The Division of Diversity and Community Engagement has joined Dallas technology startup Kanarys, Inc. in a research partnership focused on workplace diversity, equity and inclusion.
Kanarys, a data-driven technology platform that aims to foster collaboration between companies and employees on workplace diversity, equity and inclusion issues, will work closely with the DDCE to analyze anonymous employee feedback, surveys and insights gathered on its platform to compile critical research and trends on workplace diversity and inclusion initiatives.
“We are excited to partner with the University of Texas on this important initiative and are committed to building workplaces where everyone belongs,” said Mandy Price, chief executive officer and co-founder of Kanarys. “Companies have historically focused on diversity but not as much on inclusion. With our research partnership with the Division of Diversity and Community Engagement, we collectively aim to transform America’s workplaces so that they are truly diverse, equitable and inclusive to all.”
“The partnership with Kanarys will give our graduate students access to an enormous amount of data that can be analyzed numerous ways to assess how inclusive organizations really are,” said Leonard Moore, vice president for diversity and community engagement at UT Austin. “Students from a variety of disciplines will have the chance to work with Kanarys analysts to help impact corporate cultures beyond those that partner with Kanarys. It provides the type of corporate exposure many don’t get to experience until after graduation while also getting the opportunity to work on more scholarly papers and reports.”
Price, along with co-founders Star Carter, Kanarys’ chief operating officer and Bennie King, Kanarys’ chief administrative officer, attended UT Austin as undergraduates. The three left their corporate careers to work toward building the “sense of belonging” that research demonstrates everyone needs to be most productive. Studies show that less than 30 percent of employees of color feel connected or heard in the workplace, costing companies as much as $144,000 per employee in attrition costs annually.
Kanarys is currently working with corporate early adopters and is scheduled to go live this summer. On the platform, employees can anonymously share ratings, reviews and feedback on diversity, equity and inclusion issues to help companies address potential issues. Employees will also be able to rate their company on five key metrics and subsequently answer a series of questions that incorporates artificial intelligence and machine learning. Data analytics collected from reviews and surveys will be made available via a company dashboard for corporate partners, so leaders can make informed decisions about how to improve the culture directly based on employee feedback and input.
“By relying on company-specific data and analytics, rather than solely on online reviews or just a gut feeling, organizations can use Kanarys to make informed strategic decisions to tackle equity and workplace fairness issues,” said Price.