groups such as Malakoff Médéric Humanis in bringing positive change to the world. We hope that with the emergence of new tech and greater startup-corporate collaborations, we will see workplace equality become the standard rather than the exception.
The video interviews featured in this article were produced for the purpose of the keynote speech by Anne-Sophie Godon, Innovation Director at Malakoff Médéric Humanis, on the topic of equality and fairness in the workplace at the event LaREF19, organised by the MEDEF on August 29th 2019.